5 Lessons Entrepreneurs Should Learn From How Kids Think

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Photo: Ernst Moeksis via Flickr

As Oscar Wilde once said, “youth is wasted on the young”, but why not learn from younger gen­er­a­tion.Fol­low­ing are XX lessons I’ve relearned by observ­ing how kids interact.

Click here to see 5 lessons entrepreneurs should learn from the playground >
Tristan Louis is a New York-based internet entrepreneur and journalist. This post was originally published on his website, TNL.net, and it is re-published here with permission.

Every new per­son you meet is a poten­tial new friend

We all have friends and we tend to con­gre­gate with them but why not include every per­son you bump into in what you're doing. On the play­ground, kids are always happy to add new peo­ple to what­ever game they're play­ing. By com­par­i­son, at con­fer­ences, some peo­ple tend to con­gre­gate only with the peo­ple they know and fail to see that the new peo­ple can become new sources of inspi­ra­tions, and new friends.

Don't hes­i­tate to reach out to new peo­ple as you never know what that new con­tact may bring. In my own expe­ri­ence, every­one I meet always has some­thing to con­tribute to me and every­one is capa­ble of doing some­thing great, as long as they fol­low their heart. So I'm always inter­ested in meet­ing new peo­ple and learn­ing about their expe­ri­ence because my life gets enriched so much by such interactions.

Tools don't have to be used as every­one uses them

There are no bound­aries, only obstacles

Life is simple

For kids, life is very sim­ple: there are things you like and things you don't. They are clear about their intents and inter­ests and they have no prob­lems voic­ing their likes and dislikes.

Adults some­times think too much about ulte­rior motives. There's always a focus on fig­ur­ing out the story behind the story. What if there weren't one? What if you were to focus on being hon­est in all your inter­ac­tions? Wouldn't it make busi­ness more effi­cients and any inter­ac­tions more enjoyable?

Fail­ing is not failure

One of the great things about play­grounds is that one gets to see many kids deal with sim­i­lar issues in dif­fer­ent ways.

On a recent trip to the play­ground with my sound, I observed a much younger child, prob­a­bly two or three year old, who was try­ing to climb a tricky park of a jun­gle gym. And the jun­gle gym would foil most of his attempts, with the net result being that the kid would end up, in a lot of cases face-first, on the ground. And yet, he seemed to be hav­ing the time of his life, look­ing at each fall as just another step towards fig­ur­ing out how to pass that obstacle.

I have to say that this is a trait where my adopted coun­try, the USA, is far ahead of the rest of the world. In this coun­try, entre­pre­neurs are not penal­ized for fail­ing and can try again if they've failed in the past. Unfor­tu­nately, that's not always the case, as Robert Scoble shows in this inter­view with a Dutch entre­pre­neur.

In a way, this ties with the pre­vi­ous point as the fear of fail­ing is what keeps a lot of peo­ple from mak­ing changes. But what would you do if you gave your­self per­mis­sion to fail? What if you thought of not try­ing as a type of fail­ure in itself?

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