What did your parents teach you that made you what you are today? Sadly, not everybody has the most positive memories of their parents but each of us learned the valuable life lessons that took us in to our adult years. If you’re an entrepreneur with children, maybe you hope that they will follow a path similar to yours. You might hope that even if they don’t take over the family business they will start a business of their own.
And it’s not just training them to become entrepreneurs. Experts continue to call for more real-world financial education for children starting at an early age. How can you lead your child on the path to entrepreneurism? There are plenty of ways.
The Old Fashioned Way
Nothing is better than the tried and true lemonade stand. Starting the simplest of businesses teaches children basic lessons like pricing, customer service, supply chain management (that would be you) and advertising. Once the business day is over, ask them how they did and what they learned. Help them brainstorm solutions to the problems they found.
They may not invent the next IPad as children but a small invention today could lead to an invention that changes the world later. If they have a problem, ask them how they would solve it. Child psychologists agree that forming habits that lead to later success are best done as children so encouraging your children to think as if they could be the person to solve the problem instead of waiting for somebody else to do it for them is one way to encourage entrepreneur-like thinking.
Help Them Develop
Give your children the tools they need to develop their idea. Do you know other business owners who have expertise with the idea? Show them how to continue the development of their idea by making contacts, putting together a plan, doing market research, and developing a budget. Remember that even if their product ends up being abandoned, it’s not time wasted. Encouraging them to think like an entrepreneur and assisting them in the process is the best learning experience you can provide and although they won’t tell you, showing your child that you believe in them is exceedingly valuable to their future emotional health.
Encourage your child to enter an inventors contests as well as become a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, 4H, or girl or boy scouts. These organizations encourage the same type of entrepreneurial thinking that you are developing at home.
How your child lives later on has a lot to do with the habits they form now. On the business side, help to develop habits of leaders rather than followers and above all else, show your child that you believe in their future and they may become an entrepreneur just like you.