How My 10 Year-Old Nephew Became My Business Coach

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I had the pleasure of spending time with my great-nephew and niece recently. Mom and Dad attended a sales conference, and the “granny nanny” had jury duty. Not knowing what to expect beyond the twice daily Suburban drives to and from school, my mind was open to whatever the experience would bring. Little did I suspect THIS would happen…Before launching my coaching practice, I spent quite a stint in sales. Back then, it was a common practice to write one’s goals on your bathroom mirror with lipstick. It was an easy and fun reminder of commitments and goals.

My nephew and niece are avid athletes. My 10 year-old-nephew is quite an accomplished goalie, and my 13 year-old niece has a wicked overhand serve she uses in volleyball.

Once the kids were in bed, I decided to get a little creative. With lipstick in hand, I headed to their bathroom with quotes, thoughts, and words of wisdom. When their feet hit the floor, I wanted their day to start with a dose of inspiration and motivation.

Little did I suspect that messages of motivation would be left for me a few days later.

The first message crafted for me said, “Jackie, always try your hardest even if you can win.” (Truthfully, it started out as “…even if you can’t win” and was later edited by the publisher.)

Even so, I thought, been there, done that. As a more mature entrepreneur, I did my time of hard work.

Even though his gesture was thoughtful, I wasn’t interested in the advice of this pint-sized business coach.

On day two, this message appeared. “Still have fun even if you lost. Really? That’s great advice for a 10 year-old hockey goalie, but could someone with my tenure in business still have fun?

As you might well imagine, by this time my attitude was enjoying an adjustment. I was touched by the messages my nephew so carefully and thoughtfully crafted for me, I felt it was my responsibility to take them seriously. 

As you might imagine, by day three I was anxiously awaiting the words of advice from my “business coach.” I was not disappointed.

Not only was it the most poignant, it would prove to be the most challenging.

Let’s face it. The easiest thing in the world is to call it quits—give up—fold your cards—when exhaustion sets in and it appears that failure is imminent.

“Push yourself even if you can’t go anymore.” 

Each day brought me a renewed energy as I thought of all the ways I could apply the insight my 10 year-old business coach provided.

What a truly delightful and unexpected gesture of kindness—and a hardy dose of learning—I received.

Truth be told, regardless of your age, everyone needs a coach. Everyone needs someone to inspire, motivate, guide, support, mentor, and encourage them.

Have you found your business coach? Who knows? It may be lurking within a scrappy 10 year-old hockey goalie.

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Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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