Oliver, my 5 year old has always loved to express himself.
Whether it's making up his own jokes (that he always laughs at by the way), dancing his own version of Kung Fu Hip Hop, or making up his own story lines to how movies and books should go, he has no filter when it comes to entertainment and creativity.
At school last week Oliver and his class were learning about patterns, and we continued the conversation on the weekend, separating laundry, looking at flowers and even how we arranged the annuals in the garden and how the cucumbers and tomatoes were growing.
Monday night, 5:30pm, we rushed into the after school pick up (as you only have until 5:45 and we work up until pretty much the last second so we can be present for family time in the evening) and Oliver put up his hands with a huge beaming smile on his face.
He nails were painted alternating colours of sparkly blue and pink.
His super sweet, super bubbly, after care aid came rushing over,
"I hope that's OK. I always ASK before I paint the boys nails, but a few of the boys asked and Oliver has been asking since last week. He told me you'd be OK with it.
He said, 'My mom says I can make my own choices about these things'... and I kind of got the feeling you'd be cool with it."
"Absolutely! It's just some colour. We are good with it!"
It was all mashed up and smeared, but Oliver didn't care. As much as he loves colour, he loves to play soccer, jump in muddy puddles, catch frogs, and do things that all kids enjoy. But he also is fascinated when I put on my makeup and loves to share my lip gloss.
Who's to say which one is for boys and which one is for girls?
This morning, Oliver asked me if I had any nail polish and if I could fix his nails before school.
"Of course, let's do it!"
He picked the patterns and proudly walked downstairs with different shades of pink on each finger.
When I was painting his fingers I saw his innocence, his joy, his love of self-expression.
Who am I to squash that in fear of being bullied, or different, or not accepted?
It's no different in business.
As Steve Jobs said,
"Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do"
There will always be obstacle throwers in your life who tell you that,
- You're not good enough.
- Your idea is stupid.
- You'll never succeed.
- You're working too hard, maybe you should settle down a bit.
- Get in line.
- That's not how it's always been done.
- You can't do it that way, it won't work.
And to those people I say watch me.
According to a recent article at Cleverism, there are a few shared characteristics that the most influential entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg share:
- Being inventors and innovators
- They are risk takers
- Passionate about their chosen cause
- They use what they are good at
I believe the clearer we can get about who we are and exactly what turns us on in business and life, the more creative contribution we can have in this world.
And to Oliver, thank you for always being my greatest teacher, my greatest joy, and for choosing me as your Mama. Let's change this world, together.
Not sure about what your next right step is in business? Are you a creative thinker but can't get your ideas out in a clear way? Book us for a strategy package and we'll map out your right next moves!