"The traits that make your kid hard to parent are the very things that will make him a good adult." Other parents in the vicinity tell me over and over again, usually as my son is refusing to get into a car seat or deciding he wants chocolate gelato for breakfast or realizing he doesn't want to wear a diaper. It usually calms me down, as I suddenly picture him, decades from now, fighting for a social injustice or taking a stand for his beliefs. Or just being an entrepreneur.
Here's The Washington Post's Lauren Knight on stubborn kids:
Research shows that disobedient children earn more as adults and are also more likely to be entrepreneurs. As it turns out, some rather intelligent children who defy authority or challenge the status quo tend to think more outside the box, lending them a certain creative upper hand when it comes to new ideas and starting businesses. Entrepreneurs tend not to play by the rules.
Defiance is what comes to mind. What is Uber but the enfant terrible to the mature taxi industry? Vision is a powerful force. How can inexperienced entrepreneurs inspire people to give millions to their idea? Strategy is an innate trait. How could Steve Jobs make someone do something that he needs to get done?
My TED colleague Cameron Herold has a classic talk on why you should teach your kids to be entrepreneurs, but sometimes your kid decides early on that he or she wants to go their own way. It then becomes our job to get out of their way.
The same could be said for our own inner entrepreneur. Frustrated or burning out on a particular career path? Perhaps your child side is recognizing passion that lies in a different direction. The beauty is that supporting, and loving, our uncooperative side gives us the gift of nonconformity--an important trait for not only entrepreneurship, but for life itself.