Do kids follow in their parents’ footsteps? Sometimes, and it seems that children of entrepreneurs often get the bug to go into business for themselves. If you’re able to teach your children at an early age all the ins and outs of being an entrepreneur, they’ll be able to attain success that much earlier. So how do you raise young entrepreneurs? Here are 6 steps that you may find useful:
1. Be a good role model. If you love what you do and enjoy being your own boss, make sure your children know that. Model good entrepreneurial behavior so your children know what’s involved. Set and keep regular work hours, budget your earnings, talk about forecasting, planning, sales and all of the tasks involved in running your own business.
2. Encourage your children, or at least invite them, to help out, and compensate them for their efforts. When children learn that they can earn money for work they do it can be a real eye opener for them and a real motivator. If they’re able to work for mom or dad, then all the better. It’s more of a lesson for them than simply giving them an allowance. For example, I pay my son $10 an hour to work on various areas of my business. He’s become quite an asset to my team! By him making his own money, he’s learned to respect it, save it, and manage it wisely. When he goes on a date he plans the activity according to the cash in his pocket rather than the cash that I used to just hand over.
3. Be responsive and supportive when they have ideas about how to make money. Let them try and let them fail. If they want to have a lemonade stand, help them plan it out, set goals and sit on the edge of the yard selling lemonade. If they have ideas on businesses to start, support them and then help them work out the details. When you listen to your young entrepreneur, you’ll be surprised at the concepts they come up with. My son is constantly blowing my mind with his ideas.
4. Play entrepreneurial games with them. Monopoly is the first one that comes to mind but there are other games that teach about money, solving problems and strategizing. Consider hosting a family game night one night a week and let your children choose the game you play. Another idea is to watch entrepreneurial TV shows together, such as Shark Tank and Celebrity Apprentice. The Bloomberg Channel features quite a few series on entrepreneurship which are great to watch together. During the TV shows, ask your young entrepreneur questions like, “what would you do differently in this situation?”, “how would you react to someone on your team acting like that?”, or “if you were given the opportunity to talk about this product, what would you say?” My son and I have wonderful conversations during and after watching the three shows mentioned above.
5. Talk about other young entrepreneurs you see in the news and expose your children to opportunities for young entrepreneurs. There are contests, organizations and myriad opportunities for children to explore their entrepreneurial spirit both online and off.
6. Depending on the age of your child and your household rules, consider letting them build their own website. You may need to loan them the startup cash but you can create a payment plan for them to pay you back from their profits. An information site about something they’re interested in is a great way to start. In fact, there are platforms, like WordPress, that you and your young entrepreneur can set up together for less than $100. Be creative and give your child the opportunity to use his/her own creative. Remember, you’re there to support and guide.
7. Never forget to tell your children you’re proud of them. Confident children are more apt to take risks and you know that being an entrepreneur takes confidence and the ability to take risks.
Raising young entrepreneurs can be an interesting and exciting time. You have the joy of sharing something you love and the pleasure of watching your child grow, learn and succeed. Do you have a budding young entrepreneur? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.
That’s it for now. Until next time Divas, wear your heels well and Be Blessed!
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