Lessons in life (and business analysis) I learned from my son

Andre Nelson
8 min readAug 10, 2019

He’s the boss.

This little bundle of cuteness is my son, lovingly nicknamed Lord Nelson (the reasons for which become pretty obvious after spending 5 minutes in his company), and since his arrival, he’s brought chaos and joy in abundance to our family. Of course, we wouldn’t trade that chaos for anything in the world, even though he’s directly responsible for the noticeable increase in the number of grey hairs I’m now sporting. I like to think that I can model the salt & pepper look as well as Idris Elba, although I’ve been assured by Mrs N on several occasions that this line of thinking could at best be described as aspirational.

Harsh, but such is life.

Becoming a dad is and has been a steep learning curve, and the cliche that parenting doesn’t come with a manual is very, very true. You find yourself constantly learning and having to pick things up on the fly in order to make sure that you meet all of the needs of the little one who is completely dependent on you for his or her survival. No pressure, right?

I’ve learned that he is like a sponge and observes and absorbs a lot of the lessons that we directly (and often inadvertently) teach him, so we have to be careful about the example that we set in our words and actions. (True story: my cousin, who was 2 years old and cute as a button at the time, once loudly and publicly dropped a – quite mild, in all honesty – profanity at the dinner table in front of the entire family over Christmas lunch one year, after dropping her cutlery on the floor accidentally. Being as the two particular words made up around 10% of her entire vocabulary at the time, we were all both shocked and amused by her timing and context for use. I recall my uncle saying gruffly in response at the time “Well, she didn’t learn that from me.”)

Moreover, I’ve found that he’s also taught me a number of lessons, and continues to do so each day. Some of these lessons are applicable to my career as business analyst as well, and I thought I’d share these learnings with you here.

There’s great power in saying No

One thing we’ve learned is that he is very much a young person who knows his own mind, knows what he wants, and also what he…



Andre Nelson

UK-based Consultant & Business Analyst. Believer. Dad. Oft-frustrated lover of Arsenal FC. Helping the world to better understand Business Analysis.