In my house, we most certainly have a young entrepreneur brewing, whether this was taught or he was born with it, I have to say I’m not sure. But nevertheless I welcome it and celebrate it, as this will carry him far into the future.
If you’ve got a child who shows any traits of that entrepreneurial mindset, it’s time to celebrate it and encourage it.
The general belief out there is that an entrepreneur is born, not raised, and that you can’t teach these important traits; they either are or they aren’t. Well I’m here to squash that theory once and for all and show you how you can encourage your child to show those important personality traits. You can teach them and encourage them from a young age, and how to do this. Learning the art of entrepreneurship, as it really is quite an art, is an important life lesson for your kids and you’ll be amazed at what comes out of it; so if you’re going to teach your kid’s one thing, then entrepreneurship should be it.
Creel Price is an Australian Entrepreneur who focuses on building entrepreneurial skills in kids. He believes that “contrary to popular thinking, entrepreneurial skills are not necessarily innate, but that they can be taught. Every child I have ever met has the potential to be an entrepreneur. They have a solid confidence in their own abilities and a belief that anything is possible. I’m a firm believer that these are traits to be actively encouraged in young people to help them realize their personal potential and give them the grounding for a fulfilling career in later life.”
I couldn’t agree more. So let’s get on with it.
Why you should encourage entrepreneurship in your kids
- Entrepreneurs are independent thinkers which mean they are keen to listen to people’s advice, but will ultimately make up their own minds.
- They are fearless beings and they realize that failure, as well as success, are part of life and they’re also willing to take calculated risks.
- Entrepreneurs take responsibility for their actions, which is an important lesson that our kids need to learn.
- They are self-motivated, and can easily motivate people around them with their enthusiasm and spirit.
- Children are naturally curious, and if you encourage this, they will ask questions right throughout their lives which will lead them onto greater things.
How to teach entrepreneurial skills in kids
Here are some tips on how to bring out those all important skills!
- Sit down with your kids and ask them what they want out of life and what their goals are. Once they’ve decided on these goals, it is important to get them to write it down. This makes it real and tangible.
- Find out what their most important goal is, and whether it will influence them in a positive way.
- Now comes the time for a bit more writing down. They need to write down how they’re going to achieve them. A good old family brainstorm will get them well on the path to achieving this goal.
How to sell a piece of ice to an Eskimo
No entrepreneur has been successful without the important task of learning to sell!
- Start small and get your kids to sell their old toys, have a lemonade stand or even get them to sell something they’ve made. My child is certainly a master at this…no encouragement needed here. He sets up a stand and sells the toys he doesn’t want. The kids come flocking!
- Get them to price it, deal with ‘customers’ and with all the all-important sales aspect. This will teach them what to say and when to say it. Again I seem to have a child with the ‘gift of the gab’ as they say, so selling is not a problem with him, that’s for sure. Sometimes I hear him selling stuff for ridiculous prices, but hey he gets the cash!
Teach them about finances
- So, the money has been made and has been firmly planted in a safe spot, now they need to know all about finances.
- First they need to pay themselves as any good entrepreneur knows. Instill the idea of saving and how this can help them get more money.
- Open a bank account for them. Take them to the ATM to see how much money they’ve got. Teach them that they can only buy things if they’ve got enough money for them. If they don’t have enough get them to come up with ideas of how they can earn the rest.
Creativity leads to great things
- Get them to look at ads or any marketing materials that you come across. Ask them what they like, what they don’t like, why they think that people might buy it, what they think of the words, or the pictures.
- For a fun activity, get them to create ads or billboards for their little mini little business!
- Failures are a part of life and if they fail, talk to them about it.
- Find out the reasons that led to the failure and brainstorm ideas of what they can do to avoid it in the future. Look for the learning opportunity.
Communication, communication, communication!
- Remember that kids mimic what we do, so always be polite and respectful to people and they’ll pick up on this.
- Most kids talk at the rate of knots, so teach them to speak slowly and pronounce their words properly so people can understand them.
- You can teach them to communicate via email by sending messages to each other. Just don’t let them use ‘text’ language so to speak…good proper sentences are what’s needed here.
Help them to be independent
- First don’t try and do everything for them, respect that they’re little people who are quite capable of many things.
- The next time they ask for their favorite toy, brainstorm how they can get the money to buy it. This will encourage creativity and a new way of thinking to wire those entrepreneurial brains.
Teach them leadership skills
- Give them ways to lead friends in some activities. They can set up a club or a sports team or even get some friends together for ‘business’ projects.
- Give them opportunities to talk in public, whether it’s at their birthday party or at a function.
Hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought, and some practical things to try at home to build these all-important life skills. Good luck and here’s to our successful entrepreneurs of the future.