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The Childhood Traits Entrepreneurs Should Never Grow Out Of Growing up and becoming an adult doesn't mean we have to give up our youthful spirit; we need it to manage our businesses effectively and get through the challenges of entrepreneurship.

By Helen Al Uzaizi

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You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


You may have heard this from you child: "When I grow up, I want to run my own technology company…"

And as the loving parent that you are, you're probably working to encourage their ambitions and nurturing important skills like a strong work ethic, taking responsibility, and how to manage their finances using prudent thinking. You are preparing your children for the serious business of adulthood, and as well you should. However, before you go all the way, we should take a moment to think about the childhood traits that we could us more of in our adult lives.

Childhood skills and traits that established and successful entrepreneurs practice to create innovative products, keep their businesses running smoothly, and generally use to fuel their drive, despite the odds.

Curiosity and openness

Children are endlessly curious, a trait they share with brilliant inventors and innovators. As we get older though, we could lose our curios edge. We think we know enough to get by, maybe putting off that book we always wanted to read, or take that course that may help our career. Being curious doesn't just mean questioning everything, but it also means opening ourselves up to new experiences and different perspectives. A curious entrepreneur is open to new ideas, especially ideas that could mean a completely new service or product.

Making friends

We always tell our children to "not judge a book by its cover' but unfortunately in the business world the "cover' is extremely important. The first handshake at a meeting or even the moment you say hello at a networking evet, these first few seconds make a difference, so does your overall personality in terms of likability that will dictate if people want to work with you. Children are very good at making new friends, they know something that adults forget, and that is how to genuinely connect with others without pretense or ulterior motives. This genuine approach translates into likability and better communications, which can help an entrepreneur network, close deals, or even diffuse difficult situations at work.

Appetite for risk

No entrepreneur can truly succeed by playing it safe. Entrepreneurship in itself means taking a risk. However, as we get older and have more responsibilities, we start to play it safe, becoming a habit that is very hard to break. This could be especially hazardous for entrepreneurs. Having no appetite for risk could mean giving up a hit idea to the competition because it would have been too risky. Taking risks is based on experience and knowing when to trust your instinct requires a lot of practice. We could take a book out of our children's textbook when it comes to taking risks and learning lessons from them.


Children are much more in tune with their emotions than adults. The older we get the more we can get jaded and the circle of things we care about gets smaller and smaller. However, empathy is a critical skill entrepreneurs need to be effective in their role as leaders and how they get along with their community. Being empathetic means having the emotional intelligence to effectively manage a team of employees, listening to their needs, and therefore being a great leader who can drive his team forward. Empathy toward issues and people in society also means caring about the community, volunteering and being an active member in society. If we were all more empathetic as adults and more involved in the community by supporting those in need, the better place we would all live in.

Growing up and becoming an adult doesn't mean we have to give up our youthful spirit; we need it to manage our businesses effectively and get through the challenges of entrepreneurship. These are just some traits that can help us during our entrepreneurial journey, but along the way we also need to maintain a youthful optimism, joy, and energy to ultimately make it to our end goal.

Related: Eight Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs To Develop For Business (And For Life)

Helen Al Uzaizi

CEO, BizWorld Middle East, and founder, Future Entrepreneurs

Helen Al-Uzaizi is the CEO of BizWorld Middle East, the region's leading entrepreneurship program for kids. She is also the founder of Future Entrepreneurs, an entrepreneurship education platform for the MENA region.


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