By Frahana Rashid
Spending time with kids is a great learning curve for business owners! Frahana shares the lessons she’s learnt from a smart 10 year-old…
There’s a really cool TV programme full of adults who have to answer questions taken from textbooks used by ten years olds. It’s amazing how many of them get the questions wrong and really interesting to see the kids faces because they obviously know everything!
I absolutely LOVE being around confident kids and learn so much from them. I’ve given birth to three of them and have spent a lot of time over their lifetime encouraging them to try new and different things. From going to play with someone they’ve never met before, to having a conversation with an adult, to trying out a new sport or instrument, my gang are generally up for giving things a try. And if I’m honest, I guess I’ve not always realised how much confidence that actually takes.
Making It Happen
Aairah, my very own smart 10-year-old, is a very confident kid. If she wants something to happen, she does her best to make it happen (and I’ve realised as I’m writing this, that it usually does!). She brought home a letter from school a few weeks ago.
One of her teachers had given her a letter about auditions taking place at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre for their big Christmas Musical taking place later in the year. They were looking for children to audition for all the different parts in the musical, and her teacher thought she’d be great and should give it a go. She came home full of excitement and jumping up and down with happiness that her teacher had only given the letter to her and that must mean that she’s good enough to go for it. Cue interesting conversation in believing in yourself and whether or not she needed that external validation to know she’s good enough…(it’s great fun being one of my kids!)
Now, my madam is a drama queen without any formal acting or training. What she does have is a bright, bubbly personality (must get that from her dad!), determination, focus and tonnes of passion. She puts her heart, soul and everything else she has in her into whatever she’s working on and will keep on until she’s happy she’s done her very best. And it’s honestly really great to watch her when she’s ‘in the zone’.
The instructions required a completed on-line application form and a 60-second video to be uploaded to YouTube, set to private link shared with the organisers. The purpose of the video was to showcase a skill you have and show your personality.
Aairah’s into her gymnastics and worked on her showcase routine for a few days for her audition video. She included a rather cute 10-second pitch on why she’d be so great as part of the cast.
When you know you’ve smashed it…
And she nailed it in one take, with her 59-second pitch, which showed off her awesome gymnastics skills and her amazing personality. All I had to do was to hold the camera and press record and stop when she told me to.
She’d planned the rest out and delivered it to the standard she was happy with.
She uploaded her video and sent off her application form, all proudly supervised by me while she did the actual doing. And she was so proud of herself…until she saw other children’s audition videos come up on YouTube. These guys had left their settings to public. Naturally, she wanted to see what sort of competition she was up against and started to watch them.
She saw some amazing videos.
Professionally edited videos with music and all sort of bells and whistles to make their video stand out. With children talking about their years of acting school experience and which agency they were with. There really are some very talented children out there. And to my amateur 10-year- old, her competition had already won.
My heart broke a little bit as I saw her face crumple and all the confidence that had been so high a few minutes before, start to fade. As soon as she saw the other videos, she felt she wasn’t good enough. That she hadn’t done enough. Or didn’t know enough. In her head, she no longer stood a chance.
So, I stepped in to remind her how good she actually is and how much she does know. I watched some of the other videos with her and told her that some of the fancy stu doesn’t necessarily make their videos better than hers – just different.
I highlighted how she’d actually followed the instructions set by the organisers and sent in a video that was a minute long – unlike some videos which were closer to 5 minutes – yes, really! I’ll be honest and confess I had a little panic too when I saw the quality of videos and talent that was being submitted for the auditions.
That’s when I realised that it made me even prouder of her achievements in putting herself forward for the audition.
One of the hardest things for so many of us is taking action in the first place. Doing the thing that takes us out of our comfort zone and closer to our dreams.
And getting an email from the organisers to invite her in for an audition was one of those moments we’ll both remember forever! She actually cried ‘tears of joy’ and told me how proud she was of herself for getting through. She cried even more when I mentioned they wanted her to audition for a principal part…right after she googled ‘principal part in a play’ to find out what that meant 🙂
After a week of non-stop singing practice and performing at all hours of the day and night, we made it to the auditions safely and my advice to her was to just be herself and enjoy it! Judging by the massive smile on her face when she came out an hour later, she’d taken my advice. According to Aairah, she was ‘Amaaaaazing!’ and more importantly, she ‘loved every second of it!’
2 weeks on and she’s been called back for a second audition and is in full on practice mode again, which my neighbours are delighted about, especially at 6.30am in the morning.
I’ve learned so much from my ten-year-old in the last couple of weeks. Here are my top three lessons:
1. Don’t Be Scared of Your Competition
Don’t be scared of your competition! Remind yourself WHY you’re fabulous and great at what you do. If you’re struggling, ask someone else to tell you what you’re good at – it’s not always easy to see it for ourselves.
2. Follow Your Passions
Yes, it’s a phrase that’s been ‘done to death’ over the last few years, but how many of us actually do follow our passions? Imagine if you did? What if you could do the things you wanted to do and could make them happen? What would your life and business look like if you did the things you’re really passionate about and could give your very best to?
3. Celebrate your achievements!
Don’t be shy about how much you’ve achieved. Think about your starting point and how much you’ve progressed since then and acknowledge the work you’ve done and the journey you’ve been on to get there.
The Five Steps to ‘Business Heaven’
In your business, do you ask yourself ‘what would the best in the world do?’. If you’re a business owner, boost your confidence this week with free training from EC’s founder – Nigel Botterill.