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  • Writer's picturemarietta247

You can learn a lot and have your ice cream!

What my four year old is teaching me about business.


When my granddaughter was born four years ago, I had all these visions of the great and wonderful life lessons I would be able to pass on to her. You know, the kind of values that were passed on to me by generations of strong women who came before me. I didn’t bargain for how much that baby would teach me about business at my age.


Don’t get me wrong. I have been insanely blessed to have some of the best teachers in the world spend some time with me in my career. The lessons of paying attention to the details before leaving work every day to set up the next, to walk in both your boss’s, customer’s and employee’s shoes were well ingrained. I even remember to say a little prayer under my breath before I start a phone call or a new conversation with anyone. All taught to me as they are not my nature for sure.


This four year old, however, has taught me to not just clean up my desk and make a list for the next day but to laugh at myself for the mess I made today and the joy I had at getting to come in and do it. To appreciate that I have a list of items that I get to do tomorrow- not have to do. She has taught me the finite of my own years. Having a job and a place of employment where I am respected and treated well is not to be taken for granted. I do not know how many more days or years I shall have this job or any other and to waste it by not enjoying would be a shame.


I frequently talk to customers who are now retired and they speak fondly of exactly what I have. Thank you baby girl for letting me know now and not waiting until it is gone.


Walking in my bosses shoes was taught to me at a very early age. My Mother did not suffer fools gladly and taught me to think like the person who had the job over me. She had a high school diploma and worked for the County Judge. Yet, she could anticipate what he would do and how he would rule before he did. She would have most of the paperwork ready by the time he made his decision.


My granddaughter does this with her pre-school teachers. She has her coat on to go out and play before they have said a word. I do this because it shows that I can anticipate and be ready for what is next. It shows my boss that he or she does not have to spell everything out and they can go on with their job. I had started to forget this and was waiting to be told what to do. I needed to be reminded by a four year old.


Walking in my customer’s or employee’s shoes is just letting them know what to expect next. My granddaughter loves to tell me what we are going to do next. After the park we are going to go get ice cream. Easy. Everyone knows. No surprises.


How much easier it is for everyone when I just show them the respect of letting them know in a clear easy-going fun manner what we can all expect. I had occasionally fallen into a habit of mapping out the “process” for so far and in such detail that it sure didn’t sound like fun and who could remember that far down the road anyway. Now it’s to the park and then ice cream. Easy.


Oh and the little prayer thing. I just ask to be made humble enough so I can see what the divine spirit would have me do in this interaction. My granddaughter doesn’t say this prayer yet but I say it over her each and every day. I am truly grateful that even though I thought I would be teaching my years of amazing knowledge onto the next generation that I can now laugh at that idea. I have instead been given the gift of a fresh understanding and joy in business lessons that had gone a little stale with usage. I appreciate having my

job ,a get to do list, walking in the shoes of others and saying a little prayer along the way.


And of course, having fun. Oh and ice cream. Got to have ice cream. My granddaughter knows a thing or two about ice cream!


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