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5 Lessons I Learned From Children That Helped Me Create an Apple Award-Winning Business Here are five unique skills I learned from children that helped me build an app with millions of users, get a ton of media attention and earn international awards.

By Ashot Gabrelyanov

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When you spend most of your week with people from work, you tend to form a community. And with any community, you'll find yourself facing many ups and downs along the way. During our years developing and pivoting mobile applications together, we've argued, laughed, broken up, and at times, cried.

But during those trying moments, it's often been the lessons I've learned from children that have helped me to keep going and ultimately led our team to create an app called Magic, which Apple chose as one of the best apps of 2017. Here are five insights I learned from children that helped us create this award-winning business:

Related: 5 Ways Children Can Teach You How to Keep the Dream Alive

1. Patience is a superpower

"Are we there yet?" A common phrase uttered by a bored child on a long car ride. While this may be a tired trope, it's no surprise that children are often impatient. To them, everything needs to happen instantly because they don't understand the concept of time. So, whenever my twins would ask me this question, I would refrain from saying "no" and instead turn the conversation into an educational game.

One of my business partners used to ask me every few weeks, "When will we become successful?" So, instead of answering his question, I used the same approach and tried to engage in conversations about our progress, how far we've come, brainstorm ideas on moving forward and what was still ahead. Instead of getting frustrated, this shift in my mindset reminded me of patience being a superpower — something that I had to develop if we were going to succeed.

2. Make short-term goals

LEGOs are one of the most popular toys among children because of how easy it is to be successful with them. All they have to do is follow the instructions, and each of their tiny pieces will eventually come together to form a larger construct in a matter of minutes, helping them to achieve their short-term goals faster. Combining small steps with instant results helps motivate children to keep going.

This can be applied to business, as well. Instead of focusing on long-term goals, it's essential to break them down into smaller chunks in order to keep the momentum going. For example, our team agreed to release evolutionary app updates every three months. Once we published the app's new version, we would share it with the community, opinion makers and media to get feedback and improve the product.

This strategy helped bring attention to our product, keep us motivated throughout the development process and helped us grow from a few thousand to a few million users. Overall, our team stays motivated when small successes arise from our short-term goals.

Related: 3 Things My 5-Year-Old Cousin Taught Me About Entrepreneurship

3. Don't listen to what others say. Keep believing.

My kids may use hammers to paint, kitchen appliances to play music or deodorant as a microphone to sing. At an early age, they had no established notional and social patterns of behavior. However, this allowed them to be creative and confident in their ideas, no matter what others said or thought.

The same holds true in business — don't listen to what others say, but keep believing and be confident in your ideas. When we first released Magic, many people said it would flop and never be a success. We didn't let that stop us and kept pushing forward even through hard times, which paid off in the end. Whenever people around you doubt your ideas, keep in mind that Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, laughed at the first iPhone model in 2007.

4. Turn failure into motivation

I'm always amazed at how stubborn kids can be when practicing what they love. For example, when I play soccer with my kids and fail to score a goal, my kids always cheer me on, saying, "Dad, don't worry. Now you know what not to do. Just try again."

This lesson helped me realize that failure can be a great experience rather than something to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. This helped me to stay motivated even when hundreds of investors and journalists turned down our ideas. With every rejection, I worked to improve my pitch to make sure it was just right. Whenever we face setbacks or fail to reach expectations, I encourage our team to take those failures as an opportunity for learning, not only for ourselves but for the future of the company and how it could be improved.

Related: 7 Things Entrepreneur Dads (and Moms) Can Learn From Kids

5. Go through hard times together

A child's empathy is heartfelt and supportive. For example, when one of my twins falls down and starts crying, the other helps them get up, and they hug each other.

This taught me the importance of team spirit and how support from your team can help you overcome any obstacle. Creating machine learning-based apps is based on a ton of research and development. Typically, only one of five hypotheses turns out to be true. I have been supporting our team members when they believed they tried all possible opinions, and within a few weeks, they usually found a solution that worked.

By embracing kids' spirit of creativity, confidence and teamwork, I'm able to stay positive even through hard times and use failure as an opportunity for learning, resulting in our team building an app with millions of users and even earning an Apple award.

Ashot Gabrelyanov

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of ShapeYard

Ashot Gabrelyanov is the Founder of Magic App (Apple awarded as “Best of 2017”), MakeApp (1.5+ million users and 1,500 media mentions) and Chudo (1+ million users)
. He is also an early-stage VC in tech, crypto & real estate and a former media manager.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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