Skateboarding, meditating and small business. What I learned from my kids
My kids have been on their own grand solo missions. I decided to take some small business lessons from them.
Last week my son showed me a YouTube clip. He’d been telling me for weeks about a video he and his friend were making. School holidays arrived, they had more time and finally, it was ready!
It was ten minutes of G (he has a hundred nicknames and one of them is G) skateboarding. I spent ten minutes squealing, swearing, putting my hands to my head and saying, “Wow G!”
The clip was amazing.
"It looks easy but it’s not. When my son nails a trick, it looks like a cinch. But he’s practiced it twenty times a day for weeks. Do you ever look at a successful business and think they’ve got it easy? Believe me, they don’t."
For two months, G and his mate Tom have been filming each other learning new tricks. And these are not safe little tricks. I’m talking run-ups of ten metres and getting airborne on railings before executing a landing.
One of the running themes of the video is G breaking his board learning one particular trick. Five times he broke his board: same trick, same spot…snap! (Luckily the local skate shop handed him a free board every time he walked in with a broken one. Some boards were only lasting one day.)
The other thing that struck me was just how much practise he was putting in: skating for six hours a day. And not just out cruising, which he loves, but diligently, repeatedly, doing the same thing over and over again.
My son is not the only one who’s been learning and mastering new skills. Last year my daughter completed a Make-Up Diploma, putting in late nights at home, making-up her friends (and me, when required). Additionally, she also recently attended a Vipassana Meditation Retreat for seven days. It takes four days just to learn the meditation technique. That’s four days of silent meditation for ten hours a day – sitting cross legged!
It’s been incredibly inspiring watching my kids put so much work into their lives. And educational as well! Here are some of the things I’ve learned from observing them that are great lessons for small businesses and soloists too:
Have a crew
Skateboarders call their group of friends their ‘crew’. Do you have a regular crew? We need to spend time with friends and peers who are also in business. They can pick us up when we crash and cheer us on when we land a trick.
Get the best support you can
At Vipassana Retreat, my daughter spent ten hours a day meditating. That’s taking solo-ism to a new level! And there was a very kind support team working behind the scenes. If you had problems, they had been there before and were ready to help. Who do you turn to for expert advice?
It looks easy but it’s not
When my son nails a trick, it looks like a cinch. But he’s practiced it twenty times a day for weeks. Do you ever look at a successful business and think they’ve got it easy? Believe me, they don’t.
Patience is a virtue
Applying false eyelashes is one of the trickiest tasks on the planet. In fact eye make-up is the most difficult part of a make-up artist’s job (Ouch, I know!). If you have ouch jobs in the business, give yourself time and patience to get them right.
My daughter said the best part of the meditation retreat was the food (“Just go for the food mum!”). There were delicious vegetarian curries and amazing cakes. We’re here to thrive and enjoy life. Make sure you’re treating yourself too.
Have you recently felt inspired after watching a child learning something new? Share what you observed and any lessons for solo business!