Real Life. Real News. Real Voices.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.
Join HuffPost Plus
THE BLOG

3 Things My Autistic Son Taught Me About Business

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

At times, amidst the constant struggle we call life, particularly when faced with as much adversity as having a child who has special needs, we tend to see things around us only at the very surface.

We only see how we are so tired that we simply cannot move. Another. Inch.

We only ask questions that we need the immediate answer for.

We only hear the actual words spoken to us, rather than the meaning behind those words.

But if you reflect, with childlike curiosity, you will notice little lessons that teach you about life, yourself and yes, even business.

1. Failure is OK. A good portion of the issues my son faces has to do with coordination. He runs smack-dab into walls, trips over his own two feet. Sometimes, something as small as eating is a chore for him. However, if you were to watch him for 5 minutes, you wouldn't see his fork sliding across the plate while he wrangles a bite. You wouldn't even see him trip and fall over nothing but his own two feet.

You would see him persistently scooping up that bite of food that spilled off his fork.

You would see him get up immediately after falling, and keep getting up every single time.

Watching him fail, persist, succeed has taught me that you will fail. No one can possibly succeed at every thing they do. You just have to keep going.

2. Words are NOT the most powerful tool of connecting with people. It was a solid 2 years before I heard a single spoken word out of my son's mouth. In 2 years, I learned how to communicate with others without using words.

If I wanted to understand the needs and wants of my child, I was going to have to use more than spoken language. I would have to use the language of the heart.

Eye contact, touch and the power of thought combined have more power than a thousand words ever could.

Now, when I want to make a business connection with someone, these 3 things are more important to me than the actual spoken words we exchange. I look into their eyes when speaking because eyes are the window to our soul. I shake their hand with purpose and meaning, as if this is THE handshake of my life. I visualize an outcome I want to happen from this conversation. Our minds are kinda powerful like that.

3. If you are not doing something you absolutely love with a burning passion, you are doing it wrong. My son friggin' loves Thomas the Train. I am not talking about watching it on TV or even collecting a large amount of themed toys and accessories.What I mean is, he thinks he WILL BE THOMAS ONE DAY.

If you so much as say "toot, toot" within earshot, he will let you know that you, in fact, are Thomas.

If it is even remotely close to the time of day Thomas usually comes on TV, the world must stop while he watches. Didn't come on today? No problem, pull it up on Youtube! Youtube is down? I'm sure it's available on demand!

There is literally NO excuse you could give him for not watching Thomas. (That's not to say all he does is watch Thomas, but given the choice for a little screen time here or there, Thomas it is.)

As a result, he can name every single engine, person, conductor, train part, location, mood, and everything in between. He knows Thomas inside and out at the ripe age of 3.

He lets NOTHING get in the way of the thing he loves. No matter what conditions may exist around him, he knows what he likes and will do anything that it takes to achieve his goals because that is what he loves and what makes him happy.

Before my son was born, I used to think I had it all figured out. "Business" was this stale word that implied waking up everyday before the crack of dawn because "only the early-bird gets the worm."

After struggling, penny pinching, couponing, changing jobs, and throwing money away in every MLM business that promised me freedom, I always felt like a failure when my situation didn't change. Almost as if a successful life just wasn't meant for me.

Thankfully, My autistic son saved me and made me the happiest person I have ever been.