Don't Just Be "Good," Do Something!
I'm often amazed at how many parenting skills are transferable to Indie Business success. In fact, I believe that parents and home managers are uniquely designed to be successful in business. For example, like many families this holiday season, we got a Wii for Christmas. My children, ages 5 and 7, love to play it. However, they are not yet adept at playing fair, showing good sportsmanship and being gracious in defeat. As a result, when we first started playing yesterday, emotions and excitement ran high and the scene often dissolved into general finger pointing and tattling about the other person's behavior.
Each time this happened, my husband and I stepped in to broker a truce. This always resulted in a chorus of: "OK, we'll be good." We then had to teach them that being "good" was not good enough. In order to play the game, they had to agree to commit to specific behaviors that made the game as fair and fun as possible for everyone. To this end, we implemented the Pre-Wii Agreement. You must articulate out loud your commitment to abide by the Pre-Wii Agreement before playing. If during the game, you display consistent disregard for your commitment, you cannot play the game for at least an hour.
It's amazing to me how much commitment to Pre-Wii Agreement resembles a commitment to participate fairly in the business world. The parallels are so similar that I thought I'd share the Pre-Wii Agreement with you.
1. I Will Not Whine
Whining will get my kids, me and you nowhere. Whining about the economy. Whining about too few hours in a day. Whining about the amount of things you have to do to juggle parenting and/or a traditional job as Indie Business owner. None of it does any good.
I tell my kids just like I tell myself: "Stop whining. Acknowledge the problem, find a way to deal with it and move on from there."
2. I Will Play Fair
Unfair and underhanded play seems appealing in the short run, but in the long run, it always bites you in the arse. We tell the kids that they may win a game by cheating, but the character they lose in the process is not worth the trade. In business, playing fair means competing without losing your character. It means refusing steal things like copy and other copyrighted material from another person's website even though it's easy and even though you may not get caught. It means not logging onto a chat room and bad mouthing another Indie behind his or her back.
I tell my kids just like I tell myself: "If it's not helpful to everyone involved, don't say it and don't do it."
3. I Will Be a Good Sport
Like my kids, I want to win every time. Unlike my kids, I have lived long enough to know that it's impossible to win every time. The fact that I don't like to lose doesn't change that. I am fiercely competitive by nature and I expect that if I play a game well, I will eventually win it. It goes without saying that real life does not always cooperate.
I tell my kids just like I tell myself: "Be dignified in defeat, and ask for God's grace to be genuinely happy for the person to whom you lost the game."
4. I Will Not Quit
When it looks to my son that he's about to lose a game, his first instinct is to steal the other person's opportunity to win by quitting. But as we all know, one of the unavoidable keys to success in anything is a refusal to quit. Even if it means you have to fall down, get bloody, dust yourself off and start all over again, if you continue to combine well considered plans with tenacity and stick-to-it-iveness, you will accomplish fantastic things.
I tell my kids just like I tell myself: "Quitters never win and winners never quit."
Question: What rules in your home are transferable to your Indie Business environment?
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