4 Things My Kids Have Taught Me About Running A Business
As mums of young kids, it can feel your day is packed with giving lessons. From the early days of teaching them the difference between day and night, to reading countless books to help with language and basic life skills like toilet training. Then there’s the endless questions – “Why are trees green not pink?”, “Why do we eat broccoli and not chocolate for dinner?” and “Why can’t we go to Canada to visit Paw Patrol?”.
However, in my 4.5 very short years of being a parent, I’ve realised that my kids aren’t the only ones who are learning. In their innocent and sometimes infuriating way, they’re teaching me so much more about life than I ever imagined. Since becoming a freelance copywriter a few years ago, I’ve realised that my kids have taught me a lot about business too.
Business lesson one: Resilience
Kids are so used to falling and getting back up again. After all, they would never master walking if they didn’t fall a thousand and one times. My daughter has been learning to ride a bike this year and boy, is it hard. She had a big setback a few months ago when she forgot how to brake on a hill. She slammed into a fence, ended up with a black eye (and I almost had a heart attack).
But despite her fairly significant injury, she hasn’t given up. She hasn’t vowed that she’s obviously terrible at bike riding and she shouldn’t try again. Once the bruise went down, she jumped back on that bike and tried again. Sure, she’s a little more cautious now. We haven’t attempted any hills and the brakes are being used often.
It should be the same in business. I’ve had setbacks, and I’ve made mistakes. However, my kids have taught me that every time I make a mistake, I just need to get back to work and try again. Without falling down, we don’t learn and grow. Neither of us will be making the same mistake twice!
Business lesson two: Confidence
Last week, my daughter gave me blow-by-blow instructions of how to snowboard. The only issue is: she has never been snowboarding, nor has she even seen snow.
“This is how you do it,” she said. ”You just put your feet in the boots, then you strap them into the board, then you go down the hill.” She had such confidence that what she was saying was right.
Did you know that women are far less likely to apply for jobs unless they’re 100% qualified? Whereas men have the confidence to apply when they only meet 60% of the criteria.
I’m not suggesting we should be making up knowledge like my daughter was, but we should have the confidence to push ourselves a little. We should take risks, push ourselves forward and don’t forget to pat ourselves on the back when we’ve mastered something new and challenging.
Business lesson three: Focus
We are pretty strict about screen time in my house. My eldest daughter only get an hour or so a few times a week while the younger one naps. However, when she does get that TV all to herself, my goodness she’s focused. You basically have to turn it off to get her to listen to us. I think part of this focus is because she has such limited time. She knows it’s going to end soon so she’s going to soak it up while she’s got it.
As a freelance working mum, I too have only limited time to work so focus is vital. When I have a whole day to work, it’s much harder to get through tasks. However, when I know I have 3 blogs to write between lunch and preschool pickup, then damn I can get to work. Do you find this too?
My kids have taught me that sometimes limited time is actually the secret to getting stuff done. Recently I’ve been trialling the Pomodoro technique, where you have 25 minutes of concentrated work and 5 minutes of break. I love using this time scarcity to help me focus and achieve my goals.
Business lesson four: Calmness
My daughter loves the rain however I absolutely hate it. I don’t like getting wet feet, I don’t like the cold and I don’t like being stuck indoors. When I’m out without an umbrella and it rains, I get flustered. In my haste, I often drop things, and everything ends up taking longer so I get even wetter.
My daughter has obviously noticed this as she’s now got a mantra for me when it rains. “Stay calm mummy,” she says to me. And she’s right. When I take a few deep breaths, it’s much easier to get the kids out of the car, get my things and duck undercover.
This is a good lesson for life and business. When things go wrong, it’s natural to get flustered. But when you take a few deep breaths and say a calming mantra, you can face whatever is unpleasant head on. I generally find it’s often not as bad as I was anticipating.
What about you? Have your kids taught you any important business lessons?
About Caitlin Wright
Caitlin Wright is a Sydney based freelance journalist, SEO website copywriter and mum to two gorgeous girls. She can help with writing anything from blogs and press releases to entire websites. She’s super efficient, easy going and a great problem solver. Check out some of her work on her website.
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