Petra Smith

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Business lessons I learned from my children

Business lessons I learned from my children

I learn from my kids every day. They teach me to look at things from a different perspective from every-day life to work and I very often notice the correlation between balancing a family and running a business. Comparing a board room to a kids’ room might sound unusual, but there are many skills that we learn as parents which can be translated into business success. Together with fellow business parents who shared their business lessons from their kids, we put together a few things children can teach us about business:

Lack of fear

Not taking a first step is one of the most common reasons why people remain unhappy and frustrated. We are too hesitant to do things that are outside of our comfort zones because we fear failure. Kids don't think that way. They are so enthusiastic about everything new, they take the leap without any hesitation. There is something fascinating about how they take risks and learn from them – both if they get hurt or if they love the experience.  In business, so many of us are stuck in the wrong job just because we are so afraid of the unknown. You don't need to know it all before you take a step towards what you want to do. Of course, kids need to be developmentally ready for certain tasks, but if they are interested in, and want something, they will go for it. And, so should we – whether it's big changes, or small, fear of failure should not stop us from new experiences. You will either succeed or learn something new - either way, it's worth taking the risk.


“My daughters and I both ice skate and more recently they are starting to get competitive. Just recently I have been experiencing challenges in my business as we scale up and have often had days where I wonder if I’m doing the right thing and question myself most days. Just this week, my youngest fell a few times during her coached session, she cried but got back up again and tried again. Their resilience in their ice skating and getting up when they fall down has enabled me to see things from a different perspective. My business is something I am passionate about, just as they are about their ice skating. In both, we will inevitably face challenges to achieve the goals we set out to achieve. There will always be setbacks, the occasional impostor syndrome and thinking everyone else is experiencing plain sailing, but that is often far from the truth.”, shares Katrina Cliffe, Founder of PR and marketing agency KC Communications.


We learn by being curious. Kids, especially, are so curious it drives them to learn and discover new things and experiences every day. They are like a sponge when it comes to absorbing new experiences, taking them on and exercising their new skills and knowledge where possible. They know very little when they are born, but within the first few months and years of their lives, they transform into real people, mainly as a result of being curious and exploring the world around them.

In our professional lives, it's common that we settle in our ways, doing the same thing in the same way just because we've grown comfortable, losing our sense of curiosity. Curiosity is what drives new experiences and takes us to new places, constantly keeping us on the move towards our future plans and goals, just like it is making our kids grow into the amazing people they are.

Saying NO

Rebecca Newenham founder and director of Get Ahead VA finds inspiration in her children’s ability to say ‘No’. “The top tip I have learned from them is to say no to things that aren’t of value to me. As adults, I think we can get drawn into what we feel is polite and trying to please everyone. Children are much more single-minded and that’s something we could all benefit from sometimes.”

As working mums we often might feel guilty. “Mum guilt is something which isn’t always discussed. From leaving your child with a babysitter to leaving them crying an extra few seconds so you can finish your cup of tea, it’s important to know you’re definitely not alone.”, adds Eve Bell, Founder of Baba+Boo.

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