I have always been an entrepreneur at heart.
When I was 15 I bought a car even though I couldn't drive one yet. I wasn't going to make payments on something I couldn't use so I leased the car to my brother because his car was on the fritz. Brilliant, right? Ha!
I've always had money; sometimes more than others but always had it and never had to rely on anyone. This is a skill I plan on handing down to my kids so that they too will be self-sufficient when they grow. Teaching your kids entrepreneurial skills at a young age will set them up for success and build their confidence throughout their entire life. Think about it, who as a kid or an adult couldn't use the following skills:
1. Goal Setting: Every entrepreneur knows that you must set high yet achievable goals in order to be successful. Reiterating this to your kids will get them to focus on what their expectations of themselves are. Have them set a few goals over a certain period of time and also help them with some action steps and a clear plan of how to reach those goals.
2. Opportunity Recognition: Teach your kids to see how they can help someone solve a problem. My example above of leasing my car to my brother because I couldn't drive it was entirely my idea. I don't think I was taught that but I'm sure that you could open your child's eyes by getting them to think about how to provide people with solutions and perhaps even monetize it eventually.
3. Creativity: Letting your kids be creative and come up with ideas that are "outside the box" is a great way to broaden their marketing perspective. Don't shut down any ideas they have. Let them play it through and see how it goes. Better to make mistakes and learn from them now rather than later in life.
4. Sales: Selling is an important skill that can be invaluable in life. Selling products, services or even yourself as a person is required for everyone at some time. I am big into consignment sales so my 4.5 year old daughter already knows that if she gives some of her toys to sell at the sale that she can take some of that money to buy something "new to her" from the sale. She finds it fun. She also knows that the toys that don't sell get donated to a child who might not have the money to purchase toys. Lots of learning going on there.
5. Communication: Communication is the key to relationship building and we all know how important that is to growing a business. Teach your kids how to say what they mean and ask for what they want. Also teach them that being kind to everyone is important but not letting people treat you poorly is just as important. If someone hurts them, they should be able to speak up.
6. Money Knowledge: Teaching your kids how to make money, what money can buy, how to save for things and the basic economics of how money works is key. I honestly cannot believe that they don't teach this stuff in a high school course. Things like balancing your checking account, opening a savings account and how saving now for retirement can look like in 50 years. Invaluable and powerful information to ingrain into kids brains at a young age.
7. Dealing with Failure: No business growth happens without some failures involved. Teaching your kids to try and try again to get to the goals they wish to reach is the only way to get there. Never give up. It's just not an option. EVER!
These skills can will help your kids no matter what age they are now and throughout their whole life.
What do you think? Is entrepreneurship a born with trait or a trained trait or both?
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