6 Tips For Turning Your Kid Into A Entrepreneur
Many parents hope that one day their own child will enjoy the level of success that is attainable through entrepreneurship - not only the potential financial rewards, but also in terms of personal development and fulfillment. Here are six tips to help steer your child down the road to entrepreneurism.
Teach Kids about Money
By teaching your child about money, you help them discover the relationships between earning, spending and saving. In doing this, children also begin to understand the value of money. This financial literacy can begin at a young age with simple money concepts like counting coins and making change for purchases.
Teach Kids about Economics
Young children are able to grasp simple economic principles, and the older they get, the more they can understand. Very young children can learn by role playing: kids can set up a pretend store and adjust their "inventory" based on what people are buying.
Encourage Creativity and Tenacity
When you child excitedly says "I want to build a castle for my princess dolls!" help her do it. Instead of taking the easy route ("Sure, that would be fun but we don't have the right supplies…") help her figure out a way to make it work. The more your child practices taking an idea - even a completely harebrained one - and turning it into a reality, the more developed his or her skills will be in creativity, problem solving and persistence.
Act Upon Ideas (Before Someone Else Does)
If your child wants to earn money, ask them to write down several ideas and then help them act upon the best one. Does your teenager think he can make a little money doing yard work for the neighbors? Help him come up with a plan to make it happen. That way, when a really innovative idea is born, your child will have the skills to take the idea to the next step.
Let Kids Make Mistakes
If we step in and fix a problem before a child has a chance to, we rob them of the valuable opportunity to learn from his or her mistakes. You can tell that your daughter's design plan for building the princess castle is flawed, but, as long as she's not going to get hurt trying something, it is important to let her try her idea. Once she realizes it won't work, you can help guide her towards a better solution.
Learning how to set a goal and outlining the steps necessary for its achievement is an important skill to have as an entrepreneur. It is simple for kids to wish for things (i.e., "I wish I had $500") but it's a different animal to set a specific goal and determine what needs to happen to reach that goal.
The Bottom Line
Kids inherently have many of the traits necessary to becoming entrepreneurs: they are creative, ambitious, natural negotiators ("I will eat extra vegetables if I can stay up late tonight...pleeeaaase"), and excited about learning new things. Nurturing all this creativity and energy, and showing kids how to do something with it, can help turn your child into an entrepreneur.