Friday, April 10, 2015

Why Your Toddler May be Better at Business Than You

My wife and I are blessed to have an amazing son who is now two and 1/2 years old. Everyday he is doing something that just blows us away. He learns really fast (except for that dang potty training business) and is as curious as they come. Since I'm a business minded person, I tend to see the world through that lens a lot of the time. I've noticed some traits in my little boy that I know would transfer well in the world of business because often times, the tactics he uses works like a charm on my wife and I. Here are some of my observations.

1) Never take no for an answer. 
The first things that my son usually requests when he wakes up in the morning are either juice, candy, or a cookie. Now like any good parent, I'm not going to allow him to have these first thing in the morning, especially before breakfast. However, my son has caught on to this pattern. He knows I will say no. But he will ask several times and even though he doesn't get it immediately, he has done such a great job of positioning the idea in my head, I am much more apt to give into his request later on in the day. He's already created buy in.
How this applies to the business person:
Know what you want and don't be afraid to ask for it early on, in the beginning stages of the deal. While you may not get the yes right away, you have made it known that you have your eye on a certain outcome and this will weaken the resistance (toward your requests) of the other party you are in negotiations with.

2) Be willing to compromise as long as you get something you want in return.
The other day, my wife told me that my son did his usual and requested juice in the morning in lieu of breakfast. My wife offered water instead, he countered with 'juice and water mommy'. She conceded. Both sides were happy. That smart little bugger!!
How this applies to the business person:
Try to find a way to make every business agreement a win win for both parties. This will encourage long term relationship building and both sides will feel that they have received something of value. Be flexible in approach, but firm in resolve so you don't come out the loser and ultimately regret your business arrangement.

3) Be eternally optimistic and bounce back quickly.
Our son is very busy, part of the reason for this is because he is so intelligent. So he gets easily bored which leads to him often getting into things we tell him he shouldn't be in. This results in stern discipline sometimes. However, after the punishment has taken place and the tears have dried, he is usually back to being his loving, happy, and energetic self. It amazes me how he doesn't hold grudges very long and even wants to play with the parent who disciplined him.

How this applies to the business person:
Every now and then, you will make some mistakes in business that will cost you. Don't let this hold you down for long. Learn how not to internalize things too deeply. Get up, dust yourself off and get back to being you. Learn from your mistakes, don't let them define you or your professional relationships.

For those with kids or who spend a lot of time with them, I would love to hear how they model traits that could be applied in business. Leave in the comments section below.

About the author of this blog post:

Philip "Sharp Skills" Jacobs is a hip hop artist, published author, and entrepreneur who is passionate about reaching his full God-given potential and inspiring others to do the same. He is the author of "Accuracy: a guide to living skillfully and successfully in today's crazy times" and has independently released three albums, four mixtapes, and has had his music placed in TV and film. A firm believer in the power of education, he earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Seattle Pacific University. He is married with two children. Follow Sharp Skills on Twitter @thesharpskills

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