Mar 012017


Melinda Fouts - Life CF

In an earlier article,Cultivating Entrepreneurial Skills in Your Child,” I told a short story. In this story, I was five years old and wanted something and my father said to me, “What are you going to do to earn the money to buy this something?” I had no idea. One evening, while he was shining all his pairs of shoes for the next week, I sat and watched, and then I had an idea. I could shine his shoes and ask him to pay me. That is the day I became an entrepreneur.

What was missing in my article on the skills needed to cultivate entrepreneurial skills in your child was how to influence people. An entrepreneur needs the vital and most necessary skill of being able to influence others to be interested in and buy into their idea. That Saturday night, I influenced my father, who was more than capable of shining his own shoes, that I could relieve him of this task, and get paid for shining his shoes.

The question then, is how do you cultivate the skill of influencing others? None of us want to be manipulated and there is a difference between influencing someone and manipulating them.

When my father posed the challenge to make my own money, a spark was lit within me, the incentive to make money. I became inspired, driven to find a need, wanting to find a way to be successful and genuinely sought to find a path that could help me accomplish a goal while fulfilling some need.

That evening, while I watched my father shine his shoes, I realized that he did not enjoy this task. I became curious and started asking questions. My curiosity showed genuine interest in shoe shining and I felt compassion for my father because he would rather be at his desk on a Saturday night working on a speech. Through my curiosity and influence, I took over this task. As an executive coach, I have found that curiosity is a tool that opens doors and influences people yet is often underused.

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Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., is a select Columnist & Featured Contributor for BIZCATALYST 360° and a Member of the Forbes Coaches Council (comprised of Top coaches offering insights on leadership development & careers). Prior to executive coaching and leadership development, Melinda has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for almost 20 years. She leverages her strengths and insights from her psychology background to help leaders and managers in transition through increased self-awareness. Owner and founder of Success Starts with You, is based upon the premise that you are already successful. Increasing self-awareness to increase emotional intelligence and unlocking blind spots are paramount to continued success. Melinda uses assessments to help bring more awareness. Whether you are a leader or manager in transition, need a thought partner, or need to improve your professional presence, Melinda has developed unique and innovative techniques from her background to help you reach higher heights. Melinda received her Ph.D. in Jungian Psychology from Saybrook University and her Masters in Psychology from Pacifica University. Melinda has worked as a consultant with executives and businesses for over 20 years. As a result of her experience and studies, she has developed a unique craft to fine-tune leadership development for peak performance. She lives in Colorado with her big, beautiful dog, StryderContact LinkedIn Twitter

Photo Credit – geralt