Kizito Okorowu: Dear Entrepreneur, Be A Child Again

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The general notion we have of the entrepreneur is usually one of brutal work weeks with little or no chill periods on weekends. I wonder who sold this notion to us and if we ever asked for a receipt or checked the product label.

The greatest of entrepreneurs are usually children at heart. This explains where all the innovation and creativity stems from. So this weekend, I want you to take some time out and regard the kids around you thoughtfully. Whether it’s your biological kids, your little cousins or even the neighbor’s kids next door; kids are never in short supply believe me.

There are a couple of things I am certain you’d observe like I did ( I try to practice what I preach, lol ). The profit we derive from learning is compounded when we move from learning to implementing what we’ve learnt even on the smallest of scales. Here are my two kobo worth lessons and yes you can keep the change :

1) KIDS BELIEVE :

Usually , kids can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction . There are no “IM’s” in their possible . My lovely cousins haven’t stopped reminding me of their PS3s(or is it 4 now?) even when Uncle  barely has a good smartphone. I am always in awe when they recall those bogus promises made and marvel at how they hold on to my every word.

Sadly when we become mature , we embrace the other end of the curve . We find it difficult to believe . Even Mr. Entrepreneur isn’t left out. The signs are obvious that the market share is his for the taking but he remains couched in the embrace of comfort zone. Sad

2) KIDS PERSIST :

One of the battles you want to avoid with a child is the battle of “first-to-blink”. Trust me , you don’t want to go there. Tell my little cousin NO and it sounds like YES with an exclamation mark . Most times you have no choice but to behave yourself into execution . This is usually the case when they deserve a treat for not turning the house into a mini hell or when they ace their exams.

Entrepreneurs have lots of opportunities knocking their door today than those in the 18th century . Venture capital here , mentorship bootcamp there . Despite it all they seem to magnify the sad economic realities so much so that they give up even before they get the chance to try . Kids rock!

3) KIDS COLLABORATE :

It’s funny how some of the big brands today were birthed by kids in their teens . Ever seen the picture of Bill Gates when he was 17 ? You’d be amazed at how much his young mind processed at that age . Warren Buffett was said to have learnt the rudiments of business during his paper delivery days as a 10 year old.

One of the important skills kids leverage is the art of collaboration . Few can beat my cousins in this genre . It’s remarkable how they suspend their  differences and collaborate to achieve a common goal. Pride and ego bid farewell at the altar of shared objectives.

Entrepreneurs are now beginning to discard the SUPERMAN archetypes . Most venture funds make it mandatory for Start-ups to have co-founders before seeking funding . The future of enterprise is no doubt entrenched in the pit of collaboration and sharing .

The conversation continues below,

what have your kids been up to lately and what can we learn from them as entrepreneurs?

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