How to Raise an Entrepreneur
Teach your child the necessary skills to become an entrepreneur, starting early in life.
Entrepreneurship is the backbone of America. Self-starters make the world go ’round, and it’s thanks to entrepreneurs that we live in such a developed country. If entrepreneurship is so important, why don’t we teach it in schools?
Every great business was started by an entrepreneur willing to take a risk and realize a dream. Yet, for every successful startup, there are nine failed companies. At least 90 percent of startups fail — these are entrepreneurs who had the dream and the guts, but not all the tools. As parents, we teach our children just about everything. From how to speak to how to drive, it’s up to us to prepare them for the future. Entrepreneurial know-how is one skill that should definitely be added to this list.
There are many ways to teach your kids about entrepreneurship, but here are a few of my favorites to set your child up for a lifetime of success:
Start by teaching you kids about some of the greatest entrepreneurs in history. Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington are all accessible examples of entrepreneurship. Moreover, if you are a business owner yourself, tell your child about all the work it took to build your business! Once you teach your children what entrepreneurship is, instilling the values and work ethic of an entrepreneur is the next step.
Business psychologists and consultants all over the world know the power of goal-setting to achieve success. Teach your son or daughter to set goals; the more quantifiable, the better. Hand in hand with goal-setting comes time management. These are two of the most valuable traits for an entrepreneur.
Teaching skills like this can be easy too. Here’s an example: On a given homework assignment, you and your child should set a target grade — whether it’s a smiley face sticker, or an A+, set a goal. Next, ask your child how much time he or she thinks the assignment will take to reach that grade. Connecting the dots between time management and task-outcome is huge.
But no matter the outcome, never be too hard on failure. This goes back to the lessons about great entrepreneurs. Everyone fails, and it’s from those failures that people learn to achieve their dreams (odds are, if you are a small business owner, you might have failed once or twice on your way to success too). However, these skills and lessons will be wasted without the most vital part of operating a business: managing money. Financial literacy and responsibility is something so important to success, yet so rare among the general population.
Teach your child the value of saving, and how interest in a bank account can help grow savings. Selling is also a vital skill that can be used in any business or industry. Lemonade stands are a great microeconomic lesson too; teach your kids about cost, revenue and profit. Understanding how money works is an invaluable tool for anyone, and starting these lessons young will only compound the success for your children.
Always support your child’s creative side. No matter how good your child is at managing time, setting goals and saving money, it’s the creative spark that will fuel the entrepreneurial drive. Music is a particularly good avenue to exploring creativity. Not only will playing an instrument help relieve stress (parents, don’t be too pushy about music lessons!), but it can stimulate the brain in ways few endeavors can.
While the idea of a “renaissance man” may be a thing of the past, a well-balanced, multitalented individual is best suited for success. Creativity, determination, common sense and self-discipline are the keys to attaining a successful future. But just teaching your children these words isn’t enough. Instill the values these words hold. With these skills and lessons, you will prepare your child to venture into even the most daunting project with confidence and ability.
The Six Tricks to Raising Your Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurial know-how is the key to a successful life, but kids will never learn this in school. Parents, it’s up to us to teach our children how to be leaders and entrepreneurs.
1. Financial literacy is huge. Teaching your children the basics of managing money (saving, budgeting, etc.) will give them a leg-up on life.
2. Encourage creativity. Pursuing music, art, or any other creative endeavor will foster the creative side of your child’s entrepreneurial spirit.
3. Giving your child tools to succeed early in life is essential to their later achievements: Teach them to manage time, set achievable goals and recognize opportunities — these are three simple strategies that work for any life path.
4. Remember, never be hard on your child’s failures. From failure comes success. Use any shortcomings as teaching moments and encourage your child to discover something new from their failures or mistakes.
5. Teach your child about great entrepreneurs in history. Bill Gates, Thomas Edison and Oprah Winfrey are all tangible examples of men and women who pursued their dreams to become successful entrepreneurs.
6. Take your children to Entrepreneurial Conferences such as CEO Space, Secret Knock, Freedom Fest, Tony Robbins, etc. These conferences provide a huge variety of business tips, strategies and a huge network of likeminded entrepreneurs. Many of these programs also have teen programs that specialize in teaching teenagers how to start and build their own business. The earlier you bring your children to these events the better prepared your children will be in starting their own businesses, running your business and protecting themselves during the financial downturns. A well-equipped child is a well-diversified child that can learn the skills to prosper in any environment.