Four Ways to Raise Your Kids to be Entrepreneurs
We love to talk about parenting. It's one of our favorite topics to discuss in our blog, podcasts, videos, and wherever else we have content. And we love to talk about business and how to do it better, but did you know that those could be in the same conversation?
They can. People aren't "naturally" good at business. No one has an entrepreneurial spirit woven into their DNA. If they seem like they were born knowing what they were doing, they weren't. They were probably raised in an environment where their parents talked to them about how to be a good businessperson.
And you can do the same with your kids. It doesn't happen all at once; try and explain a CRM to your four-year-old and see how that goes. Raising your kids to develop an entrepreneurial mindset takes time and commitment to teaching them a set of principles. Here are a few daily habits and values you can encourage them to adopt to move them towards a future of business leadership.
If you're a parent reading this thinking "I don't even know how to budget", that's probably because no one ever taught you! Learning how to manage the money you make is a crucial skill to be successful in business, and it can start as early as elementary school.
The next time you give your kids an allowance, sit them down and explain how budgeting and saving work. For x amount of money they receive for doing their chores or making good grades, you can "charge" them for the groceries you buy them and the utilities they take up. You can also institute a mandatory savings percentage that they have to stash every time you pay them. Through this practice, your kids will learn early on that they don't get to keep every dollar they earn, and the value of the ones that they do get to keep and save for later.
Did you ever have a lemonade stand with your sibling or one of your friends? Did you ever mow lawns or trim bushes for ten bucks at a time? Whether you realized it or not, these were your first business ventures.
You need to encourage your kids to take these sorts of steps because it teaches them that they're in charge of their business's success. Even if you push them in that direction, it's on them once they get started. Through that experience, they'll have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons in ROI, leverage, delegation, and even taxes. And putting it in their hands will increase their investment while also providing the environment for them to learn about responsibility. The more ownership they take of their income now, the more likely they are to do so in the future.
Entrepreneurs encounter hundreds of different types of challenges every week. And if they're successful entrepreneurs, they know how to navigate all those challenges without skipping a beat. But is that ability innate? Hardly.
Teach your kids how to network. Teach your kids how to make other people feel valued. The job landscape is changing every year. The career that your children were born to pursue may not even exist yet. But if you can get your kids to be able to think on their feet, lead a team, or be creative, they're going to be successful at whatever they decide to do, and be able to adapt when circumstances change.
For most parents out there, this one is going to be hard to embrace. It takes a certain personality type to succeed on your own. Most people go through their whole professional life without ever legitimately considering branching out on their own, and that starts often times with the way they were brought up. For your kid to grow up to be an independent business owner, you have to start teaching them to be responsibly independent now.
Rather than correcting them immediately, embrace it when your child questions authority. They should do so responsibly and respectfully, but that questioning breeds the kind of intellectual autonomy it takes to be an entrepreneur. Learning how to serve others while also believing in your own ideas is an incredibly important part of being a successful businessperson.
- Thomas Cox