4 Childhood Lessons That Taught You How To Run A Business

4 Childhood Lessons That Taught You How To Run A Business


When looking back at your childhood and the lessons learnt throughout, chances are you won’t connect those experiences with your ability to run a business. The funny thing is, some of the most valuable life lessons are derived through the phrases that our parents used to repeat. Whether it is in the sense of overcoming failure or sparking innovation, there are a number of business lessons which can be taken away from common parental teachings. If you’re interested in how this could possibly be the case, see below for our top four examples.  

1. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it”

As a child, our filter for ‘appropriate’ verses ‘inappropriate’ comments often seems to be missing. When saying something inappropriate or malicious, many of us would have been reminded with the above phrase. In a business sense, it provides a wonderful lesson for interacting with colleagues, as well as managing people. When engaging with others, we should always communicate in a professional and polite manner. In addition, when providing constructive feedback, it’s important to put some of the ‘nice’ with the ‘not so nice’.

2. “It’s no use crying over spilt milk”

Otherwise said, when something negative happens, it is not worth dwelling over it. When we run a business, we are bound to encounter challenges, setbacks and failures along the way. Your success will depend on how you react to these failures and how you bounce back from difficult circumstances. Adopting the positive ‘it’s no use crying’ attitude that was instilled into us as a child is a wonderful way to look at the situation. It will assist in building your resilience, as well as focusing on getting the job done rather than the negatives.

3. “If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”

One of the main reasons why businesses struggle to innovate is because of the ‘it has always been done this way’ mentality. While following the rules is encouraged, being afraid to stand up for yourself and your ideas is what will limit innovation. If you have an idea for how you can better run a business, why not suggest it? In light of the above, just because everyone else follows the status quo, why should you?

4. “Not unless you say please or thank you”

As both an adult and a child, good manners will get you a long way. In a business sense, this not only includes pleasantries such as shaking hands, it also includes how you interact with colleagues and clients. A friendly, positive interaction with someone is likely to see the customer return to a business. Similarly, a respectful manager is one who will be valued for his or her approachability, as well as the working environment that they create.

What do you think?

Do you have any other ideas to add to the list? There are bound to be some lessons from your childhood which have assisted in shaping your professionalism. I’m interested in hearing from people of all ages – comment below and share your views.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.  

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