I have an 8 month old grandson named Madden. While their house is being renovated, Madden and his parents are living with my wife and me.

I may be biased, but as 8 month olds go, I would say Madden is exceptionally well behaved. We can take him out in public and he won’t fuss. He doesn’t really even cry much except for when his teeth are bothering him, also commonly known as teething.

When you think about it, teething is just a very specific term for a type of growing pain. The dictionary defines growing pains as: neurologic pains that occur in the limbs of some young children. While technically not limbs, teeth do grow and, cause pain as they do, so I’m sure you see my point. If not, play along anyway because it’s key to the rest of this article.

I’ve heard people describe their business as their “baby”. As we all know, babies grow with time and how they are nurtured determines what they end up as.

When a child goes through growing pains, they’re not always pleasant to be around. They cry and scream and cause others around them to be uncomfortable. As a parent, you have options as to how to react. You could, A. try to console them, giving them affection to try to soothe their pain, B. administer a pain relief medication to them, C. both A and B (good choice), or D. none of the above. Ignore them and eventually they will stop crying.

Your business is similar, is it not? When it needs attention, or is going through pains, it can be unpleasant as well. It will often cry out for attention and those cries need to be met with one or more of the above actions. How you react will have a direct effect on the outcome. Tending to the crying and removing the pain allows the business to thrive and grow. Ignoring the noise will eventually make it go away, in most cases for good, as your business will eventually shut down.

If it’s your business, I’m sure you know the desired outcome. Are you willing to put up with the discomfort to achieve it?

If you’re a parent, or grandparent, hearing your child or grandchild crying in pain is one of life’s most painful moments and most will do anything it takes to soothe the child’s cries.

If your business is truly your “baby”, I bet you’re willing to do the same. Growing pains are something we all go through. Through the pain, we get stronger. It’s true in life, and in business.

Madden may only be 8 months old, but he reminds me every day of what is truly important.

Bob Fox has 30 years industry experience and is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at BFox@sonnysdirect.com. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit www.carwashcollege.com or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.