My 10 year old guru.

Credit: Sheldon Zelizer of my 10 year old guru.

Parenting is not for wimps.

Becoming a parent is, to borrow language from my friend and colleague Sejual Shah, a “trial by journey”.

One day you’re drooling over all the cool baby stuff, like that organic baby bottle kit so your kid isn’t sucking down plastic residues with their milk.  And the next that wide-eyed little being pops out and launches you onto the most intimate exploration of human body fluids that you could every imagine.

Over the next 20 years, you try to practice mindfulness while living with everything from sleepless nights to dirty diapers to figuring out how to pay for piano lessons.  Oh, and don’t forget that every “hold-on-I-haven’t-quite-finished-healing-that-yet” issue you ever had is mirrored back to you and anyone else who’s paying attention.

It’s the Magnificence personal development course you never knew you signed up for.

It’s time for me to fess up.  Parenting has been my biggest source of real world spiritual learning.

Parenting teaches you to grow a business – consciously.

Since parenting is my greatest teacher and I make my living showing spiritual people how to build a thriving business, you can bet that I’m constantly drawing from these lessons.  So it’s time for me to share the 4 Surprising Lessons That Parenting Teaches You About Growing A Conscious Business:

1) You are going to make mistakes. I don’t care if you’re selling massages, Naked Pizza or ebooks – your gonna blow it a few times along the conscious business journey.  One of the things that I learned as a parent is to acknowledge my mistakes as quickly as possible, apologize and see if restorative justice  – quality chocolate often works well in our house – is needed.

2) Success lies in lifetime relationships – not a onetime event. With both parenting and conscious business, you’re never really DONE.  Your job in both conscious roles is to train your heart and nervous system to show up as fully as you can in each moment.  Let go of any attachments to a “I knocked it out of the ballpark” mentality.

scalp massager

Scalp massager

3) Love and humor turbocharge learning. My daughter recently told me a story of her kindergarten teacher (she’s now in 5th grade).  When a child in her class was working particularly hard, the teacher would pull out a device known as a scalp massager.  She’d ask the children to close their eyes and she would treat them with it.  It made the kids laugh and it also made them feel “very special”. That class got among the top 5% of test scores in the state.   Businesses that want to thrive need to learn new ways to serve and delight their clients.  Love and laughter help create that climate.

4) Your actions are more important that your words. Spiritual author Don Miguel Ruiz has long counseled to “Be impeccable with your word.”  Though other business gurus talk about “overdelivering”, it was from my daughter that I learned to value the huge amount of joy that lies in surprising people by doing more than you said you would.

How about you – have you learned anything from an important child in your life?  If so, I’d love to hear about it in the form of a comment below.