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An Entrepreneur’s Lesson from a Children’s Choir

by Neil Phillips on May 20, 2010

I had the opportunity to listen to the children’s choir at our church recently.  As you might expect, the little cherubs brought tears to many a parents eyes.  While the message from the song fit the day, I was especially intrigued by the director’s efforts to have children from ages 3 to 9 singing a round (like “row, row, row your boat”).

I’m sure a children’s choir in any setting and singing any round could have produced the same effect for me as the group did on this day.  For me, this was a true case of the truth that comes out of the mouths of babes.  It’s not so much what they were singing, but in the result that was produced by all of the individual efforts.  Three lessons for entrepreneur’s came to mind and I even wrote them on the back of the bulletin so that I could share.

1.  You carry the tune of those around you. The children who seemed to work the hardest were the ones standing next to a group singing a different part of a round.  You could just watch their mouths moving on their lyric and then suddenly it was like they lost all control and starting singing the words of their neighbor.  And once they were off, they struggled even harder to get back to their purpose.

Think of yourself as the average of your five closest business associates.  Is your song so different from theirs?  Is that the song you want to sing?

2. Singing with enthusiasm overcomes all obstacles.   There was one little girl in the front row—definitely under 4—who stood right in front of a microphone and sang at the top of her voice.  Nothing or nobody in the rest the choir could match her production.  When they got to the end and she raised her hands like she was singing a show tune, there was no one who could doubt her presence in the group.

What is the tune to make you play electric guitar or raise your hands for the final chords?  What do you want to sing?  Of course, having a microphone helps.  Who can be your microphone?

3. We all have a voice in chaos.  As strange as it sounds, when I focused on a child and watched their face, I could get some idea of their role in the final cacophony.  The same thing really happens in business.  Is your business just like the others?  What makes your voice special?

I loved the metaphor that these children brought to mind.  What chorus have you been listening to lately?

About the Author: Neil Phillips is a founding partner of Team Connections and Director of the DSWA Coach Excellence program.  Get more from Neil on his Direct Selling Notebook , the DSWA Coaching Center and Twitter. You may contact him directly through

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