We’re living in a time where entrepreneurship is trending. Everyone’s social timelines are buzzing with posts and images of the various lifestyles of successful and often times seemingly successful entrepreneurs. Not only are adults being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, but kids are getting in on the action as well! And I personally love it!
The idea of ownership among young kids is promising and inspiring, to say the least. Many adult entrepreneurs will tell you the amount of fear and the obstacles they had to overcome to get where they are in their business today. Imagine where they would be if they had conquered all of those things at a young age with their mom, dad or another trusted adult helping them along the way. Imagine having a village raise you as a child and as an entrepreneur simultaneously. I happen to believe it’s a recipe for greatness; and that every parent should at least introduce the idea of ownership and/or entrepreneurship to their kids. If your kids take an interest, well then you have a responsibility to cultivate that interest to its maximum potential. Here are 5 ways you can do just that!
- Help Them Identify Their Natural Gifts – every single child is born with a purpose and a special set of skills (gifts) that are specifically designed to help them carry out that purpose. Pay attention to what your kid is naturally good at and what lights them up as well as what seems to really fret them beyond normal. Pay attention to their personality traits and how they respond to different activities. Be aware of what they choose to spend their time on. Talk to them about why they like to do the things they like to do. A good way to keep track of this is to help your kids journal about their goals and what it is they love. This may take some time so be very patient.
- Invest in Their Dreams – a gift that is not put into practice and improved upon is useless. Once you know your kid’s dreams, passions and/or gifts, you’re going to have to invest in them. Send them to special camps where they can be around other kids with their same skill set. Book them private lessons. Give them related books to read and have them write reports on them. Find a mentor for them that you trust and who is successful at whatever your kid wants to be successful at. Yes, these things may cost money but the sacrifice is always a requirement in the journey of an entrepreneur.
- Teach Them How To Be Excellent Leaders – the culture of entrepreneurship is changing from a corporate perception to that of a more personal one. People aren’t buying into companies anymore. They’re buying into people. Therefore, your child will need to be an excellent leader that people can trust. They need to know the importance of leading others in the right direction and how that translates into their own future business. They also need to know how to be a servant leader. A great book for you to read as a parent is The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. I love taking each one of those laws and finding ways to incorporate them into my daughter’s day.
- Teach Them Financial Literacy – nothing is worse is than a person who has the ability to make millions but lacks the ability to manage it or make it multiply. No one likes a janky business owner whose checks are always bouncing and who never pays invoices. Teach your kids not only how to manage their personal money, but also how to manage business transactions. The best way to do this is to allow them to start a small hustle of their own and teach them how to manage their transactions from that. It could be a lemonade stand, or they could sell handmade jewelry. They could provide a service like mowing lawns or cleaning houses. Anything that involves commerce where you can teach them how to track their income and expenses will work.
- Make Their Passion a Lifestyle – once your kid is comfortable with their gifts and has more clarity on what they want in their near future, you’ll need to help them make it a lifestyle. I’ve never seen this strategy be more effective than in young athletes. Young kids who are truly passionate about a sport seem to have the ability to fully immerse themselves in that lifestyle. You hear many kids say things like Ball is Life and you may think it’s just a catchy saying. No. Many of these kids literally live by that mantra. Now I have to say that there is a fine line that you have to be aware of. You still want your kid to be well rounded and have an order in life (i.e: God, family, education). You definitely don’t want them to put all of their eggs in one basket over the course of their entire childhood. However, you definitely want to be intentional about how they use their time as it relates to the goals they want to achieve. You want to seize opportunities in their everyday life where you can incorporate their passion. For instance, if they want to be a lawyer, use legal terminology in casual conversations around the house. When you have disagreements, have them present a formal argument to you. It’s the little things that can turn into habits and eventually evolve into their character.
As the mother of a new entrepreneur, I can tell you that there is no better feeling than watching your kid blossom into their own and go after big dreams that many adults are afraid to pursue. Even if your kid does not seem to be interested in entrepreneurship, they should be trained to be a leader. At the very least, you want them to be prepared to make their own mark and be a positive influence in the world.
Rosalyn Harris is an author and publisher. She is also the mother of Aubree Parker, creator of The B.O.S.S.Y Girl Movement. Aubree is also the author of the new fiction novel “B.O.S.S.Y – Where BOLD, OUTSTANDING, SMART, SAVVY, and YOUNG Girls Unite” and the new journal for BOSSY Girls titled “The B.O.S.S.Y Girl Playbook – A Fun Journal for B.O.S.S.Y Girls”. Visit www.aubreechanel.com to learn more about both books.