My son turned 5 on October 22nd and it took all of me to not cry the entire day. Make that the entire week.
I honestly cannot believe this boy is higher than my hip, speaking two languages, and toting more philosophies (and questions) on the matters of life than I can count.
I can’t believe that I’m a #soccermom, a toddler English teacher, an Uber-driver, a bedtime story master, and a short-order chef.
It’s all starting to soak in though.
If you’re a mom, you know the fifth birthday is a major milestone. It’s like the transition point from “toddler” (which is really just a tall baby with a full vocabulary) to real-life “boy.”
For me, this one was marked with something special. Besides the Black Panther superhero party I threw in his class and the sun-up to sun-down surprises he had at the house, Carter said something to me in the car that I’ll never forget:
Me to Carter: I’m so glad God chose YOU to be my firstborn.
Carter to Me: I’m so glad I chose YOU to be MY mommy.
I initially laughed it off because my son thinks he has a choice in everything, but then I thought about it some more. What if this little soul was made just for me to shepherd? What if he views me as something he chose like I view him as a choice we made to grow our family?
What if, as his mother, I’m just a steward of the creativity, ambition, and rambunctiousness that’s already there?
What if we all are just that – stewards?
Is it possible, then, that some of the people in our lives have chosen us to be no more than guides?
I often compare customers to children.
The similarities between how they express their needs and how to connect with them are just too obvious to not state. One that especially sticks out to me this week is this idea of stewardship.
Just as I believe my son was born with the fiery ambition (which translates to stubbornness at times) I witness every day, your customers come to you with an already-formed identity that begs for guidance, not alteration.
Most customers know who they are and who they eventually want to be. The only reason your brand even enters their lives is to help guide them toward becoming that person.
The products you sell, the services you provide, and the information you put out all serve to extract what’s already there.
Have you ever thought about it like that?
Do you know your customers well enough to recognize the innate traits that your brand should steward?
I wonder if mothering and selling would be easier if we all stopped trying to mold the souls we’re shepherding into mini versions of ourselves, and started allowing them to be themselves … then interjecting and introducing solutions where necessary.