Memories – like the corners of my mind! I promise not to go all Barbara Streisand on you, but with the end of the school year approaching and Mother’s Day just behind us, it’s hard not to be a little sentimental. So when this blog post from 2015 resurfaced after a client forwarded it to me, I was struck with how true it was then and how true it still is today. Before you scroll down to read the original blog post, let me give you a little context around why this is still so important to me and so true in 2019.
As many of you know, I have three young children. I have a ten-year-old daughter, a seven-year-old daughter, and a three-year-old son. When the previous blog was written, my son wasn’t even born yet! And while they are growing, and maturing, and changing, one fact remains the same: I am simply in awe of them. These tiny humans have taught me more than I ever could have expected, and, frankly, I think they have made me a better consultant and advisor. Day after day, I am continuously impressed with the way they approach the world and how they truly have no fear or hesitation when it comes to trying new things. I wish I could be more like that.
In fact, studies on Emotional Intelligence show that as we age, we engage in much more negative self-talk than we did as children. Children have this amazing ability to self-coach and motivate themselves to do things that might be impossible.
I was certified in Daniel Goleman’s Emotional and Social Competency Index last year; ever since then, these ideas of “self-talk” have been weighing heavily on my mind. How do we teach CPAs and other advisors to be brave? How do we teach self-coaching? How can we work with our clients to help them understand that they are good enough, smart enough, and, gosh darn it, people like them? (Thank you, Stuart Smally.) I’m not sure I have the answer yet, but I do know one thing: the biggest barrier to your growth lies in the six inches between your ears. Period. Change the tune inside of your head and convince yourself that you can. Because you can.
I do hope you’ll enjoy this trip down memory lane as we revisit the 2015 Blog post titled:
When can we go to Antarctica?
Each night at dinner, my husband and I sit down with our two daughters and ask them about their day. As they’ve gotten older, I am always impressed with how much they have to say and what they’ve learned on any given day. Oh, to be a child again and learn and absorb the way they do!
The other night, I was particularly impressed when my oldest, Eleonore, was able to rattle off all seven continents and the characteristics of each. At six years old! In typical mom fashion, I gushed all over about how proud I was of her for knowing so much about places that were so far away. She looked at me quizzically and said, “They’re not that far away, Mommy!” I laughed and asked her what she meant, as they clearly were oceans away! She gave me her all too familiar narrow-eyed look and said, matter-of-factly, “I was born in Europe, and now I live in North America. I have visited South America and Australia. Bonne Maman was born in Africa and Grandpa Sir just sent me a postcard from Asia!”
At six years old, my daughter has realized something that many businesses and professionals are struggling with. The world is, in fact, getting smaller, and we simply cannot ignore that fact. With advancements in transportation, technology, and communication, we can do business in another country almost as easily as in our own neighborhood. Many of the firms that we work with have grown their expertise in international business and now have clients that do business across the world. One of my favorite international success stories is the day that I helped facilitate a referral from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Ethiopia. No joke! If THAT can happen, chances are you will have international needs in your firm in the very near future, if you don’t already.
Are you prepared to deal with this complex international business environment? Do you have an association or network of firms that you can rely on when your client has a need in another country? Can you remain their most trusted business advisor when their business takes them outside of your immediate area?
When you look at a globe, it really does put everything in perspective. It’s a great, big, diverse world, but it’s not THAT big anymore. The firms who are prepared to thrive in this environment are the ones we’ll be talking about for years to come. Our children and grandchildren already know this. The future is full of international opportunities. So much so, that I was taken off guard when my daughter followed up our conversation with, “When can we go to Antarctica?” I laughed and she simply shrugged. In her mind, nothing is out of her reach. And you know what? She’s right.
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