Five Ways to Teach Your Kids To Become an Entrepreneur
I have always been an entrepreneur. I was an entrepreneur before it was trendy. No, I am not a tech billionaire. I am not the CEO of a Silicone Valley startup. I have always just felt that I had a higher purpose and that I wasn’t destined to work for someone else for the rest of my life. While there is nothing wrong with being an employee, I prefer to be the employer. I enjoy the flexibility, sense of control and achievement with being an entrepreneur. I want to instil these same values in all of my kids. I want to teach each of them how to become an entrepreneur.
The first thing I did with my daughter when she was young was to start brainstorming. We would talk about business, money and entrepreneurship all the time.
What was a good idea to make money? What was a bad idea?
My goal was to get her thinking like an entrepreneur without her even knowing it. We were just talking. We were brainstorming.
One day, when my daughter was seven-years-old, she asked me for money to buy ice cream. I told her while I wouldn’t give her money; she could earn it. I asked her for some ways that she could earn the money. Immediately, she came up with a handful of ideas. My intention wasn’t for her to come up with the best idea, rather to brainstorm ideas that could have the potential to be the best idea.
Reward Kids for Initiative and For Giving 100% Effort
I always tell my kids that life isn’t about the outcome, it’s about the effort leading up to the outcome. I’d rather my kids receive a grade of “C” with 100% effort than a grade of an “A” with little to no effort.
If you want to teach your kids how to become an entrepreneur, then start rewarding the initiative and the effort and stop rewarding the outcome. I don’t pay an allowance. However, I reward my kids for going above and beyond, being creative and thinking outside the box, and taking the initiative to better themselves. This contributes to their success and teaches them to be responsible and always give their full effort.
I’d rather my kids receive a grade of “C” with 100% effort than an “A” with little to no effort.
We all know the importance of goal-setting. But how important is it to kids? I would argue that it is even more important to kids than it is to adults. Teach kids how to set S.M.A.R.T goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-oriented). Teach your kids the importance of writing down their goals, and help them break them down to smaller micro-goals and daily habits. If you need help with this idea, I recommend the book Atomic Habits, by James Clear, as it is an amazing how-to book on the the subject. The benefits of goal-setting for kids include:
- Improved self-confidence
- Increased awareness of strengths and weaknesses
- Teaching the importance of prioritising
- Showing the difference between dreams and goals
- Improved decision-making
Sell Girl Scout Cookies
If you have a daughter, sign her up for the Girl Scouts. Girl Scout activities are fun for kids. And selling Girl Scout cookies is one of the best ways to expose your daughter to the important entrepreneurial skills that she will need. Girl Scouts learn skills such as goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Here are some interesting facts about Girl Scouts:
- There are more than 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 145 countries, including Australia.
- Fifty-two percent of women serving in the U.S. House of Representatives are Girl Scout alums.
- The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world
- When a Girl Scout sells cookies, she’s building a lifetime of skills and confidence – skills essential to leadership, success and life.
This is a video that my daughter and I made in preparation for selling cookies one year. It was a great bonding experience, and being on camera also helped her tremendously with her communication skills.
Teach Them How to Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset
So, we’ve discussed the practical, implementable skills that you can teach your kids to become an entrepreneur one day. The last thing I want to share are the mindset skills that they will need to learn. These are broader life skills that take years to master, but you can start teaching them today. Some of these skills include resilience, creativity, curiosity, confidence, positivity, empathy and optimism.
There is no telling if you are going to raise your kids to become entrepreneurs, doctors, actors or politicians. But entrepreneurial skills are life skills. Teaching your kids how to become an entrepreneur is setting them up for success in life.