Having Kids Will Teach You Everything You Need to Know About Life

Jun 06 2013

The old saying is that if you would have just done all the things you teach your kids you would be a better, successful person.  And if you are a good parent there’s no doubt it’s true.  Trying to raise this little thing to be a good, productive member of society force you to reach deep into the “what’s right” part of you.  And no, teaching your dog not to take a dump on the carpet is not the same.

I can almost guarantee my 13 year daughter has a better sense of the value of domains than many of the domain investors I know.   Why? Because she only knows the basics and the basics are the words that have value.   It’s this lack of experience that lets them grow. A lot of their entire life is dictated because it’s either all they know or they don’t know better.  A perfect example of a lesson or realization I learned from my daughter this week.

Out of the blue my daughter decided she wanted to join the swim team this summer.  That would be no big deal other than the fact she’s 13, in 8th grade and has never been on a swim team…..and only taken one session of lessons….ever………7 years ago.  99% of the team has been swimming since Kindergarten.  I asked her if she knew what she was getting in to and if she was good with being the worst one on the team.  She said she was, but I didn’t believe her.  Practice is every day at 7:15 am and I figured I would take her but didn’t plan on having to do it more than a few days.

Day one.  She comes home in tears.   Coach opened the practice by telling all the girls to do an easy 200 IM.  Two problems, my daughter has no idea what IM means, and two, she only knows how to do freestyle.  After 6 laps she is exhausted and has to sit and watch the rest.  I asked her if she want to quit.  Her response and I quote “Dad, from this point I can only get better, the only thing worse than me right now is drowning”  She asked me to take her to the Y that night to work on her strokes.

From that point on the coaches can see that she wants to be on the team and have been taking the time to help her. After only one week she is gotten much much better.  She loves it and although she is still the worst one on the team, she’s on the team and it’s getting her in good shape for running….and that was the whole goal.

She noticed a trend in the top runners in grade school and high school. They were all on the swim team when younger.  The swim team during the summer built their endurance and kept them in top shape come fall.  She saw that she was going to have to sacrifice, start at the bottom, even embarrass herself to become better.

As adults we fear this situation. We would never put ourselves into a position that we are completely uncomfortable.  These are the types of moments we try and forget.  Nobody wants to walk into a group and be obviously inferior to everyone around. But at some point we all start off inferior.  It’s easier if you are in a group with everyone else who is at the same level but in business there are times that people will have the jump on you. They will have a lot more experience and time than you.  But at some point you have to get started.  You have to get through those growing pains and accept that it’s going to be a little ugly early and there will be lessons learned.

After this week when I find myself in this type of situation I’ll realize that if my little 13 year old can get uncomfortable in the name of learning and growing then as an adult I certainly can do it as well.  There are just some times you have to be uncomfortable in order to get better


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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. BellaBelle

    See… they always know more than you when they are teenagers… and sometimes it is actually true! What a wonderful young lady you have.

  2. Chris

    My senior year of high school I decided to swim out of the blue. My school’s swim team was good, damn good, one of the best in SE Michigan.

    The first day almost killed me. The next day wasn’t much better. The first week had me wanting to quit. It was hard.

    The second week got a little bit better, but not much. The third week is when I started to make strides. I, too, only really knew freestyle and started to find out that I was pretty good at sprinting (50, 100)…The coach came up with a specific workout for a few of us sprinters and I kept at it over the next few weeks.

    By the day of our first meet (a huge tournament with 25+ teams) I had actually gotten good. I placed 11th in the 50yard out of 50+ participants for that event. That really motivated me.

    Soon I won my first race. At the end of the year I placed 2nd in the 50yrd and 100yrd at the conference finals and anchored 2 other winning relay teams. All that from barely completing 4 laps at the beginning of the year and walking in the shallow end.

    Tell her to keep at it, it only gets easier. She’s got the right mentality and if she can find something she’s good at and focus on that then she’ll do really well. Plus, once you get good, it’s way funner than running 🙂

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