As parents, we are our children’s first role models. There is so much they learn by watching how we live. For my children, they have grown up in a home where their Mama is also an entrepreneur. Here is what I hope they learn from watching me.
1. Do what you love. Life is too short to hate what you do and just live for weekends. Pursue what you love and money will come, but more importantly you will be filled with joy because you’re doing what you were made to do.
2. Always be dreaming. Dream big and follow your dreams. When we stop dreaming is when we stop growing.
3. Celebrate the good. Take time to celebrate your successes now matter how small. When I landed my first consulting client, I did my happy dance in my son’s nursery while he bounced in his crib (he was 10 months old). Celebrating with those who love and support you makes it even sweeter.
4. Take responsibility. If you want something to change, do something about it. Want to start a business? Read a book, attend a seminar, start a blog, start telling people. Just don’t sit there feeling bad for yourself wishing something will change. Take the initiative.
5. Do what is right, even if it’s not good for you. Taking short-cuts or not being completely honest may look good in the short-run, but is never the way to long-term success. Sometimes I have to tell clients I’m not the best option for them. Having integrity, being honest, and doing what is right will always be the right decision.
6. Take on challenges. Do the hard work, take on the projects that stretch you. This is where you grow and become stronger. Yes it sometimes stinks and you want to give up, but pushing through develops persistence and diligence.
7. Surround yourself with wise people. Know enough to know you don’t know everything. Then find people who love you enough to tell you no. Learn from them. This will in turn make you wise.
8. Failure is not fatal. Sometimes despite your best efforts, you fail. Failure is not the end of the world as long as you learn from it. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again or try differently – but this time you’re wiser.
9. Know what your strengths are – and aren’t. You are not going to be great at everything. So discover what you’re really good at and spend most of your time doing that. Find others who are really good at what you’re not and let them compliment you.
10. Live your priorities. Don’t just say your priorities are faith, family, work, but live work, work, everything else. While I don’t always get it right (who does?) I try very hard to make sure my schedule and my actions reflect what I say is important in my life.