How To Grow Your Child's Entrepreneurial Spirit
Here's how you can teach entrepreneurship to children.
Being an entrepreneur is not just about having a great idea; it's about having the drive and determination to see that idea through. It's also about being able to work hard and take risks.
If you want to encourage your child's entrepreneurial spirit, there are a few things you can do to help them along the way.
Teach them the basics of money.
Money matters--and the sooner your kid understands why, the better they will be at handling it in the future.
Give them little bite-sized examples of what money can do, and allow them to practice making decisions on how to spend it wisely. Help them see money as a means to an end, a resource through which they can upgrade themselves--and eventually, their business.
How can you achieve this? It can be as simple as giving them a dollar to spend at the grocery store for whatever they want, and helping them grasp important concepts like financial constraints and budget priorities.
If they've started their own little business, help them account for their expenses and earnings.
The cherry on top?
It also helps hone their math skills!
Support their interests.
The most successful entrepreneurs are those that are able to identify an unfulfilled need in a certain market, and fulfill it in a way that takes into consideration the unique concerns of the people within that market.
This entails a deep understanding of how one's target market works, thinks, behaves, and feels--information that is hard to come by if you're not interested to learn about it.
So if your kid has an interest that spurs a thirst for learning, encouraging them to move in that direction means you've already won half the battle.
Kids can consume information voraciously if there is an intrinsic motivation to do so.
So instead of forcing your child to delve into whatever the next big industry will be, let them find something that they are willing to learn about, and start from there.
Every market, no matter how niche, will have an unmet need that your child could fulfill--as long as they are given the proper tools, mindset, and support from their parents early on.
Encourage creativity and curiosity.
The best entrepreneurs are those that never stop thinking outside the box.
They're always asking questions, looking for new perspectives, and seeking out innovative solutions to problems. If you want to foster a child's entrepreneurial spirit, it's important to encourage their creativity and curiosity from an early age.
One way to do this is by exposing them to a variety of different experiences and ideas.
Take them to museums, art galleries, and concerts.
Read them stories from other cultures. Discuss current events with them.
The more they are exposed to new experiences, the more likely they are to start thinking outside the box themselves.
You can also encourage creativity by giving them opportunities to be creative in their everyday lives.
Set up a playroom where they can build and experiment.
Provide them with art supplies and encourage them to express themselves through painting, drawing, and sculpting.
And whenever possible, give them the freedom to pursue their own interests and ideas.
Reframing the concept of failure.
Entrepreneurship may be extremely rewarding, but this always comes after a series of what many would consider as failures.
To be successful in this path, a person should be able to persevere through difficulties, learn from their mistakes, and have a constant need to improve and innovate.
You can help your child grow into this type of person by reframing the concept of "failure".
Instead of seeing it as proof of their inadequacies, help them see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
When they are feeling down, allow them to process the emotions and validate what they feel. Then, gently point out the things that went right in their attempt, and celebrate them.
When giving advice on how to improve, do it with a tone of voice that has no disappointment or blame, but with the excitement of being able to put these plans into action in the next attempt.
With their parent's gentle understanding and unwavering support, children will be that much braver to dust themselves off and try again.
As they grow older, these experiences will teach them that failure is part of success, and not something to fear.
Seek fun avenues to practice entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is a very business-y, adult term--but it can be fun too!
Be on the lookout for opportunities where your kid can stretch their business acumen muscles, be it a school bake sale, having a booth in a community fair, or making use of their talents to create products or provide services to family and friends.
The key here is to make them excited to try.
Your enthusiasm signifies your vote of confidence in their abilities, and will give them the boost they need to give it their all.
You can also look for board games, toys, and other activities that simulate running a business. These can help children understand important entrepreneurial concepts in a fun and interactive way.
Some examples of these games are
- Settlers of Catan
- The Game of Life
- Candy Land
- Chutes and Ladders
These are just some examples of what to learn in entrepreneurship.
Of course, as your child grows older, there will be more concepts and skills that they need to acquire.
But it all starts with a foundation of creativity, curiosity, and grit.
With these in place, your child will have the ability to take on whatever challenge comes their way.
Of course, there are many more out there.
Do some research and find the ones that you think would be the best fit for your child's interests and learning style.
The bottom line is that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to raising an entrepreneur.
But by encouraging creativity, curiosity, and a growth mindset, you'll be giving your child the best chance to succeed in whatever they pursue in life.