Five Business Lessons From A Toddler

Toddlers might seem like unlikely business coaches, but you’d be surprised how much you can learn from their approach to life. Here’s five (of many!) lessons I learned from the littlest life expert(s) I know.

Fall, have a moment, then get back up. take a moment to register what’s happened and/or Toddlers are remarkably resilient. They’ll fall, cry so loud your ears ring, then after that, they’re up and running again. They don’t let their falls stop them playing indefinitely. They don’t care if people look at them funny for being upset, or tell them off for being noisy about it (believe me…they really don’t care about that second one). They feel what they feel, they react or they don’t, and they move on.

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Don't Dwell

It’s okay to be upset when shit happens. Have a moment of anger or frustration or sadness if you need it, and then move on. Don’t dwell. Get up, and keep going. Be relentlessly curious. Toddlers get into everything. There is no such thing as a child-proof lock. There are only locks your child hasn’t figured out yet. And that’s how they learn. They embrace the world with both hands (literally). Everything is new and interesting, all wide-eyed wonder.

Imagine if you approached all your tasks with that level of interest; imagine what would happen if you were always ready to just get stuck in and find things out. Everyone learns at a different pace – and that’s okay.

Develop at your own pace

Parents may invest a lot of time and energy into worrying about whether their child is developing as fast as the other kids in their circle – but I can guarantee you, your toddler has not given it one ounce of thought. Their self esteem is not impacted by the fact that Bobby is walking and they’re still crawling their way into everything, or on the flipside, that they’re already stringing together rudimentary sentences while Bobby is barely making coherent sounds.

Your business is your business, and you can’t compare it to anyone else’s. Maybe it looks like some other guy is moving way faster than you, but you might end up building something more solid. If you’re always looking at what everyone else is doing, it’s easy to lose sight of your goal and what really matters to YOU.


Sometimes, all you need is a nap. While you might not be able to just nod off any time or any where like a baby can, one of the best things you can do to prevent burn out is listen to your body. If you’re so bone tired you can barely function, you’re not doing anyone any favours – your business, your family and your sense of self will suffer. So if you desperately need it and the opportunity arises: rest. Sleep. Wind down. Take an hour or five minutes or whatever you can get to recharge your batteries. If you can see the signs and act early, you’ll save yourself from a spectacular crash and months of recovery time.

Ask for What You Want

It’s okay to ask for what you want. In my recent Entrepreneurs Men’s Shed podcast interview with Ron Malhotra, he talked about how people feel like they can’t admit to wanting nice things, wanting to be wealthy and financially stable. Toddlers do not care if you think they’re greedy or crude for wanting three bananas in the space of five minutes. They just want their bananas and that’s the end of it.

If you want something, it’s okay to ask for it. It’s important to think about the impetus behind that wanting, but the only way you’ll ever get what you’re after is by putting it out there boldly and unashamedly.