One of the biggest dangers that can stunt your entrepreneurial spirit is when you grow up. The time when you hit plateaus, and experience misfortunes, failures, and breakups. Anything that breaks your heart can move you from being an emotional, childlike creature, where you dream and believe anything is possible, to being logical. When that happens, the fire inside you turns off, and when it comes to creation, everything is wiped out.
I wanted to talk about this today because if you think about and study entrepreneurs, regardless of their age, the best entrepreneurs are childlike. Not childish or silly, or immature – childlike.
Let’s get into 11 reasons why the best entrepreneurs are childlike.
I’m recording this episode today from a very significant, very special room. Every year I take a group of executives somewhere special. This year there are 60 of them. We go different places. We’ve gone places like Italy and Dubai. This time we rented out the entire Oheka Castle for a week. It’s based in Long Island, right outside of New York. It’s 109,000 square feet, and was built between 1914 – 1919. It has 126 bedrooms, and is now a hotel.
The room that I was in when we filmed this is the Chaplin room. You see Chaplin all over the place. In the book the Art of Seduction by Robert Green, there’s an entire section on Chaplin. It talks about how by being childlike, he seduced so many women and audiences. People were fascinated by his spirit, and he was so attractive.
Eventually his career took off because he was so childlike and creative. He was very successful in silent movies. But when movies with sound came out, he didn’t want to adjust, so he kept doing silent movies. Chaplin went from being so creative to all of a sudden being so logical. And because of that, his career didn’t end well.
Age Doesn’t Matter
It doesn’t matter how old you are right now. Anyone can turn off the fire at any point if you don’t pay attention.
So let’s get right into the 11 reasons why the best entrepreneurs are childlike.
I have two boys, and they're always speaking the dream language. It doesn't matter what they're talking about; it's always some kind of a dream. "Dad, look at the stars! Do you see Santa Claus? It's Santa Claus! Do you see it?"
They live in a dream world, where they see Santa Claus in the stars. As adults, we become too good to believe in dreams. We become too good to believe in fairy tales or Santa Claus.
But the best entrepreneurs are childlike. They still dream. They still think that things are possible. If you hang out with great entrepreneurs, they constantly create thing. People that hang around them too long say things like, "This guy's a bit off. Did you hear what he said? He's crazy! Was he smoking something? Was he drunk? What he was talking about was absolutely insane. I think he has psychological problems."
The world would call some of the best entrepreneurs in the world that view the world in a completely different way, "psychologically off." This happens because the rest of the world at some point lost the flame. They became too logical and have lost their imagination. But the best entrepreneurs are childlike.
The best entrepreneurs are childlike in that they come to you with different approaches until you say yes. For instance, a child will say:
Hey, Dad, can I have some chocolate?
No, you can't have chocolate right now.
They go come back with:
But Daddy, I need some chocolate!
Who says you need it? You want it.
No, no, I need some chocolate, Daddy!
Why do you need it?
Because I NEED it, Daddy!
Okay, the "need it" strategy didn't work. So they go and strategize with their siblings and come back.
Daddy, I love you so much. I love you so much. Can I give you a kiss on the cheek?
You've completely forgotten about the chocolate, but they haven't. They have one outcome; they want the chocolate.
So they come and kiss you. They hug you and tell you how much they love you.
And then they say, "Daddy, can I have some chocolate?"
And you say, "I'll get you some chocolate. C'mon, let's go get some chocolate."
Great entrepreneurs do the exact same thing. It's like going back and negotiating in different ways until they say yes.
See, the best entrepreneurs are childlike. Just like kids come up to us and renegotiate in ways we don't even realize it's happening. They just change their approach until you and I, like suckers, say what? "Yes, I'll do business with you, Son. Let's get you the chocolate."
Adults think, children feel.
[bctt tweet="Adults think, children feel." username="patrickbetdavid"]
Listen in here to see how adults become like robots.
Kids are too innocent to understand that something's not possible.
Kids will say things like,
We're going to go to the moon one day.
I want to be a police officer.
Why do you want to be a police officer?
So that I can arrest the bad T-Rex.
So kids say things like they're go have cops that arrest a bad T-Rex, then they're going to go to the moon and get on the train with Thomas and Friends.
See, to you and I that may sound crazy. But do you want to know what's crazy? Here's what's crazy. The biggest selling movie of all time was Star Wars. Do you know why? Because it taps into a certain level of imagination that you and I can't logically go to, so we need someone to take us there. It makes millions because we want to go there, but need help getting there. At some point, when we were six years old, we went there more easily.
Listen in here for examples how the best entrepreneurs are childlike with curiosity.
The best entrepreneurs that are childlike have a reset mentality. You know what's a reset mentality?
The other day my son, Dylan, was climbing on the couch. He fell off, and started crying. He cried for 13 seconds and then all of a sudden went and played LEGOs. He completely forgot about the fall. It's like a reset. As if it never happened.
Adults sometimes are still crying about a breakup two years after it happened. Adults may take two years to reset. Kids take a few seconds to reset. When something goes wrong in your business, you need to reset. Quickly move on. As if it never happened.
The best entrepreneurs are childlike in how they charm you. How do children charm you? They come to you. Look at you with their eyes. They smile at you.
Children know how to do this from a very early age. Right now my daughter is six months old. She looks at me, and then kind of looks away, as if she's not interested. At six months old, she already knows how to charm me.
Kids charm and seduce their way into getting whatever they want.
Here's how the mind never stopping is why the best entrepreneurs are childlike.
Do you know why kids learn faster? They learn faster because they make mistakes faster. As entrepreneurs, we don't make mistakes fast enough. Matter of fact, I'm here to tell you we don't make enough mistakes.
There's a saying that I have when I work with my peers or anybody I'm mentoring. I say it to my executives, any of my staff, and salespeople.
I don't mind you making new mistakes, but I mind old mistakes.
Matter of fact, make new mistakes faster.
The biggest difference between the bigger guys and the smaller guys is they make mistakes much faster than the rest do.
The next one is very simple and unique. For most people, when they become an adult, life becomes a job, a chore. Being married is a chore. Having kids is a chore. Running a company is a chore. Becoming an executive is a chore.
To kids, life is purely a game they play 24/7.
Let me tell you what happens if you treat life like a game. You have a lot more fun.
You might say, "Pat, c'mon. I have a job. I have to pay the bills."
But you can find new ways to have fun with that. In my company, we figure out ways to have fun at our office all the time.
Listen in here for how we had fun at the Oheka Castle this week. And check out this prank my staff played on me:
If you learn how to play this game and have fun at it, you'll not only be very good at it, you'll be able to do it a lot longer without burning out.
Listen in here for what a childlike mindset looks like, and how it can benefit entrepreneurs.
So, there are a lot of other things I can talk about about why the best entrepreneurs are childlike, but I gave you 11 to go through. If you have any others you'd like to add to the list, or if you have any questions or thoughts, comment on the bottom.
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