Everyone wants his or her kids to be happy and successful. It isn't really something you should leave to chance if you can help it. Education entrepreneur Natacha Beim believes you can have a huge impact on the future success of your children with a few simple lessons; they might even benefit you if you apply them today.
Beim, a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), is the founder and CEO of CEFA, which stands for Core Education & Fine Arts. She is bringing a fresh approach to early education in Canada. Beim has championed the idea that children should not only be educated academically, but also socially, emotionally and physically.
CEFA's holistic appeal has allowed Beim to expand to 15 learning centers in less than a decade. In my interview with Beim she shared the key early life lessons that help your children achieve success later in life and how you can translate them into your life today.
1. "Keep learning."
Beim believes that learning shouldn't stop when school ends. "I can say without a doubt that I dedicate at least 2 hours of my day to learning. I do research in child development, psychology, brain development, and business. I take immense pleasure in learning, and it is ingrained in our company culture," she reveals. Beim feels that the higher you rise on the success ladder, the more open to learning you should be. "Learn from your employees - that's where you might find your next big idea. Learn from books and research on your industry. Learn from your competition, just never settle for what you know," says Beim.
2. "Sharing is caring."
Teaching is crucial to the growth of any business. If you can't teach something, then no one else can learn it, and there can be no evolution or proverbial passing of the baton. Beim notes that teaching is crucial to her growth as a leader because it helps others around her grow in confidence and skills. "As a teacher I taught my students every day. As a CEO, I never lost that habit, and it has brought me tremendous success," she notes. "I spend time mentoring every person in my team, to help them be the best that they can be."
3. "Walk the talk."
Beim believes children should be taught to be role models for their peers from a young age. This does not change at all in adulthood, becoming arguably more crucial to success. "Walk your talk," says Beim before adding that "If your behavior is the behavior you expect from your employees, then demonstrate that behavior."
4. "Think creatively."
Adults often neglect creativity for fear of getting out of line or making a mistake. But children are allowed from a young age to be creative. When possible reinforcing the benefits of creativity will foster success later in life. "Children are innate problem-solvers, which is a breath of fresh air for adults, who sometimes are used to the status quo," says Beim, who believes adults should tap into their childlike impulses for creativity, as it will not only lead to a newer perspective on the mundane, but also create more fun at work.
5. "Make a difference."
CEFA schools teach children as early as one-years-old to make a difference in their world. They learn to take responsibility for themselves, and to think of how to make a positive difference with their friends. Beim even incorporates charitable service into the CEFA early learning curriculum. She believes adults even leaders, often lose sight of this sense of purpose. As a CEO, you can only inspire your team if you have a purpose other than just making money. How do you get involved in the community?" questions Beim. "Can your employees describe how you and the company make a difference in the lives of others? The greatest leaders even go one step beyond, mentoring their employees to take initiative in making a difference. They make it part of the culture of their companies."
6. "Follow your dreams."
Kids should be told to follow their dreams as it is the only true path to success. Beim abhors that many adults tend to forego dreams due to the social expectations that come with age and responsibility. Her approach differs. "My greatest accomplishment is not that I can easily teach a three-year-old to read, it is that every single child of the thousands of children that go through our school every year, has a sense of purpose," says Beim. "We have taught them that making a difference, following their passions, is in their hands. We have nurtured their sense of purpose, and at five, when they graduate, every single one of them will face life with drive, passion, and a sense of purpose."