By Alyssa Gregory

In honor of back to school season (great time of year, isn’t it??), I thought I’d write about the parallels between business and school, particularly preschool.

When you think about being successful in business, it’s really no different from being successful in anything else. In fact, the primary tenets of business success can also be applied to preschool success. Here are five of the most basic principles for business and preschool success.

1. Be Nice to Everyone

The good ol’ Golden Rule, a universal rule that can help you build a successful business and make it through preschool unscathed. In preschool, you’re taught to be nice to everyone in your class, whether they are just like you or completely different, a friend or not.

In business, you can be competitive without being antagonistic. You have a lot of gain — and learn — if you are genuinely nice to everyone you come into contact with, including your competition.

2. Listen When Someone Is Talking to You

If you’ve ever had any children in your home, you know very well that this is a tough one. I am told that most school-age kids come out at the end of the year with improved listening skills that seems to be lost over the summer months, but we will have to see how that pans out.

Listening is vital, whether you’re in school or a business owner. If you don’t listen well, you can’t communicate well, and without effective communication, there goes your chance at success.

3. Share!

By the time they reach school, most kids understand the concept of sharing, whether they choose to do it or not is another issue. But the kids that don’t share quickly learn that they lose opportunities to experience new things, the toys their classmates have, for example.

In business, the more willing you are share your expertise and knowledge and collaborate, the more you will be able to access the knowledge of others and uncover new opportunities.

4. Take a Nap

Nap time is non-negotiable in preschool, although my kids have tried to bypass the requirement many times over the years. Preschool teachers know that kids need a break, a chance to regroup by themselves in order to make it through to the end of the day.

This is especially poignant in business. If you don’t take breaks and give yourself a chance to unwind from the stresses of running a business, you will quickly face burnout.

5. Just Have Fun

You probably started your business because it’s something you’re passionate about, something you love doing. Enjoying the day-to-day life of your business is a huge part of success. Preschools know that better than most.

At the end of the day — school day and business day — it’s all about being able to reflect on what you’ve done and the fun you’ve had while doing it.