Kid Entrepreneurs: How to Help Your Child Transition Into the Business World
Kid Entrepreneurs: How to Help Your Child Transition Into Business
"Argh! Kids these days..."
You hear it all the time. You read about it on Facebook. Everyone over the age of 35 seems to have an opinion about "kids these days."
"They're glued to their phones." "They only want to play video games." "They never play outside."
While it is true that kids spend half as much time playing outside than their parents did, "these kids today" are doing more than stare at a screen.
They're starting charities and foundations. They're becoming entrepreneurs. They're trying to make the world a better place.
If you sense an entrepreneurial spirit in your child, do you know how to help them achieve their goals? Do you know what will help shape them into leaders of tomorrow?
Do you know how to teach them to keep following their dreams even when they're rejected?
If you don't, we're here to help. We've got six ways you can help your child become one of the most successful kid entrepreneurs on the planet!
1. Kid Entrepreneurs Need Encouragement
If you don't encourage your child, they'll never become an entrepreneur in the first place! Kids, regardless of age, want approval from their parents. They want to know that they're making you proud.
One of the ways they find reassurance is through encouragement.
When you're child comes home from school, excited about an art project, how do you react?
Do you briefly look at it before turning back to whatever it was you were doing? Or, do you stop everything to ask them questions about their work?
Showing interest in the things that interest your child gives them the encouragement -- and assurance -- they need.
2. Let Them Fail
It may seem suspect to start out with encouraging your child, then follow it up with letting them fail. But, in a way, letting them fail is encouraging them.
Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player who ever lived, scored a record-setting 2,587 points over his illustrious career. To put that in perspective, the guy in second place? Well, he had 936 fewer points.
We bring this up for a very important reason.
The Great One famously said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." And, with all due respect to Mr. Gretzky -- a man who holds 61 NHL records -- he took a lot of shots. 5,088 to be exact.
Only 894 of them went in. That means that Gretzky missed 4,194 times. But, he kept shooting.
In other words, there's nothing wrong with failing. What's important is what they do next.
Let them make mistakes. But, instead of correcting the mistakes for them, instill problem-solving skills.
They'll learn how important it is to keep trying until they succeed. They'll also learn that rejection isn't the end of the world.
3. Let Them Make Decisions
Part of failing will come from making decisions. Did they work hard enough of this project? Is there something they could've done differently?
They need to make those decisions on their own. Yes, they're children, they need you to decide major life events for them. But when it comes to what they're interested in and what they'd like to learn more about, let them choose.
Having an independent thinker will lead to a successful entrepreneur when they're older.
4. Teach Them to Be Active Participants
Do they enjoy STEM? Sign them up for a science-based summer camp.
Do they like experimenting with inventions? Get them a science book or kit.
If they want to open a lemonade stand, walk through the steps with them. Teach them how to write a business plan. Show them what a budget it and how to market their stand.
Make sure you keep your instructions simple, though. Even though you mean well, if they're not ready to make a PowerPoint presentation at age six, don't overwhelm them.
Keeping everything age appropriate ensures you're teaching them at their speed so they can understand everything going on.
How about taking them to a workshop? Because of the number of kids getting involved in business and their community, there are programs across the country that foster entrepreneurship in kids.
5. Get Them in the Mindset of Being an Entrepreneur
You may be wondering how to teach them to have a business sense if you should keep it age appropriate. The answer is to use everyday examples in your own life.
If you own a business, show them everything it takes to run it. If your employer offers a "Take your child to work day," take advantage of the opportunity.
Your child will see all the working parts of a business. Introduce them to people in different departments so they get a chance to see how companies are run.
In your day-to-day life, you can teach them simple things, too. Take them on errands with you and walk them through your tasks.
For example, if you're at the grocery store, tell them your monetary budget. Explain to them that you can't go a penny over it. When you start getting close, explain to them about sales tax and how that adds to the total.
This will teach them how budgets work and how important it is to stay within them. They'll also get a better understanding of need vs. want.
6. Always Teach Them to Ask Questions
What do all successful business owners have in common? They never stopped asking questions. Most of them didn't settle for the status quo, either.
Asking questions leads to productive entrepreneurs. They're always looking for ways to improve on what's already out there. Sometimes, this leads to them coming up with something entirely new.
Without asking the who, what, where, when, why, and how -- we wouldn't have smartphones, computers, cars, air conditioning -- just look around you. Everything you see is there because someone never stopped asking questions.
Juvenile Virtuosos Are All Around
There are already so many successful kid entrepreneurs in the world, striving to make it a better place.
If your child one of them?
They may not be one now, but they could be in the future. Make sure you harvest their creativity while using our tips to help guide them into a leadership role.
Nothing will make you prouder than when your child solves a problem on their own or keeps getting up after every fall. You can start simple and we can help.
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