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Everything I Learned About Business I Learned on the Playground: Recess Terminology From Playground to Proficiency

Remember how much fun it was in our tender years during school when the bell rang and it meant RECESS? Believe it or not, all of those fruitless (yet fun) activities we did actually teach us how to become successful in business! It is amazing how the little things we did as children can transfer over to become helpful metaphors to build your business. These are a few that I hope you can use as guidelines to help structure how your business can succeed — from playground to proficiency.

Reaching for the Sky: Swings

Reaching for the Sky: Swings

Reaching for the Sky: Swings

How do we get ideas for startups or brainstorm potential career paths? By reaching for the sky. And how do we do this as children? By playing on the swings! Though it seemed effortless at the time, you were actually learning that you could achieve new heights with a bit of effort and determination — even if you start out slow and steady. As long as you keep the momentum, you can reach for the sky!

Working Well with Others: See-Saws

Working Well with Others: Seesaw

Working Well with Others: Seesaw

How do we learn to ask for help when we need it and perfect the art of teamwork? We work together on the seesaw (or teeter-totter, if you prefer). We all know starting a business is daunting and overwhelming, but with cooperation and coordination you can keep that business going. Without any help, you might find yourself stuck. However, as you teeter tottered with others, you were not only having fun but you were also learning how to work with others, harmonize incentives, and get motivated! I am no business guru, but I do know that cooperation plays a huge role in success…

Thinking Outside the Box: Hide and Seek

Thinking Outside the Box: Hide and Seek

Thinking Outside the Box: Hide and Seek

Hide and seek may have only seemed like child’s play, but we actually learned quite a bit from it. Our adult “business brain” finds those hidden, untapped customer bases that we need to succeed by using creative strategies. If I remember correctly, there were always the children who hid in obvious places and were easy to find, but there were also those kids who excelled at staying out of sight. In turn, the “seekers” used their motivation and determination to win, and you learned quickly how to acquire critical thinking like those clever kids. Your customer bases are no different! Your business will not survive if you expect them to find you. Use those critical thinking skills to get creative and look for customers in places you would not normally think to look.

Hanging on to Your Success: Monkey Bars

Hanging on to Your Success: Monkey Bars

Hanging on to Your Success: Monkey Bars

Once you have steadily and quickly learned how to attain new customers, you need to hang on to them. We look now at that what seemed an impractical and pointless activity, but is now actually a useful analogy for keeping your business: the monkey bars! They represent clear effort, frustration (in doing the task), and even accomplishment when we are able to achieve the distance. They also represent the importance of holding on to what you have (your customers). Without exerting effort to hold on to them, like you on the monkey bars, your business is going to fall quickly and not without pain. So, form a firm grasp on your customer base and carry them with you to success…one reach at a time.

Keeping Your Eye on the Prize: Merry-Go-Round

Keeping Your Eye on the Prize: Merry-Go-Round

Keeping Your Eye on the Prize: Merry-Go-Round

Round and round we go, where it stops no one knows, on to the merry-go-round (or carousel). This is a very important analogy for staying focused in all you accomplish. It is easy to get lost in the hustle and whirlwind that is starting a business. Therefore, it is very important to keep your eye on a something steady or surely you will lose focus, lose control, and become disoriented and unable to concentrate on the ultimate goal: success.

Networking Like a Pro: Tag

Networking Like a Pro: Tag

Networking Like a Pro: Tag

And last but not least: TAG, YOU’RE IT! This little lesson shows us now, as adults, how to really observe the importance of networking your business. Though it seems overwhelming and chaotic, you can easily find success and master your strength and skill in networking — online as well as offline. For example: when you begin to use social networking, you gain access to an immeasurable amount of power. Sure, you can try and find success by standing there and observing the competition, but YOU hold the power until you get out there, take control, and realize when you are “it.” In turn, it’s also beneficial to be tagged in a social network setting because it means you’re getting noticed. “Remember, it’s not always about who you know…but about who knows YOU!”

When you reflect on a time of youth and frivolity, realize that these were also times you were learning important values that would carry through to adulthood. And what seemed silly now has become the stuff of wisdom. So the next time you think that your child is wasting time using school hours for recess, think again as they may be the next Larry Page or Arianna Huffington!

What else did you learn about business from burning energy on the playground? Any key terms you’d like to add?

Image credit to Clipart.com, Rachel Coleman Finch and BrianAdams2010.


Serenity Morris

Serenity is on the support staff for Quality Logo Products. Cynical and straight to the point, this no-nonsense gal is loveable and passionate about her various nerdy interests. When she is not geeking out about music, British television, and politics she is usually doodling her troubles away! Her artistic abilities are often commissioned for internal and external QLP promotional materials. You can also connect with Serenity on Google+.

Comments

  1. Jill Tooley

    I love this post! So cute! :)

    Here’s another one to add: Taking the plunge into a new business venture is comparable to going down the slide as a child! I was always so scared to go down the slide when I was little, because I thought I’d get hurt. Similarly, many people are scared to take that first jump into entrepreneurship!

    Awesome examples here, Sam! Very fun read. :D

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Thank you! Great comparison, you are right I felt the same way. When a mission seems intimidating or daunting you just have to go for it and you’ll see that it is always better than you had expected!

  2. Mandy Kilinskis

    These are such excellent tips – who knew that all of that recess would help so much in the business world?! My favorite playground equipment was always the swings, so I guess that explains my lofty professional goals. :)

    Fun post, Sam!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Thanks! I know, as competitive and contemplative as children are, it is kind of neat that these things translate to the adult business world.

  3. amy

    ‘Tag’ was my game in elementary school!! I still sometimes feel like playing it now as an adult when the weather is nice outside LOL

    You’re right though in comparing it to networking. You have to realize that you’re “it” and make the most from it because if you don’t, who will? Great analogies all around, Sam! I’ll never look at a playground quite the same again, which is good :)

  4. Cybernetic SAM

    Thanks Amy! Ahh were you called ‘Tag’ because you were always it, or because you were always tagged? Either way, if Tag was your nickname, then does that mean you hold great skill for it? If so, that means you are awesome at strategy and networking!

  5. Amanda

    Cute post Sam! =) I love all the comparisons to the business world. I loved all of these except for the merry go round. I cannot stand to spin around in circles–makes me feel dizzy and sick for the rest of the day! Yuck!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Thanks Amanda! Yeah I know what you mean, I always liked to be the one pushing the marry-go-round, I always feared flying off it when it would go really fast.

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