My son was born on May 13, 2014, and needless to say, life hasn’t slowed down since.
What’s interesting is, roughly 2 months before that, I quit my steady job to go sell insurance. Right about now, anyone who has ever sold insurance is thinking, “What an idiot.”
What ensued was the craziest 2 years of my life, during which I learned some of the most valuable lessons life has to teach a person.
I went on to quit selling insurance, joined a startup, started my own business, failed miserably, joined another startup, started another business, wrote a book, and found work I loved doing – and those are just the highlights.
Through it all, I can honestly say that some of the most valuable lessons I learned, I didn’t learn in a business setting.
The most valuable lessons I’ve learned were actually taught to me by a tiny hyperactive kid that calls me Daddy.
And even though learning these lessons sucked in the moment, they can make all the difference in your business and ultimately shape you into a better person.
So here are 4 valuable lessons my 2-year-old taught me about business and life:
I’m convinced that patience is the anti-entrepreneur, and I hate it even more than most.
But let me tell you, there’s nothing like having a screaming toddler running around to really push the limits of your patience.
But it’s a good thing.
Being impatient with a toddler is like trying to nail jello to a tree. It accomplishes nothing and only adds frustration.
Being impatient in business is very similar.
Impatience causes you to jump the gun and make stupid decisions. You hire the wrong people. You take on the wrong clients. You jump into the wrong business deals.
Whether you’re waiting for the right client to come along or watching your child throw oatmeal on the kitchen walls, patience is most definitely a virtue.
Being a parent means nothing you want matters anymore (at least until the kids go to bed).
If he wants to go outside and play, guess what you’re getting ready to do? Lace those outside-shoes up buddy.
If he wants to watch the Minion movie for the 427th time, you might as well settle in for an umpteenth encore.
Being an entrepreneur is much the same.
When you’re running a business, nothing is about you.
You exist to serve your team and your customers. That’s it. So your sales pages, your company policies, and everything else you do needs to reflect that mentality.
Parenthood and entrepreneurship are not for the faint of heart.
When your kid is scared to death sitting in a hospital looking at you with big sad eyes, all you want to do is curl into a ball and cry.
But you can’t. You have to be the one they lean on. You have to stay strong no matter how much it tears you up.
Business is the exact same way.
When you’ve been yelled at, cussed out, sued, short-changed, the bills are late, and payroll is due, all you want to do is curl into a ball and cry.
But you can’t. You have to look it in the eye and suck it up. Because it’s not going away, and the worse thing you can do is cave. That’ll only make your problems ten times worse.
There’s nothing in the world like watching your child succeed at something – anything.
It doesn’t matter if they’re bouncing a ball, saying their ABCs, or flying a spaceship. Their single success is better than all of your successful moments put together.
And guess what? You should have the same mentality about your customers.
Focusing on their success, and genuinely wanting them to succeed, is the only way you’re truly going to build a successful brand.
It’s simple. Great people, and therefore great companies, live to serve other people. Make that your goal, and you can’t lose.