My second son was born ten years ago. In the post-natal ward, the nurses frequently commented, he chirps like a bird when he cries. He had his own unique personality as soon as he was born.. 

When he was two years, I decided to change careers from Accounting to Coaching. There were many things that precipitated the move, however what followed was my first insight into studying entrepreneurs and understanding the attitudes and motivations that made them successful. 

Understanding the research on entrepreneurial attitudes and motivations helped me to understand and appreciate my son.

Here’s just a few of the ways it is helping me to nurture (and not shut down), his entrepreneurial abilities. 

He is internally referenced, backs himself in decisions and puts his needs first. I was externally referenced and focused on other’s needs and what others thought. It would have been so easy to label him as selfish. We’ve worked with him on gaining flexibility in certain contexts such as relationships (who wants be around someone who always thinks of themselves?!) In entrepreneurship, internal referencing helps a business owner back their ideas, even when the world does not yet see what they see. 

He is creative, likes to chop and change activities and have lots of options of things to do. I was more into doing a step-by-step procedure to complete one activity then move onto the next. I could have labeled him as lacking focus. In entrepreneurship, a business owner must be able to change course, adapt to new paths (often quickly) and come up with new ways to solve problems to take advantage of opportunities. 

He is indifferent to rules. In general, he does not see the world through a lens of rules you must follow. Whereas, I was a stickler for rules in society, in my home, at work. Of course some rules are related to safety or being a good human. So we’ve worked with him to appreciate these. Other rules like, who says you have wash dishes in a certain way, can be up for debate.  We could’ve have labelled him defiant or rebellious and made out like it was a bad thing he wanted to do things differently.  In entrepreneurship, a high level of indifference to meeting convention, the rules and expectations of others is an essential ingredient for creativity in product development and in disrupting industries.

He is ideas-into-action-quickly kind of guy, an initiator. So rather than mulling things over for a long time, he gets up and makes it happen. He can easily be labelled as impulsive, impatient or hasty. Fortunately, I have that in me too. So we understand each other on this one. In entrepreneurship, the research found taking your ideas and turning them into action is critical for venture success. 

It’s not always easy to appreciate difference in our children, especially when they are so opposing to our own attitudes and motivations. And by learning to be flexible and appreciate their differences they begin to believe it’s OK to be them.  

That’s the end game, for all of us isn’t it?

To be OK to be yourself…

PS – Whenever you are ready, here are four ways I can help you thrive as a parent:

1. Download the Parent as Leader whitepaper
Increase your presence, connectivity and quality time. Claim back up to 10 hours per week, every week for you, your family and your child. – click here

2. Grab a copy of my book
Order here and receive a signed copy. It’s called Smart Parenting – How to Develop Your Child’s Mindset, Resilience and Courage for the Future of Work. I like to think of it as practical guide for moment to moment parenting to raise awesome kids.

3. Come to a live webcast 3 Biggest Mistakes Busy Parents Make (and how to avoid them)
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4. Work with me one-on-one
If you’d like to work directly with me to rediscover presence in your relationships, be more productive at work and create a life you love, book in a time to discuss your situation and see if we might be a fit.