Having recently become a father for the third time I wondered what small business lessons can I learn from my 3 kids. Can the actions of my kids be a lesson to me, my clients and you as a small business owner?
This will be the final installment to our family. I feel that trilogies are usually a pretty solid bet. Back to the Future, Matrix, Ocean’s 11, 12, 13, and the Bourne series were all great Trilogies. Indiana Jones I think is an honorable mention because to me it ended with the Last Crusade. The next one was 19 years later and doesn’t count. Star Wars is definitely at the top of the list of Trilogies. Currently set to complete the Trilogy of Trilogies - 9 great movies. That said I don’t want 9 kids, but I am happy with the three we have. Our little trilogy has taught me some valuable lessons in the world of small business.
My second child is a boy name Elijah, we call him Eli or sometimes Monster. He has recently caught on fire with a curiosity to learn about whatever comes across his attention. So how does he learn, he asks. He asks all day in his cute little limited grammar: What is this? What is that? Can I help? Want to do it?
Asking is a key to successful work in business. Ask again and again. What is this, what is that? How does this work, how does that work? Ask about processes, ask about procedures, ask about technologies, efficiency, anything else that crosses your attention.
My first born is a smart little girl named Elizabeth, we call her Ella or Doodlebug sometimes. Her curiosity often knows no bounds and her energy seems to last long after mom and dad wish her to bed. Her most recent discovery is math. One day I was asked to make some more math problems and mimic her preschool work. I also showed her how to use the abacus to help her do it more on her own without adult help. She caught fire and I got her a simple math workbook. That week she worked on the “Do” part. I saw her working math problems often throughout the day and also in bed at night with her headlamp on.
After asking a lot of questions, do the work, do the process, do the procedure, re-work the process, re-work the procedure. Get the technology, improve your efficiency and work on what ever else that crossed your attention.
Completing our trilogy is a little girl named Emersyn, we are still working on a nickname but my wife calls her Eme. She is just a few weeks old and has very simple yet very important needs at this point in life. Eat, sleep and a bit of personal interaction, which we call play. As parents we have learned that kids need structure and so we have built a routine for her. She wakes, we feed, then its play time until she starts showing signs she is sleepy. Eat, sleep, play, eat, sleep, play - repeat.
As simple as the routine is for Emersyn, she also teaches a great lesson in small business. Repeat the routine. Do it over and over. Ask questions, learn from the answer and do. Ask the question again, do again. Ask a new question, do something new. Modify the question and again, doodlebug.
What business lessons have you learned from your kids?