Teach your child entrepreneurial skills
We all want what’s best for our children. One of our primary responsibilities as parents is to equip our children with the right knowledge and resources for a better future. Our minds would be put at ease if we know that our children are able to take care of themselves in all aspects, particularly financially, when we are no longer around to fend for them.
To raise entrepreneurial kids, parents would need to have open minds, abundant patience and must be willing to learn new things themselves. A child is always curious so the best way to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in him or her is to allow the child to explore his curiosity.
If you are already running your own business, this is the ideal platform to teach your child the “how-to”s of managing a business. Have your child help you out with the smaller aspects of your business even if it just means sticking the labels on your delivery packages or arranging files in your cabinet. Keep lines of communication open with them. Talk freely about what you do, your business goals and strategies (of course, keep it simple in order for them to understand the principles) and the struggles of maintaining a balance between work and family.
If you are not managing your own business but are creative in making things such as jewelery and clothing or baking cakes and cookies, encourage your child to learn these skills from you as well. If your child is older and is responsible enough to babysit his or her younger sibling, it’s a good start to let them do so and reward them with a small payment. When they are more confident, you can encourage them to offer their babysitting services to your relatives and close family friends.
The library and the internet provide rich resources of information and books on this topic. Spend some time borrowing books and printing articles on entrepreneurship and share these principles and ideas with your children. Remember not to lecture but to make it light-hearted and fun.
A key factor to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit is to talk to your child about his or her interests. Find out what ideas they have to earn some extra money. Be open even if some of the ideas sound ridiculous to you. The main thing is not to kill their creative spirit.
If you allow them to spend their earnings on a toy or a book they have been wanting to buy, this would give them the incentive to see things through. There is no need to be overtly ambitious at this early stage. If your child wants to sell his old toys, you can help him market them on eBay and take him step by step through the process. Help your child take photos of the toys while explaining the importance of advertising and marketing the product. Explain realistic pricing for the items in order to manage their expectations. Overall, discuss the details of their venture with them. Your role as a parent is to provide information, support and guidance. Stay clear from drawing up a detailed business plan for them! Let your children think and make decisions for themselves. If they fail, be positive and encouraging. Always tell them, “Don’t give up!”
It is painful for a parent to see their children hurt after encountering failures and disappointments but we must remember that we cannot protect them forever. The best way for them to learn and be resilient to face the storms in life is to learn how to pick themselves up after making mistakes. That’s how they grow up to be innovative and inventive adults.
Raising entrepreneurial kids is not an easy task. There are heartaches and pitfalls along the way for both parent and child. That’s why it’s important to have a positive mindset. See this as an adventure for both you and your child. Celebrate their successes, celebrate their creations!
“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory” – Mahatma Gandhi, political and spiritual leader