It's been 10 months of loving my little King and like every biased mother he is the sweetest baby on the planet and the apple of both mine and my husband's eye. From his tenacious kicks in my womb I knew he would be a strong, valiant leader so I named him Alexander. With limited years to groom him for success I was prepared to teach him everything I knew, but much to my surprise he's been the one giving lessons.
Those who know me, are aware that I'm not the 'toddler playgroup' type of mommy. You are more likely to see me with my baby in the boardroom than at a nursery during the week. Thankfully, Nan is around for those simple life pleasures. Being an entrepreneur and working for myself gives me the flexibility to work around Alexander's schedule. Yes, I quickly learnt that babies are the boss. With everything subject to change I stopped fighting the process and found a way that worked best for us both.
At five months old I started taking him into my business world, luckily he had a calm demeanour so he would sit quietly during most meetings. Four months on and my 9 month old is walking. Now nowhere is safe and I mean nowhere! Every 5 seconds creates a new cause for a possible headache. Nothing is the same and he's somewhat allergic to his play area. He prefers to explore cupboards and stairs. Of course in his world, it's all an adventure. From my observation here are a few business tips I've learnt from a curios little person named Alexander who recently turned 10 months.
Optimism - He always wakes up with a smile on his face and an effervescent laugh that is so contagious, you feel compelled to laugh in return. I can tell he's happy to be alive and looking forward to the day. He doesn't think about the stresses of yesterday nor the worries of today because he's so happy in the present.
Lesson: Always have an attitude of gratitude from the moment you wake up regardless of the problems of yesterday or the tasks at hand today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. As much as is possible, show sincere appreciation to others throughout the day. People prefer to do business with happy people and teams produce better results when working in a content environment.
Determination - Like any newly walking baby, he falls a minimum 10 times a day. He quickly forgets the pain and is back up on his feet ready to go full speed ahead as if nothing happened. He has never thought to stop walking though he's fallen so many times. He is fanatical about the target in front of him and goes for it.
Lesson: Never give up. Get back up no matter how many times you get knocked down. Don't let past failures derail your future success. Go for what you want with the same tenacity and vigour in spite of the troubles that lay ahead. Turn each set back into a set up for your next success. Lastly become flexible and adjust your strategies until you get what you want.
Observation - As Alexander learned to walk he would frequently stand in front of a wooden cabinet that also serves as our TV stand. Inside the glass doors of the cabinet lives the DVD player, DVDs, game consoles and an array of games. One morning, my husband came into the room where Alexander and I were playing. His gaze, unknown to my husband, was affixed on his father from the door all the way to the cabinet. After opening the cabinet door, my husband found what he was looking for and left for work. Alexander immediately shuffled over to the cabinet, stood next to it and for the first time opened the door of the cabinet.
Lesson: Find someone, a mentor perhaps, who has successfully done what you want to do. Pay keen attention, model what they do, incorporate your own flair and get great results.
Fearless - For Alexander, nothing is too high or too hard to achieve. He literally thinks anything is possible. A few weeks ago, he stood on the footstool and saw something on the ground. He started walking towards it, luckily I was watching and caught him just before he made the leap from the footstool into thin air. I admire his curiosity and belief that he can do anything.
Lesson: In order to achieve what most don't you have to do what most people won't. You must aim to be bullet proof with your business idea, exercising enough faith that pushes you to do what seems impossible. Alexander is a baby so he didn't calculate the risk, but as adults and business people it's important to do the research and count the cost before we invest. Become an innovator and strategist. Find a way to get what you want in spite of the odds stacked against you.
Ask for Help - When he sees something he wants, he'll go for it. However, if he realises he's actually stuck, he will turn around and ask/cry for help. Oh but you can't give him too much help. If you take him by the hand after he's fallen, he'll accept it until he is stable and then pull his hand away as if to say, 'Thank you but I got this now.'
Lesson: Know when to ask for help and understand that is ok to accept help. However, do not view that help as your permanent crutch or safety net. Never reside in your comfort zone, accept enough help to get you back on your feet then gather the momentum that accelerates you to achieving your goal.
I learn so much from my child every day. This article would be too long to list all the awesome things he does that translates effectively into business. The most profound changes I have noted since becoming a parent is, I am more productive now that I have less available time and I've become a million times more vigilant and flexible because I know sometimes everything doesn't work out the way you want it to in your allotted timeframe.