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Business Starter Checklist

Business Training Tips

Entrepreneurial

Encouraging the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Kids

Do you want your kids to leave the house and thrive?

No matter how good or bad the economy is there is always opportunity to succeed for a young entrepreneur.  We live in a country that rewards free enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit.  In challenging economic times, a young entrepreneur can always find a way to succeed.

entrepreneur student kids

Encourage problem solving.

A great example is Soichiro Honda.  Honda is a billion-dollar business that began with a series of failures. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.
No matter what a child grows up to do professionally, having a strong entrepreneurial spirit is only an advantage even in any job they might have.

 

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

 

 Ways To Developing the Entrepreneurial Edge

1. Encourage Independent Thinking and Problem Solving

It can be much easier to solve problems and think for kids but it is best to encourage independent thinking.  Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”  As tempting as it might be to think for them, don’t.  Encourage them to think through things on their own.  Help them to make their own decisions.  As parents, we should guide them but not do all the thinking for them.
Entrepreneurs are problem solvers.  Many of the challenges that kids face seem very simple to us because we have already been through it.  But that doesn’t mean we should just solve the problem for them.  If we look at their math homework and solve all their problems for them, will they learn it?  The same is true with other problems they face.  We should be there for them and help them but not just solve every problem.  Encourage them to think and solve problems and it is a great advantage to them.

2. Celebrate Their Ideas

Everything starts with an idea!  Every huge company today started with some little idea.  Our country has been built on great ideas and people’s freedom to pursue them.  So encourage ideas.  Creativity is a great thing.  Most kids love to dream and come up with ideas.  Praise them for it.
Naturally, some ideas will be very silly but always encourage ideas and creative thinking.  Entrepreneurs have to be creative so it is a trait that we should promote in children.  Challenge them to develop their ideas and pursue them.

3. Praise Their Failures

All great entrepreneurs fail over and over again.  Failing is part of the process of succeeding.  In fact, Dr. John Maxwell wrote a whole book on the subject called Failing Forward.  Unfortunately, many people grow up scared of failing.  We shouldn’t be scared of it.  Every successful person fails over and over but they learn from it and get better. If we aren’t failing then we aren’t really doing anything!  So when a child works hard and fails, encourage them.  Let them know that failing is part of the process of succeeding.
Entrepreneurs will take risks along the way.  Not all risks are good but encourage calculated risk taking.  If you promote independent thinking and problem solving in your kids, then they will probably take some risks along the way which may fail.  Praise them for it.

4. Social / Leadership Skills

Entrepreneurs need to be able to work well with people.  There is hardly a skill more valuable than the skill of dealing well with people.  If someone is a genius but can’t connect and communicate with people it is going to be difficult for them to be very successful.  Entrepreneurs will find themselves needing to sell their ideas to others so learning to communicate well with people is crucial.  Teaching your kids the basics like shaking hands, looking people in the eyes and good manners are all very important.  Also surrounding your kids around positive role models who can influence them properly is a great way to help them develop better social and leadership skills.

5 Good Money Habits

Let’s face it, handling money properly is critical for success and so many people figure this out way too late in life!  If you can teach your kids some basic money principles early on, they will have a huge advantage as a future entrepreneur.  Remember, more than what you teach, they watch what you do.  Show them how to give, save and then spend last.  The majority of people spends first and never gets around to saving and giving.  This is a lesson that can’t be taught very easy in children.
It is also vital that you educate them on the difference between spending and investing in something.  As entrepreneurs, they will have to invest money in their ideas and business ventures.  Spending is something that doesn’t produce a potential return whereas investing in something does.  Entrepreneurs must be willing to invest in themselves or their business first and then spend second.  This is a great lesson to teach early in life.

I’d also suggest not giving children an allowance.  Provide opportunities to earn money instead.  In my family we had household responsibilities we did because we were part of a family.  Then we had opportunity to do extra things for “pay” and not because we were “entitled” to money merely because we lived there.  It taught us that the natural order of things was working – first – and earning second.

6. Help Them Start an Early Business

There is no better way to learn anything in life than to take action!  You can teach your kids all day long but the best way for them to really learn is to take some action steps.  So what does that mean?  Help them start a business venture as early as possible.

One of the classic young businesses is a lemonade stand.  It may seem old fashion but I still see them in neighborhoods in 2013 and people driving by love to stop and buy a glass on a hot day and support young kids.

They can learn about the cost of buying everything and then how much they bring in and how much profit they can keep.  It is a great way to start.
There are plenty of other businesses like doing yard work for local neighbors or even starting a car wash business.  Who doesn’t need their car washed?  So help your children take action and learn the lessons for themselves.  They might even fail and not make a profit!  But that is part of the process and a great lesson to learn early.