24 January 2017

LJ Coco Verbier skiiig dahu

Coco having a chocolat chaud at Le Dahu on our last day skiing in Verbier.

My daughter turned five this week. It’s hard to believe our little Coco is already five years old!

We celebrated in Verbier, with a big cake and candles at the Farinet and spending some time skiing down the slopes.

It is incredible to see Coco skiing. Having been comfortable in the snow since being a tiny baby and on skis as soon as she could walk, she is absolutely fearless! This got me thinking: what else can we learn from five-year-olds that we lose as adults?

1. Fearlessness
First, of course, has to be the fearlessness of children. As we get older we become more aware of the risks and dangers involved in the activities and decisions we make and that often stops us taking any action at all. Why not take a chance? Take a risk, just go for it!

2. Boldness
As adults we lose the ability to challenge the status quo, to be bold! Especially us Brits – we’re caught in a spiral of politeness with no one wanting to make the first move or seem improper.

Equally, as adults, we hold ourselves back from new challenges and experiences. We often miss opportunities because ‘the time is not right’ or we weren’t ‘ready’ but when you’re five, if you want to be an ice sculptor, you pick up a block of ice and something to go at it with (probably a spoon or butterknife) and go for it! Coco did just that this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed herself! As adults, we talk ourselves out of opportunities; there aren’t the proper tools or the ice isn’t the right consistency. Why do we do that?

3. Willingness to Learn
Five-year-olds are constantly learning and they’re excited to do so; they’re not held back by a fear of doing something wrong or making a mistake. As entrepreneurs and business leaders we need to have the same mentality and openness to new skills and to making mistakes without fear of embarrassment. It’s ok to get things wrong if you learn from them and grow. You don’t know everything, and no one expects you to!

It is also ok to ask for help! When you’re a child it is normal to rely on your parents, teachers, family and friends but as adults, we’re almost expected to grow out of that. Seeking advice is essential, no one person can be great at everything. This is an incredibly valuable lesson that I learned early on in my entrepreneurial journey – learning what you’re great at and asking for help with what you’re less good at invariably eases the stress of growing a business.

4. Creativity
Who are the most creative people on the planet? Children! They dream big, they’re unlimited in their imagination. Somewhere along the way, the majority of adults become confined and limit their imagination to achievable goals, to things that they already know. Why do we do this? I believe that there is great value in taking time out to doodle, to scribble on a piece of paper and channel the imagination as we would as children. Get the creativity flowing and inspiration will appear everywhere you turn.

5. Fun
When do we stop having fun in everything that we do? For children, there’s an adventure in a supermarket, a mission in brushing your teeth and endless joy in the smallest of things. Whilst, of course, there are tasks as entrepreneurs that are incredibly serious, that doesn’t mean every task we complete should be. That’s why I’ve invested so much into making our office space, UKFast Campus, a fun place to be. It is brightly coloured with different textures, angles and unusual details. It is engaging and interesting. There’s no need for an office space to be grey and white cubicles, why not have some fun with it?

Ultimately, children are extraordinary people to learn from. Imagine dreaming as big as children do but having the adult experience and skills to plot your way to achieving those dreams!

What do you think we can learn from children?

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