A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires. - Paulo Coelho
We, as adults, blissfully live under the illusion that it is us who teach a child the ways of the society and Life. How ignorant of us, don't you think? Kids have their own special ways to understand Life and know exactly how to live it. There are so many things that we could learn from these marvelous beings. My brief stay with my nephew and niece made me realize how effortlessly they taught me a few valuable lessons that could work really well for an entrepreneur.
So, whether you are a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned one, here are the top 5 reasons why kids would make for an excellent board of directors for you!
Theyll teach you to be curious: Kids are like small sized Sherlock Holmes. Always asking questions, challenging the limits, searching for alternatives, and accepting only self deduced theories. Tell a kid not to touch an electric socket; odds are that he/she will. Kids are somehow wired to be like this - curious, inquisitive - asking why, how and why not as frequently as a cat cleans itself.
An entrepreneur should be a curious person. Wanting to know why and why not. Wanting to push the envelope just to see what happens next. Wanting to test his capabilities and limits only to discover new ones. Be curious; always search for answers. Why cant we scale this project? Is it possible to build something entirely different from the same material? What happens when one plays around with the chemicals a little? Why not try the alternative this time and see how things unfold?
Im not saying to risk it all, but asking questions will help you find answers, get answers and make you aware of so many things. So, never stop asking questions. Be curious!
Theyll teach you to be stubborn: Yes, we all agree. Kids are the epitome of stubbornness. They will ask, beg, cry, throw tantrums, hold their breath (remember Agnes in Despicable Me?), overcome each and every obstacle to get what they want. Their willpower is stronger than steel.
My nephew, then 7 years old, received a bicycle on his birthday. He was over the moon! He tried to ride it, but fell so many times, bruising himself on his knees and elbows. But nothing kept him from getting on the seat again and again and yet again. No matter how hard he fell, how badly he scraped himself, that little boy was adamant to learn to ride a bicycle. And he surely did, took him a week, but he did. The look on his face when he came riding down the street said it all.
Kids have this amazing habit of believing in what they are and what they want. Though more often than not, this habit can take a few wrong turns, but hey, I still think its a good thing to be a little (read a lot) stubborn for things/dreams that you believe in. A right amount of stubbornness gets things done!
Theyll teach you to be accepting: Kids are regarded as angels of God. Why? Because they are free from any opinions and prejudices. They accept things and people as they are. Neither wanting to change them nor holding any kind of judgments or opinions. Kids play it simple. Find things in common, and enjoy doing them together.
An entrepreneur should also accept people as they are; without wanting to change them to make a reflection of his own. A true entrepreneur values people for who they are and what they do, rather than how similar they are to him.
People, more so as employees, are more open, more productive and motivated when they are aware that their superiors accept them fully and trust them entirely. This awareness leads to trust, which leads to a sense of belonging, which of course results in highly satisfied employees. Happy & motivated employees = happier business. Is the math so difficult?
Theyll teach you to keep moving on: I have never seen a kid who broods over a lost pencil for days. Neither have I come across a kid who gets stuck to one particular emotion for more than five minutes. Kids fall, get hurt, cry, but they quickly recover from all such stuff and move on. A kid who fell off the swing will not cry over it for the entire day. They never let downfalls or failures come in their way to being happy and have what they want.
An entrepreneur has a lot of things at stake. And, many a times a few things dont go as planned. But, if he sits around idle mourning over what went wrong, he wouldn't be able to strengthen what is going right. And eventually the right things will also fizz out.
It is best to learn from the mistakes, and quickly execute plan B, if you have one. The idea here is to not waste a single more second on things that are now not under your control, and focus your resources on plans that work.
Theyll teach you to breathe and smile: Most importantly, kids teach us to relax, take a breath and smile. Enjoy the little things in Life. Spread out our arms and hug the world. They treat the world as an amazing place; full of wonders. Perhaps, we should do that too!
Yeah, being an entrepreneur is a tough job. Needless to say a 24x7 one too. It feels like you have the world on your shoulders; clients, projects, deadlines, goof-ups, fire-fighting with unplanned activities, it's an endless list of tasks and plans. An entrepreneur has to be so many persons all rolled into one. But that doesn't mean you have to be all frowny and burdened.
Don't you think it will be easier to handle things when you are happy? When you know that no matter what there is always tomorrow to try out new things, new alternatives that can solve your problems.
Trust me when I say this - a little time out never killed anyone! Give yourself a well deserved and earned 'me' time. Appreciate what you have, be hopeful for the future and never ever lose the link with your inner child.