Encouraging Your Child to Think Like a Founder Can Pay Off in Many Ways
As a mother and an entrepreneur, I can tell you that raising children while running a business requires some serious skills. I do my best to model entrepreneurial behavior and encourage my children to take risks and think out of the box. Having owned a photography business, two franchise businesses, and a franchise consulting business, I have been able to inspire an entrepreneurial mindset in my three children.
At times, I may have seemed like the most annoying parent ever, but my efforts have been effective. Recently, my son came up with a game concept that his professor suggested he present to companies. We started to think through a patent, materials, cost, and ways to promote it.
One of my daughters loves to crochet and often creates crocheted animals as birthday gifts. She is now planning on selling them. We analyzed everything that goes into the business: overhead, marketing opportunities, time, effort, and a selling price. My kids now understand the work and research that goes into a new concept, and now they are constantly thinking like entrepreneurs.
How to Teach Kids to Become Entrepreneurs
I am not the only entrepreneur who is rubbing off on their kids. A study by the University of Chicago Press Journals reports that parental entrepreneurship increases the probability of children’s entrepreneurship by about 60%. Teaching children about the challenges and joys of entrepreneurship can help them develop important life skills early, such as decision-making, self-esteem, problem-solving, and financial literacy. Here are some ways to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs.
1. Encourage Creativity, Problem-Solving, and Decision Making
Entrepreneurship is all about finding solutions to problems, and being able to make decisions. Encourage children to think outside the box, look at all possible sides of the issue, ask questions, think ahead and come up with creative solutions to challenges they encounter. You can also encourage them to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to identify areas where they can make a difference and create value. Sometimes it’s the different ideas that lead to light bulb moments.
2. Develop Financial Literacy
A Nasdaq article suggests that financial literacy is essential in raising entrepreneurial children. Understanding the basics of money management is a must for any adult, much less a budding entrepreneur. Finding ways to teach saving, budgeting, expenses, unexpected curve balls, marketing, investing, and tracking it all, even at a rudimentary level, will give an appreciation of everything that goes into being financially savvy. Another possibility is extending this lesson into delaying gratification on profit and teaching the difference between a want and a need.
3. Foster a Growth Mindset
First and foremost – failure is normal. Encouraging children to embrace the challenges that come their way and learn from them. What are the choices, what path would each choice lead to, and what roadblocks could be present? Mistakes will happen but learn from them. Failure is a natural part of the entrepreneurial process, and it provides an opportunity to learn and grow by pivoting and adjusting.
4. Provide Real-World Experiences
What are opportunities for buying and selling? Children can learn valuable lessons from running lemonade stands, garage sales, creating crafts, or providing services such as lawn mowing or car washes. They can immediately learn about supply and demand, marketing, sales and transactions, tracking expenses, customer service, and staying organized.
5. Emphasize the Value of Hard Work
Entrepreneurship requires dedication, perseverance, resilience and hard work. Encourage children to set goals, choose consistent actions, and work hard. These essential habits will lead to success. Understanding there may be setbacks, and knowing how to process them emotionally and practically, is a great life lesson to learn early on. Success often comes from persistence and determination; nothing good is accomplished overnight.
Raising Entrepreneurial Children
In the end, teaching children about entrepreneurship can help them develop important executive functioning life skills, create emotional intelligence, and foster a mindset that values creativity, problem-solving, and hard work, all leading to a greater chance of success and strong self-esteem. That mindset is worth its weight in gold.