Recently I’ve come to understand that children may in fact be a lot smarter than we typically give them credit for. Sure, they often seem like they’re not only not smart but also actively trying to injure and/or kill themselves. Examples include backflips off couches at 16 months, face first dives off of coffee tables at 17 months and a recent love of running into traffic. However there are moments when I come to believe that my miniature humans lifestyle is designed to not only learn perfectly but more profoundly and more importantly, to teach me lessons that no business book, save one or two, could remotely teach me. But now, for those of you who aren’t blessed with a two foot tall monster of climbing, screaming, biting and teaching, I’ve decided to bless you with some lessons that I’ve learned from him. You’re welcome.

Lesson 1: There’s No Such Thing As No

If you’re my son, there’s no such thing as the word no. Now, he’s not terrible. He’s actually wonderful. But he can be slightly mischievous. Ok, maybe more than slightly. But the point is that when he puts his mind to something, no matter who tells him that it’s a terrible idea, he’s not going to listen to no, no matter how many times you tell him and no matter how forcefully. Why is this an important lesson? Because a lot of great ideas started with someone telling someone else no. In fact, very few of the truly great ideas came about because someone came up with an idea and everyone around that person said “yeah, you’re right, that is a great idea”. Why?

It’s because great ideas aren’t normal ideas. Great ideas are the stuff of legends; strange ideas generated through an abnormal thought process. If everyone had these kind of ideas all the time then they wouldn’t be special. They’d be pretty normal. And we would have missed out on things like Apple, Google and RIM. And that’s why people say no to people when they have ideas like this. And in a great number of cases, people listen. And those ideas die. But not with the really good one and not with my little guy.

When my petite monster decides that something is a good idea, there is nothing that gets in his way. Well, mostly nothing. The only thing that gets in my little guys way is a better idea. And that’s the way it should be with your business. The only time you should ever decide to not pursue an idea is if a much better one comes along. Don’t walk away from an idea just because someone tells you no. The greatest thinkers in the world listened to one person; themselves. And (within reason) that’s what you should do too.

If you have an idea and you know it’s a good one, you need to follow that idea. Obviously temper your enthusiasm and vigor with some restraint where possible and/or necessary but in general you need to follow your heart. I know, it’s lame, right? But there’s nothing wrong with lame. There’s nothing wrong with corny. My son will never allow anyone to stop him when he gets an idea and neither should you.

So now, without being purposefully corny, go to your happy place; the place where you feel most at home, most calm, most complete. Once you’re in that place, think. Come up with an idea that if you told yourself about it, you would call yourself crazy and tell yourself no. And then, don’t listen to yourself and get it done.