How My 6 Year Old Helped Me in Life - and in Business - Dylan Jovine

Writing About the Stock Market & Life Since 2003


How My 6 Year Old Helped Me in Life – and in Business

One of the things that I’m truly a master at is beating myself up.

Doesn’t matter how successful I’ve been in business. Whenever I’d make a mistake I’d start calling myself names like “stupid,” “idiot” and “moron.”

Now, how long I did this to myself depended on the size of the actual mistake.

A small one would usually be over by the end of the day. A large one could last months.

But two years ago my then-6 year old daughter Lila did something that literally blew my mind…and changed my life in the process.

One day at softball practice she dropped a ball and immediately began to call herself stupid.

I was heartbroken.

Had I passed this curse down to my own daughter?

It didn’t take long before I had my answer.

Less than a week later I made some dumb mistake and began calling myself stupid – right in front of my daughter.

I soon realized something – the only way I’d even have a chance to influence her behavior was to change mine.

So far what I’ve done ever since seems to do the trick.

Now, as soon as I call myself one name I immediately say two things:

The first is “Don’t help your haters!” (Anyone who doesn’t want you to succeed at business or life). 

I try to remind myself that there there are plenty of other people in the world who won’t like me for one reason or another. Let them talk smack about me. Last thing I need to do is help them do it.

Then I immediately ask my “What could I have done differently?”

What that does is it takes me from the problem (my mistake) and into the solution (what can I learn from it).

The good news is that after a year or so of doing it I began to notice Lila doing the same.

But it was what happened next that surprised me most: I started to move through business issues at a much faster clip.

It was like I had added high-performance oil to my engine. Something had been gumming up my engine before. But now we were running faster and smoother.

And the faster I went the better I was playing the game of business. I was able to make decisions faster and move through obstacles faster.

Bottom line: What started as an exercise my daughter has helped the two of us – and my business!

Dylan Jovine
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