An entrepreneur who has a child knows how they bring heaps of joy (and occasional bouts of frustration) into one’s life. We try to be role models, imbuing them with qualities that help them mature into happy, successful adults.
But what if that learning goes both ways? What if self-made men and women can learn to succeed in business by tapping into their inner child?
While kids might need your help reaching the cookies on the top shelf, their brains are like a new PC, fresh from the box: powerful and not yet slowed down by overuse and repetition.
While kids might need your help reaching the cookies on the top shelf, their brains are like a new PC, fresh from the box: powerful and not yet slowed down by overuse and repetition. It’s why children learn new languages and musical instruments much more quickly and fluently than grown-ups. And it’s why adults should follow the lead of their children when dealing with technology – entrepreneurs especially, who know from experience that there is no such thing as the status quo. You’re either moving forward or falling behind.
Here are some ways entrepreneurs can enhance their experience with technology by taking a child-like approach.
Learn through play. Stop reading the user’s manual. Give yourself permission to goof around. Don’t think of your new laptop or tablet only as a work device. Be curious instead. Try out the features that you’d otherwise steer clear of and see what you can do. You might find your new favourite function!
Don’t be afraid to touch. Using a mouse and a keyboard is about as relevant to computing as leather ties and shoulder pads are to fashion. Follow your kid’s lead and learn how touchscreen computing can speed up and revolutionize your workflow.
Be a lighthouse. Adults multi-task, performing several technological tasks (e.g. creating a slideshow for a presentation or preparing a document for a report while writing an e-mail) simultaneously. Much of the time, productivity lags and quality sinks as we refuse to prioritize our work. Kids, on the other hand, fixate on the task that’s of most interest to them and refuse to do anything else (sometimes important stuff, like eating and bathing) until they accomplish their goal.
Connect with friends. Kids always want to be up-to-speed with what their friends are doing, and what they’re into. This allows them to stay plugged into trends and cutting-edge technology. Adults need to know social networking isn’t just about uploading your resume and kid’s photos. Take time to share a cool video on your network or click on a friend’s link to the new app that everyone’s buzzing about.
Dare to be cool. Kids don’t approach technology with any other goal than to be entertained and amazed. By doing so, they push their abilities to new horizons. Adults, meanwhile, stick with what they know to accomplish work tasks so they can leave to make dinner. Just for the fun of it, try something you’ve always thought was super-cool but were afraid to figure out, like creating your own karaoke video or 3D animated movie.
A technology-savvy entrepreneur is daring, never willing to follow the lead, and always conscious of new trends – just like a kid. He or she might not ride a skateboard or dye his hair purple anymore, but he can stay young at heart.