Kids as Entrepreneurs
Are you an entrepreneur?
Do you run a business from your home?
Maybe you are CEO of a large organization?
Or a solo-preneur for a great product you designed?
Wonder how to instill in your children the necessary talents and skills to start their own business someday or maybe even step into your shoes and take over the family business?
Here are a few tips to create an entrepreneurial spirit and love in your children.
Share what you do in your business and even more importantly the why behind it. Make sure you tell kids the back story of your business. Did you start it to solve a problem? to help others in a way the worked for you? to provide a creative outlet for talents? to have independence in your life? So many children today have no idea what their parents do for a living. When I worked in the schools, I used to ask children what their parents did. Many times they just knew they worked downtown in a tall building. As appropriate to the age of your child, share the details of not only what you do in your business, but the difference it makes in the world and why it matters.
Encourage creativity and out of the box thinking. There are a lot of ways to do this but one of the best is to encourage children to solve their own problems. Did a toy stop working? Ask questions to help them think through how to fix it. Don’t have enough money from their allowance to buy the new toy they want? Help them think through how they could earn extra money. Have some free time and feeling ‘bored’? Encourage them to create their own game.
Encourage initiative and ownership. If they want to start a lemonade stand or create a neighborhood newspaper, help them think through the details. Teach them about supply and demand, marketing, profit and loss. Have them purchase the supplies so they understand what it means to make a profit. Share stories of how you started a business at their age or of well-know entrepreneurs and the businesses they started as kids. For instance, Tony Hsieh, owner of Zappos shoes made and sold spirit wear buttons as a teen-ager and Warren Buffet sold chewing gum door to door. There are lots of kids today who have created businesses that are highly profitable: 8 kids making a million dollars
Balance failure and success. One of the most important lessons to learn in business is to accept failure as an opportunity to learn and make necessary changes while celebrating the experience of success as well. As a parent, how you model both of these situations will be critical to your child’s decision as to whether they want to follow in your entrepreneurial footsteps. Share your failures and disappointments as well as your successes and consider them teaching moments that will equip them to handle the same type of experiences..
Wyatt the Wonder Dog didn’t make it on the All Star baseball team and he feels like a loser. All his friends will be playing baseball this summer, while he and his pesky sister, Callie, visit grandparents at the beach. How Wyatt learns to handle disappointment and failure will be an important lesson for the future. Will he give up trying new things? Will he have the confidence to try again? Are there some things that take more practice and persistence to learn than others?
With Wyatt the Wonder Dog as their guide, children learn the value of generosity and what it means to give from the heart. Lynne Watts deftly weaves this powerful lesson in a delightfully entertaining story sure to appeal to both children and parents.
~ Martha Jane Orlando, author of Children in the Garden