The lessons we learn as entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t just apply to our businesses. That tells me that being an entrepreneur is more than just starting a company, growing that company and trying to earn a buck; there’s something more profound going on. Or at least more interesting!
This morning my wife went into my son’s room (he’s 2 and recently switched to a “big boy bed”) to find a rather unpleasant surprise. He had taken off his diaper during the night and there was…how shall I put this…poo…everywhere.
His legs were covered in…you guessed it…poo.
- The duvet? Oh ya.
- Sheets? Check.
- Pillow? Check.
- Bed frame? Uh huh.
My wife was thrilled. I was equally excited about washing poo off my son for 20 minutes and then scrubbing the floor (there was poo in the carpet too.)
So what did this experience reflect back to me as an entrepreneur?
Business is a messy thing? It certainly can be, but I was thinking about other things…
- Cutting corners will eventually bite you in the ass. This wasn’t the first time my son had taken off his diaper. It’s somewhat habitual actually; and my wife and I have been duct taping it in place for the last few weeks. Last night I didn’t; my son was grumpy and it was frustrating enough just putting the diaper on. I was rushing to get him into bed without having an international incident and so I skipped the tape. I’m not likely to make that mistake again.
- Business can be extremely frustrating, but don’t sweat the small stuff. In the grand scheme of things, while it’s pretty darn annoying to wake up to a poo catastrophe, it’s not the end of the world. You clean up and move on. No one is sick. No one died. Sure I feel like I’m covered in poo, but so what? My son is healthy, happy and a genius (don’t ya know!) so I can’t really complain.
- There’s more to life than business. You’d think something like this would make me want to work more not less, so I could avoid being at home when the poo starts flying. But in fact, it’s incidents like this that let you step out for a bit and reflect. Toss a bit of humor in there too because if you can’t laugh at yourself or your situation, you’re going to be one boring and grumpy person.
The lessons we learn as entrepreneurs and small business owners can be taken outside of their business context and applied to everything else we do. Even with the silliness of this example, it’s true.
Better entrepreneurs can make better people, if they bring the lessons learned in business outside of work.
On a side note — if anyone has a better solution than duct tape for keeping a diaper on (and don’t worry, we’re not taping it to his skin, just around the diaper itself!), I’m all ears. I wonder if Barb at Great Family Gadgets might have some ideas…
Image by Kevin & Kathy.