When I was about 16 or 17 years old I liked to sing in the car. A lot. One time I was driving somewhere with my parents and they had a song, of which one I can’t really remember, but I started to sing along with it. It was probably one of many times I would sing along in the car with my parents, but this time my parents complimented me. They said, “Jesse you’ve really got a nice voice. Your singing is really good.”
That compliment really stuck with me. I had never heard those words from them before about my singing. I probably wasn’t really as good as they said I was, but the fact was they complimented me and gave me a sense of confidence I never had before.
I came upon the same type of opportunity today as I saw my son singing to some Christmas music we had on for the family (We reserve Monday nights for family in our home – a tradition held by many Mormons). Truth be told, to my more experienced ears (to the extent you can call, “experienced”) it didn’t sound very good. But I noticed he was trying. I took this same opportunity to tell him, “Tom, you have a great voice – you should keep practicing what you’ve got going for you.” I noticed a little gleam in his eye, a kick in his step as he sang louder.
I wonder if there are times in our lives when we could be complimenting and inspiring each other more, sharing opportunities of encouragement when they come. I wonder if there are times when we could be lifting up each other, giving each other that little “kick in the step” they need to keep trying harder.
I have entrepreneurs that present new ideas to me all the time. It always pains me to be honest with them when their idea, at least I feel, is not quite one that will succeed. Instead, I often point out the positive points of their ideas. I find areas of inspiration to give them to work harder, ways they can grow their idea and work harder. Truth be told, they’re going to learn their mistakes on their own, and when they come asking for new ways to improve I’ll be there to help them along the way. But at least this way I’m giving them the motivation, the encouragement and inspiration to improve. I’m giving them that extra “kick in their step” to make them work harder, and they’re doing it on their own.
Some times the entrepreneurs I help are like my kids in many ways. Even though what they’re doing may really be bad I can at least give them the confidence they need to keep trying. Maybe we need more of this for this Holiday Season. I’m vowing to try to be more inspiring, more encouraging as I post here, and as I help others in the future and throughout 2011. It really doesn’t matter if your idea stinks. What matters is that you feel okay to keep trying.
As I finish up I can hear my son humming the tune to the song we’re hearing now. He’s trying, and I’m a proud Father.
P.S. – if you really want more inspiring articles like this I highly recommend you check out Brett Nordquist’s blog – his is chock full of these!
Picture of boy courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/swissrolli/290906712/in/photostream/