Everything I learned about growing a business I learned in kindergarten
Nov 22, 2021
Picture it… Queens, NY 1981
A brisk Saturday morning in the fall. Cartoons on the television and a sister and brother in the living room of the red brick brownstone they live in with mom and dad…décor brown and orange…
Pots and pans, spoons and stirrers sprawled out all over one section of the living room floor.
In the other section of the living room folding tables are set up with napkins, knives, and forks, and glasses ready for customers to come in and dine.
It was a restaurant in a living room. It was My restaurant (well and my younger brother Jerry’s restaurant too) called “Something’s Fishy.”
My first “business.” My first foray into entrepreneurialism and I was having a blast.
We played it every Saturday morning for weeks, months. Elaborate dishes, recipes, and dancing were part of the restaurant scene. And apparently, we served fish a lot. (HAH!)
We would have our mom and dad be the customers or have friends come over and work with us.
We paid ourselves $4000 a week. $4000 a week! EACH! That was a good chunk of money back then for an 8 and 7-year-old.
But what I remember the most was how much fun we had. And how much our imagination played into “growing” the business.
And my mother remembers what a mess it was to clean up each week. Sorry Ma!
But it was a blast.
In my book Be the Queen of your Money, I walk the reader through the three stages of women in their lifetime and their relationship to money.
One of those stages is the young girl. The part of us around 7 or so years old that imparts wonder, imagination, and creativity… and in the case of the book that gives women a perspective from that angle to our relationship with our money.
And it made me think as we, as business owners and women, growing businesses of that youthful, playful, full of wonder aspects that can serve us. powerfully
It is often a forgotten aspect of us when we become adults and often in business… yet I believe would serve us wonderfully in our business and perhaps create that quantum leap we may be looking for. That imagination and curiosity were so seemingly easy to access when we were kiddos.
It was in writing the book, that I realized so much of what I want in my business I learned when I was a young girl.
So much about creating a fulfilling business didn’t have to be complicated. Or hard or full of mind chatter.
And then realized I wanted to share my take on “Everything I learned about growing a business I learned in kindergarten” or somewhere around that time.
Are you up for accessing perhaps a lost part of you, your inner little girl, to bring out the woohoo in your business?
I would think she might have a lot to share with you
These are the things I learned: (What can you relate to?)
- Nothing is impossible. I learned as a child creativity, ideation, possibilities. This is what fuels a business. A business doesn’t run out of money, it runs out of ideas. Where there is ideas, there is a business. It is the hallmark of being in business. It is the creativity that sparks that I get to do what I want that keeps me going. There is so much freedom in that. AND hopefully, no older adult telling you ‘No”.
- Failure is OK. Remember as kids, you didn’t think you would fail. That wasn’t even an option. You just got back on the bike after falling and did it again until you were rolling down the street on your way with your mom or dad chasing after you so you wouldn’t go TOOO far (which always made me ride faster). Failure is ok, it is a better teacher than success. With this learning.. I have become more unattached to the outcomes and able to take more risks (which means more opportunities) in my business than I ever did being an employee, which has allowed the business to flourish.
- Sharing… Sharing is a lesson we totally learned in kindergarten and perhaps before that at home if you had siblings. But once you got to kindergarten the sharing philosophy was in full force. When I was five, I would have never realized how much “sharing” would be a part of my business. From sharing the workload to sharing the messaging to sharing stories of inspiration with fellow women like you all. The concept of sharing is a part of meaningful purpose in our life and business. Sharing is about connection. And sharing unites us all, and it extends itself to team members, customers, employees, contractors, clients, and prospects. Very win-win-win.
- Success=Fun… Remember being young, it was all about having fun. You didn’t do it if it wasn’t fun… even when we were in trouble there was an inkling of fun, that is why we did it! I have now defined success in my business not by the amount of revenue (or profit) in my account though that is a nice marker, nor by the number of clients I have, or the number of IG/LI or FB followers I have but by how much FUN I am having (and I get it not every aspect is all rainbows and unicorns in a biz, but the underpinning is “Where’s the FUN?”)
- Be Curious. Elizabeth Gilbert (Author Eat, Pray, Love, and Big Magic)once said in an interview, “If the only thing you do in this life is curious, you have lived a life well-lived.” I love this and curiosity is a hallmark of being a kid.
- Making friends. Whether they were imagined or they were your bestie living next to you that you made up imaginary stories, games, and ideas with. Making friends is where it is at in business. Relationship building is how I grew my business. Living in a small town, a town of 12,000 people, I knew I wanted the business to be bigger than my life in Steamboat, that is where networking and relationship building became paramount for me. I have always been fascinated by the human spirit and that everyone has a story and that is my attitude of meeting new people. Making friends as a kid is kinda like networking in business. You introduce, you get to know each other, you hang out and you create from there; support, ideas, collaboration, cooperation. (and fun!)
- Believing magic… I mean WHY NOT? Pulling in the idea of magic, that concept “that something came from nothing” definitely comes from when I was a kid. When I wanted to do something. I did not spend days (weeks or months or years eek) on HOW I was going to do it. I decided and let the magic that comes along with deciding to do something, to act, and move forward carry me forward. TO the point where I would look back and say how did I do that? “I don’t know” Magic perhaps?? Where can a little magic (aka the mystery, the unknown) open you up to possibilities/opportunities you did not know were there in your business? Talk about some quantum leaping.
- Nap often… REST is essential to growing a business. Seasons are a part of the work I do around money to help women stop hustling 24/7 in their business and start showing up more in FLOW in their business. And a key part of productivity is rest. If you are not taking rest/downtime… which could be a nap but doesn’t have to be, take a cue from your inner kindergarten self and rest. Do it for you, your business, your family, and the greater collective. We all need a good rest often. Your future self will thank you.
- Help others. So much about growing a business can be about what it is giving you. how it may support your lifestyle and at the end of the day knowing you in the room, it is about service. How can we help others, lift others, show others the way in a confusing world? How does your business support not just helping others but helping them help themselves? All boats rise with the tide.
- Celebrate! If you are anything like me… you may forget to celebrate the wins. Little, big, medium.. the hallmark of an entrepreneur is ideation, thinking outside the box, or thinking bigger. Yet, so much about savoring the moment and receiving more thing to celebrate is about celebrating being in the moment of a win. This is gratitude amplified. Celebrate your wins and feel your joy factor your fulfillment factor and your magnetism expand in your business skyrockets. Your inner little kindergartner will be celebrating with you. Celebration is the ultimate work smarter, not harder.
So that is it. 10 things I learned about growing a business I learned in kindergarten or around that age.
What did you learn in kindergarten that you could apply or are already applying in your business?
My invitation for you to consider this week is how is your inner kiddo energy being infused into your business right now?
Have fun with it!
All my best,