Life (and Business) Lessons From My 10-Year-Old

By | February 12, 2018

My 10-year-old daughter recently boarded a plane to San Francisco – by herself — to visit her aunt and cousins for a week. From the day we asked her if she would like to go to the day she got on the plane, she talked about it relentlessly – every single day. She was so excited — this was a BIG deal for her. She’d only ever been on a plane twice, and neither time was longer than a few hours. She had also only met her aunt a few times. This was all new territory for her, yet every day I was amazed at how she took control of what she was going to do, and how it was going to go for her.

Her actions during the past two months were great business reminders for me. She inspired me, and I’m very proud of her. Here’s what she accomplished without direction, using her own inner guidance. I am committed to use these reminders every day in my business.

1. Plan. Every day, every week, every year – have a plan. Plan your next day, your next event, your next project. Often times we ‘wing’ it as business owners, and then wonder what happened to our day or our week. Where did the time go? Why didn’t we accomplish what we wanted? My daughter planned from the moment the flight was booked. She had lists of what she wanted to bring. She mapped out what she would need to get beforehand, and was packed weeks in advance.

2. Step out of comfort zones. It’s not easy to do something big and/or something we’ve never done before. But it’s important to do these things in order to grow, personally AND professionally. For a 10-year-old, being away from family is pretty big, and WAY out of the comfort zone. But without taking that step, she would not grow and experience the new, and neither will we if we just stay put!

3. Create intentions. My daughter’s great desire was to get some “wings” – you know, those pins the flight crew give to children on the plane. She was getting some. Period. There wasn’t another option, there was no plan B. She created the intention and she got them. I love this.

4. Do what you love. There’s nothing that will drive you more than if you’re doing something you love. I’m sure that my daughter wouldn’t have made any great effort to go on this trip if it was to go eat broccoli for a week. She loves traveling. She loves babies. She loves new experiences, so she was motivated to do whatever it took to make the trip happen. When you love your work, your products, your services – when you love to help people — then doing whatever it takes to grow your business is a given.

5. Face Your Fear and Do it Anyway. Most times the actual FEAR is worse than doing the thing that we’re fearing. Facing it head on is the only way to get past and move forward. This is what I’m most proud of my daughter for doing. She felt really scared right before boarding the plane. But she walked through the gate and onto the aircraft. She did it! She faced her fears, boarded a flight, and arrived safely at her destination, ready for a whole week of new and enriching experiences. What a lesson for me. Who knew that my daughter’s journey would enrich me, and my business, too?

This week, do something new and different, plan it out, and face your fears. I will, too. Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here’s what you MUST include:

Donna Toothaker is CEO and founder of 1st VA the highly sought-after online marketing and consulting company. 1st VA specializes in providing online marketing support and services to entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who wish to effectively build or improve their online presence. Visit to sign up for our valuable weekly ezine and receive a free special report, The Top 5 Essential Tasks for the Ultimate Online Promotion of Your Business.

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