Now here’s someone entrepreneurial kids would love to meet: Natalie Cook. Natalie Cook is a five-times Olympian and winner of the Gold Medal during the Sydney 2000 Olympics games in beach volleyball. Currently, Natalie Cook is a successful businesswoman and owner of the sports franchise, Sandstorm.
She recently gave an awesome talk in Perth, saying the similarities between professional athletes and successful business owners were many, as both have a self-motivating desire to win. Natalie’s message was captivating, humourous, and very useful in cultivating the mindset for success in entrepreneurial kids, as well as in their adult counterparts.
The Five Ps
Natalie’s talk was built around her Five Ps: principles for your kids and in the boardroom, alike.
I will share these with you in a series, over the coming weeks, the last part of which will contain a surprise: a P I’ll be adding, myself. After reviewing Natalie’s, let’s see if who can guess what my P will be.
Part 1: Purpose
A person who truly reaches for success has a mindset that carries with it a very strong “Why,” or purpose. Your “Why” must be stronger than your “Why not?” If not, you likely don’t have enough purpose to muster up the will to make your goals happen when you are faced with barriers.
Your “Why” has to be specific and something close to the heart. It needn’t be complicated. A friend of mine is driven to success because she desperately wants her Mum to be happy and not have to work anymore. Another wants to buy a villa in Tuscany so that it solidifies her Italian family roots with a sense of belonging. These “Whys” are far from saying “Why not?” They are set purposes, not poor explanations.
Your “Why” will often come from one of two emotions… pain or pleasure. Usually it will be pain as it is the stronger of the two. For example, consider all those rags to riches stories of many of our success mentors (JK Rowling, Colonel Sanders, Sylvester Stallone, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Susan Boyle, Richard Branson). Their experiences with the emotion of “pain” lead them to having a strong “Why” and their “Why” ultimately brought them success.
I recently carried out a “Why” exercise with my son, Jai. We’d just returned from a career path meeting for his upcoming senior class. Every pathway the school offered ended in landing a j-o-b (just-over-broke). Their end result was the same, whether the route was through university, technical school, or a straight shot into the average 40-year career hold. There was nothing for an enterprising teen to grab hold of. Worse, because the students were just about ending high school, the pressure was on to make a choice… a limited choice, one based on hastily presented ideas.
The result was confusion and “Why not?” to this and that idea. Jai seemed to be torn between going to Uni with his mates, for it sounded like fun, or leaving school with his cousin and going to make money in the mines. This inconsistency told me that Jai’s “Whys” on both of these career paths were just too vague.
So, we got to work. We discussed why these two ideas sounded interesting to him. We canvassed what it was about “Why not?” that wouldn’t likely carry him through the hardships of either choice.
Then I asked him to ponder a few questions:
How do you want to contribute to this world?
How do you want to grow as a person?
How do you want to be remembered when you pass?
It was a lot for him to think about. We’ll discuss what steps we took next in Part 2: People and Passion.
Always looking for feedback on our entrepreneurial kids articles so be sure to leave a comment. What is your “Why”?
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