Think Like A Child

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Written By : 
Richard G. Watson

At any coffee shop or department store or even on board any plane you will find at least one playful 3-to-4-year-old child grinning from ear to ear, often running freely around the floor squealing and laughing. They seem quite oblivious to the people around them, feel absolutely no fear, no embarrassment, no inhibitions. Life is simple then: a series of adventures, meals and sleep.

Then we grow up.  Wonderment is replaced with knowledge, playfulness with responsibilities, delight with ego - and we learn to fear.

In business, I see the childlike qualities in most entrepreneurs, and that’s a very good thing.  They never seem to lose the sense of wonder, and the glass always seems half full.  That is not to say that business is easy for them.  On the contrary, most entrepreneurs that pass through my door have more battle wounds and scars that I could possibly count, but giving up is not an option.

In a previous article, I mentioned that a good friend of mine once told me that people like us are somewhat crazy (maybe in a good way …?).  When faced with persistent failure with one task or venture, the average person will give up, and more on to plan B or plan C but some don’t.  The crazy ones like us refuse to give in, give up or let it go. So, we work even harder and smarter until plan A works, eventually.

These are the characteristics of the people who come through my door, sit with me over coffee, and tell me how this will work. And I believe them.

But they are not all the same.

The entrepreneurs or small business owners that always get it, are the ones who look at life every day as if they were a child. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and their dreams big and bold - and no idea is a bad idea. They look to me to put together a structure to make it happen. That does not mean that they unrealistic but rather so positive in their thinking, so excited about the possibilities, and so focused on what is needed to make it work.  Setbacks or even small disasters are expected, worked around or ploughed straight through.

I doubt very much that they lay awake at night worrying about tomorrow because they have already planned tomorrow, and the next day.  They expect the best of their businesses and drag everyone around them along for the ride if they must.

So how do we think that way?  Maybe if we just stay close by, we can catch the ‘virus’, and evolve?  Or maybe it is just inherited, genetic, part of their disposition from birth. For me, I will stick with Darwin on this one - or Anthony Robbins if you wish.

With most of my blogs, I start writing with an end in mind, perhaps a moral to be learned, or some points to list that might be of some use to some readers. This article is different as I feel I am very much still learning to think the way these entrepreneurs do. To bound out of bed each morning and embrace the day as they do. To open my mind as would a child, knowing that things will work out because the glass is always half full.

You know that there are times I am actually envious of the 4-year-old child that runs around in circles, singing some spontaneous tune he has just created, and playing games with no rules with his invisible friends.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all approach business as an adult in the same carefree and totally inhibited manner as a child at play? Well, some entrepreneurs do. And I will continue to happily greet them with open arms if they pass through my door, hoping that some of their infectious lust for life rubs off.



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