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Be More Kid

What Can Children Teach Us To Be Better In Business?

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by Ant Henderson in Uncategorized

The business world is always evolving, as thought leaders share new models and ways of thinking to help entrepreneurs become better business people.

Allow me to add in my “two pence” — I’m taking things back to basics.

Let’s step away from the jargon heavy, overly complicated business world for a few minutes, and get some perspective, courtesy of the small people in our lives

Here are three ways being more child can help you grow your business:

1) Don’t Stop Asking Questions

Someone once said to me: “There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.”

WRONG

There are no stupid questions; stupid people don’t ask questions.

At a young age, children ask questions without hesitance. They have no fear of being told they’re stupid or being laughed at for not knowing the answer.

As we get older, this changes.

Newsweek story found pre-school kids ask around 100 questions per day – yet, by the time they reach 14, this number drops by half.

Richard Wurman, creator of the TED conference, said: “In school, we’re rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question.”

These findings go a long way to explain why our natural inquisitiveness becomes stifled, and we’re conditioned to believe knowledge is what matters, not the curiosity required to build that knowledge.

Question without fear. If you want to know something, ask. 

If you need to challenge something, do it.

It’s our fear and ego that prevents us from doing this. The sooner we get over that, the more questions we can ask, and the more we can challenge the status quo – the more progress we will make.

2) Imagination

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” (Albert Einstein)

In the world of a child, anything is possible. 

At a little under two years old, I watch my daughter create imaginary worlds where dinosaurs and dollys happily coexist and share breakfast – that was this morning’s fun anyway.

In 1994, Robert Dilts devised a creativity model inspired by Walt Disney. The first stage of this model is “The Dreamer” – a place where there are no limits, where imaginations can run wild, unconstrained by the real world, and not shot down by criticism.

The freedom to think and imagine creates a pool of ideas. Although these ideas will later be whittled down to the most viable, that’s not important at this stage. What’s important is removing the constraints and letting imagination take over. 

Following this process often helps find a golden egg – an idea that might never have surfaced if the creators are bound to the constraints of the “real world”.

In business, we often tackle a situation with a specific end goal in mind. The goal is rigid and cannot be changed – but what if we approached things like Disney and thought a little differently? 

Next time you need to solve a problem or generate new ideas, set aside some time to use your imagination more – and let your “realism” take a back seat for a while.

3) Learn (but implement that learning)

Kids soak up knowledge and experience like a sponge, making sense of the world as they go.

As we get older, we learn to cast aside other viewpoints or accept the status quo for an easy life – but that’s not how change occurs.

When you stop learning, you stop growing.

Take some time out to learn from others, and work on your self-development. 

Setting some time aside each week to read, listen to or watch something new can make a huge difference. Challenge yourself, learn, absorb and then apply it to your business and make it better.

Too many times have I read a book or listened to a podcast and, despite gaining some valuable insight, failed to do anything with it.

Learn -> Implement -> Review -> Repeat

Our formative years are responsible for our growth as business owners. If you’ve let yourself become too ‘grown up’ take a step back and take the opportunity to act like the inquisitive child you once were!

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