As you make your way through life, you should always be mindful of learning opportunities. Far and away the biggest life change that I’ve ever experienced, even more than going into business for myself, was becoming a father. Having a kid totally turns your world upside down. To that end, my life as a parent has actually taught me a lot about blogging. Curiously, though perhaps unsurprisingly, there are many lessons to be learned from the other side of the relationship too.
Yes, we can learn from our kids.
But I Want It!
More specifically, what we’ll find is that behavior and perspectives that we may be tempted to categorize as “childish” may actually be incredibly valuable when trying to eke out a living on the Internet. Have you ever seen a toddler throw a tantrum? Have you ever seen a child become defiant seemingly only for the sake of being defiant? As it turns out, that can actually be a useful strategy.
This goes beyond being stubborn. It’s true that you need to a certain level of persistence and perseverance to succeed in business. When all the signs say that things aren’t working out the way that you’d like them to work out, sometimes you just have to stick with it.
Because your “big break” could be right around the corner and all that hard work could pay off in the form of “overnight success.” Even though you know your success wasn’t earned overnight.
Pumping Iron, Making Bank
Perhaps one of the best examples of this petulant child mentality, not that I’d ever call him a petulant child to his face, is Arnold Schwarzenegger. And no, it’s not a tumor. Now, get to the chopper. In an extended video with GQ, Schwarzenegger broke down some of his most iconic movie characters. At one point in the interview, he indicated that when people told him that he couldn’t do something, that just made him want to do the thing that much more. And that much harder. It’s like the child who’s told he can’t eat candy, only to gorge himself on Skittles and Snickers bars the moment his parents aren’t looking.
Indeed, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career has consisted of a series of things he did because other people told him he couldn’t do it. When he was building up a big career as a bodybuilder, he wanted to be a big-time mainstream actor. People told him he couldn’t do it. He was too big — all the leading men were more “average” sized at the time — and no one would want to see a movie where the main star had such a heavy accent. And yet, he made it work with films like Conan the Barbarian.
After making it big as an action star, he wanted to spread his wings into comedy. People told him he couldn’t do it. No comedy movie would ever work with a man of his stature, especially since the world saw him as the beefy action star now. And yet, he did it with movies like Twins and Jingle All the Way.
People said that working with children and animals is one of the hardest things you can do in a movie. So, Arnold decides to do Kindergarten Cop where he is literally surrounded by children the whole time. Who is your daddy and what does he do?
But, there’s no way that this Austrian bodybuilder-turned-actor could ever make it in politics, and as a Republican no less, right? And yet, there was Schwarzenegger again, defying all the odds to become a rather successful and influential governor of California. He’s come a very long way from 1977’s Pumping Iron.
Do What You Can’t
Don’t be afraid of failure. I’m sure there were many instances where Arnold fell short of his goals, but he was also never afraid to fail. It’s only when you put yourself out there, stretching yourself well beyond your comfort zone, that you can discover what you can really do. Children test their limits all the time, from swinging on the monkey bars to experimenting in chemistry class, to even leading a proud house into battle. Little children can’t do that… except they totally can.
Dare to be a little bit petulant. When someone tells you that there’s no way you’ll ever make it as a YouTuber, an influencer, or a blogger, take that as a challenge. And show them just how successful you can be.