Emily Kristofferson

How my 6-year old showed me persistence

I'm not telling you it's going to be easyPhoto credit

I have been working in my business for more than two years. In that time, I have talked and worked with many successful (and not so successful) entrepreneurs, and have seen great successes (and failures) in other online businesses. I have come to the conclusion that much of success comes down to simple perseverance (much more than any secret formula or ninja marketing move!).

Recently, my 6-year old son showed me how his persistence led to a great success.

It started before last Christmas. I had tried motivating him to do chores with a chore chart complete with a variety of stickers, pictures and check marks. That didn’t work too well for him. He wasn’t really interested and thought helping around the house was boring compared to playing. There were times when he would be “all in” and wanted to be right there helping but I felt he should have some independent responsibilities. When I was his age, I got one penny for each item I did on my list each day. (I was excited about earning 30 cents in a week and then going to buy some candy!)

nickelSo I decided to try the chores list again, but this time give him a quarter for each chore completed. At first, he didn’t want quarters… no, he wanted nickels because he liked the beaver picture on the back! Haha! He quickly realized that quarters were more valuable than nickels!

I put the simple chores list on the fridge and showed what he could do to earn quarters. He set his sights high! He wanted to save up for a Wii. So, I made him a deal. If he could save up $100 in quarters, his Dad and I would contribute the rest.

Fast forward, he got a little help from the Easter Bunny and some from his grandparents for Valentine’s Day, but he stayed focused even though it was taking months and months. There were times when he thought about buying something else (like a pack of Pokemon cards), but he knew (without being reminded) that it would take away from his balance and then take him longer to get his Wii.

As he got closer to the $100, he was actually asking me what he could do to help to get even more quarters. In the process he learned how to do more things around the house. A win-win!

Of course, he was thrilled beyond belief when he reached the $100 and we went to buy his Wii. I was super proud of him. It took almost six months but he’d reached his goal.

The story doesn’t quite end there. It is now that my son showed me extreme patience…

We got the Wii home, I was thinking that it would take maybe thirty minutes to set up. Instead, we had problems at every single step. First, there were issues with the tv and cables. Then the Wii wanted to update the software but we couldn’t get it to talk to the router. We had to do multiple Google searches (good for almost every predicament). Finally, we got a green bar on the screen indicating that the update was in progress. And my goodness, did that green bar move slowly!

Poor kid! But he was so patient. I think as a 6-year old who was that excited, I would have started crying after a few hours of waiting. We got the Wii home at 6 p.m. and it was now after 10 p.m.! Yikes!

After all of that, it started working after 11 p.m.! Yes, he stayed up that late because he was so determined and excited to play. He got to play only for about fifteen minutes, and then woke me up early in the morning to play again.

When we did get it to work, the screen was black and white. We don’t have cable and hardly ever use the tv. He didn’t mind the black and white one bit. He was just happy to play. Since then, we got a cord at a local game shop and another from Amazon but neither has worked. So it’s still in black and white for now.

The point is that I learned so much from his persistence. He was super strong on his “why” and even though he didn’t tell me that he felt like giving up or not going the distance, he worked for months to get the Wii.

If you are strong on your “why” – why you are in business and why are you doing what you are doing, it’s going to help you through the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. It will help you continue to move towards your goals, despite obstacles in your path.

What is your “why”?  Share in the comments below.

 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Margie Beiswanger September 4, 2013 at 11:31 am

This is the best story, Emily! Thank you for sharing it. It made me smile as I read everything he learned and how empowered he must feel. And you are so right – having our own “big why” firmly in mind does help us persist.

Here’s my “why” for being in business: My passion is helping others recognize their brilliance and achieve their business dreams. The world needs each of us and our gifts. And I am compelled to help make that happen for my clients!

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Emily September 6, 2013 at 2:16 am

Thank you for sharing your “why”, Margie. I love that!

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Amy September 5, 2013 at 3:39 am

I just loved this! It’s sooooo true, persistence wins always. Thanks for sharing this story. It will remind me to keep. on. going. xoxo

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Emily September 6, 2013 at 2:26 am

Yes! Keep on moving forward. Thanks for your feedback, Amy. 🙂

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Ana Goncalves September 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Thank you for sharing your story, it is very inspirational and it shows us what value is truly about.

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Emily September 20, 2013 at 12:25 am

You are very welcome, Ana. I was so inspired by my son and he is an important part of why I have my own business.

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