Being an entrepreneur isn’t the easy, carefree career path that many believe it to be; it’s actually quite the opposite.
Entrepreneurship is very risky and hard work. A sobering nine out of 10 startups fail. To be successful, you need the ability to adapt and change, the willingness to risk everything, and the courage to make difficult and unpopular decisions.
Mindset and attitude can be tremendous indicators of your business’s success. When it comes to cultivating a positive attitude, children have many lessons to teach us.
1. Falling on your face is just part of the learning process.
Have you ever watched a baby take his first steps? He’s fearless! Anything stable is used as a launching pad, he sets out, legs wobbling, into the unknown, to fall down again and again and again. There are tears, frustration, and finally, a huge grin of triumph as he succeeds. Falling down does not equal failure.
As an entrepreneur, you need to cultivate this mindset. If you’re aiming to innovate, failure along the way is a given. But if you want to be successful, you can’t let failure slow you down–the faster you fail, learn lessons, and experiment again, the faster you’ll find the solutions you are looking for.
2. Make new friends.
Young children ignore social barriers. They easily reach out to others, regardless of age, gender, race, or even species. Children are social creatures and seek out companions who make their play more engaging and fun.
Reaching out to others is crucial to running a successful business as well. It may sound cliche, but the truth is relationships are everything. People want to do business with people, not a faceless company.
Whether building your social network or developing employees, smart entrepreneurs know that they can’t do it all themselves. By leveraging the power of teamwork, you can achieve far more than you ever could alone. Surround yourself with talented and energetic individuals who can help you achieve your goals.
3. Get used to hearing NO. A lot.
Young children, especially toddlers, get bombarded with “no’s” all day long. No, you can’t eat cake for breakfast. No, don’t cut your sister’s hair. No, we can’t bring the gorilla home.
Entrepreneurs need to be resilient in the face of “no”. Unfortunately, you’ll be hearing it a lot. From lenders, clients, manufacturers. It can be disheartening, but understanding it’s just part of growing your business and learning from your mistakes can really help.
4. Think outside your cardboard box.
Give an adult a box and he sees a box. Give a child a box and it becomes a rocket ship, a submarine, a castle. Children see endless possibilities before them.
Successful entrepreneurs need to be equally creative and innovative. Instead of doing things the same way over and over again, you should look for better, faster, and lower-cost solutions to common problems. Experiment and be willing to take risks–and occasionally fail–in pursuit of your goals.
5. Infuse every task with joy.
Have you ever noticed how small children jump at the chance to “help out”? Even mundane tasks like sweeping or washing dishes can be enjoyable and fun with the right attitude. Instead of focusing on the “work” aspect, kids delight in doing something meaningful and important.
Successful business owners have real passion and enthusiasm for the work they do, and they aren’t afraid to let it show. Their enthusiasm is real–it comes from their hearts–and it’s infectious, spreading to coworkers and customers alike.
There are so many lessons we can learn from children. By tweaking your attitude and perception, you can truly make a difference in how your business grows.
What business lessons have you learned from children?