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Category: Brand · 5 min read

7 Ways A Kid Mindset Can Make Us Better Workers

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on August 8, 2019

author profile photo

on August 8, 2019

Father and his son tying their ties together

We can learn a lot about business from kids. 

It’s not a secret that kids behave differently than adults do. They’re louder, bolder, and funnier. They may not have as much world experience as us, but they’re still smart. They’re curious, they ask a lot of questions, and they make us re-examine why we do things the way we do.  

Their different, mostly innocent mindset can actually be beneficial when it comes to how we do business and go about our day-to-day work life. Even though children don’t understand the seriousness of a situation, they know more than we give them credit for. We could all learn a lesson or two (or nine) from them, and maybe even break down the emotional barriers that are holding us back from succeeding.  

Here are seven lessons inspired by the lifestyle of children everywhere.  


1. Overcome Your Fears, and Just Do It 

When we’re young, we’re almost fearless, right? Kids don’t think about the consequences or the bad things that could happen. They’re little scientists—they wonder what happens if they do [insert something slightly dangerous here], and then they do it and find out. They just go for it, and don’t stop to think about fear or doubt.  

The same should be true of us. We can’t let our fears get in the way of trying something new. Instead of worrying about what might happen or what people might think, we should go for it. Don’t let fear make you not take that new business opportunity or try that new marketing tactic. Just do it, and see what happens.  

We can’t let our fears get in the way of trying something new. Instead of worrying about what might happen or what people might think, we should go for it.

2. Don't Overthink It 

Along the same lines, kids also don’t overthink. They don’t second-guess themselves. They don’t doubt. Ask a kid what they want for their birthday, and they’ll probably list four gift ideas off the top of their head. They know what they want, and they don’t waver.  

Somewhere along the way, we were told that the obvious answer isn’t the right answer. That’s not true. The obvious answer may be the best option. We overthink things and change our minds, which leads to indecision and neutral thinking. Thinking things through is a good thing, but stop second-guessing your natural instincts. Chances are, they may be right.    


3. Don’t Wait for Perfection 

If you have kids of your own, you know how long it can take for them to learn how to walk. It’s not a smooth process. They fall…a lot. It’s similar to taking the training wheels off of a bike. All of a sudden, there’s nothing to support them and they have to learn how to balance on their own. Scrapes and bruises are the evidence they wear to show that they didn’t master it right away. Why? Because we can’t wait until we’re perfect to try things. There’s a learning curve.

The same is true in business. A lot of the time, we expect perfection right away. We don’t take failure as an option, so we’re disappointed and shocked when things don’t go the way we thought they would. Or, other times, we don’t act because we want it all to work and be perfect first. Both have the wrong expectations. Failure is a part of life—even work life—and it’s natural, because we aren’t perfect. A perfect result only comes from trying and trying again, until you finally master it. So, it’s pointless to wait for perfection or expect perfection.  

Failure is a part of life—even work life—and it’s natural, because we aren’t perfect. A perfect result only comes from trying and trying again, until you finally master it.

4. Live in the Moment 

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time living in the moment. I get distracted, or my brain’s thinking about 20 other things, instead of actually enjoying what I’m currently doing. 

But kids don’t usually have this problem. They somehow know how to make the most out of everything they do. They soak up what’s happening around them and don’t get bogged down by distractions or negative thoughts. They don’t sit around and stare at their phones when they’re at a playground and having fun with friends.  

We could stand to be more like them and enjoy the moment we’re in, instead of thinking about the next thing. Set down the phone, turn off your worries or stress, and live. Get to know your clients better. Do something nice for your employees. Have a good attitude.  


5. Have Fun 

When you think of kids, what do you think of? I think of fun. Kids are always looking for a way to turn their current situation into something fun—whether that’s going to the zoo or going to the dentist. They always want to play or do something that they enjoy, right?  

What about you? When was the last time you did something fun? Our lives are so busy, that a lot of the time we forget to do things that we like. We get so caught up in our daily work that we focus on that and nothing else. If you love what you do, then it should be fun to you, but many times, work feels like work. It’s not as fun as we thought it would be.  

So, let’s be more like kids. Let’s up the fun at work. How? It doesn’t have to be difficult. Order food for your employees, go out to eat at your favorite lunch spot, start a dog day, host a family day (for your employees or your clients), put on an office party or happy hour, or start some friendly work competition. Mix it up a bit and plan something that will liven up your workday.  


6. Let it Go 

Do you know what kids do really well? Forgiving and letting things go. That scrape they got last week? Forgotten. That toy you wouldn’t buy for them? A distant memory. For the most part, they don’t hold grudges and are ready to forgive and forget.  

But adults, on the other hand, usually have a harder time with this. When was the last time someone treated you poorly or wasn’t kind to you? I bet you immediately have an answer. We don’t forget easily, and we tend to hold it against people. That bad client interaction you had, that business partner that treated you unfairly, or that car that cut you off on the way to work. We remember. What if we let all of that go, instead of holding on to it and letting it fester? I think we would be much happier.  


7. No Stress 

Running a business can get stressful very quickly. Expectations, tasks, and goals can stack up and seem overwhelming. Things can go wrong, and budgets can get off track. There are more things to get done than there are hours to do them. 

But kids don’t stress out, do they? They may not have much reason to because of their lack of responsibilities, but they don’t let life overwhelm them. What’s their secret? Part of it may be due to how kids handle stress: they’ll find someone they trust and tell them how they’re feeling. And, once they unload, they go back to having fun. You can follow this strategy, too, and you can do some other things to help your stress level, like take breaks throughout the day, get some exercise, and make time in your day to properly rest and recharge.  

Stress is part of work, and sometimes it’s inevitable. But managing it and making sure that you stay sane as you run and grow your business is what matters. Don’t let stress overwhelm you. Don’t let it overtake your life. Fight it. Overcome it with rest and a motivation to get things done, one thing at a time.

Bottom line: Listen to the kids. Their simple approach to life is actually refreshing, and can help you as you manage your workload and daily work-life balance. What can they teach you? 



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Written By

Mark Williams

President and CEO

Mark Williams is the President/CEO of Brokers International. Over his more than 25 years of financial services experience, Mark has been both a producing independent agent in the field and a home office leader consulting to agencies and field marketing organizations. Currently, Mark is focused on the future of the insurance industry, from the disruptions of InsurTech and robo-advisors to the changing demographics and needs of customers. He also is an avid mentor, helping financial professionals navigate the industry.

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