During my days as a primary school teacher, the kids taught me even more than I taught them. These ‘life lessons’ have come in handy more than once in starting and running a business!
Business and Life Lessons from the kids in my class:
Everyone is creative.
We just use creativity in different ways. What’s more, you can set up environments to foster creative ideas and the more you give it time and attention, the more creative you will be (and the more your business benefits).
Be quick to see the funny side.
Work hard and take your business seriously… but don’t take yourself too seriously. If you can laugh at yourself you will not only have more fun but more energy, more inspiration, and people (customers?) will like you a whole lot more too.
Life is surprising.
Every day the kids would surprise me in some way – they’d impress me with their capabilities or they’d say something ridiculously deep and true. It’s easy as adults to feel like a zombie on a treadmill when we work as hard as we do. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a daily reminder (like I did in the classroom) that life can still surprise you and even better, you can surprise yourself.
I’m different, you’re different, and that’s ok.
In their normal happy state, kids are naturally accepting of differences in people around them – so much more so than adults! Remembering that we have so much more in common than we are different (we all want friends, we all want to have fun and play, we all want to learn) helps us connect with others AND celebrate our differences… I don’t think I need to explain how this is good for business (and the world).
We can do big things.
One of the greatest privileges as a teacher is the chance to present kids with a problem, like ‘How can we raise $X for this charity/our school camp/the end of year excursion?’ and watch them jump on the challenge, band together and be all over it until the problem is solved. It’s amazing what you can do if you believe whole-heartedly that you can, you work with others and you focus and keep focusing until the job is done.