Every so often in the news you will read a story about a school child making money in the playground. It tends to take us by surprise, doesn’t it? Perhaps it shouldn’t be so unexpected. After all, children are innately curious, ambitious and enthusiastic – three qualities of any successful entrepreneur.
So why aren’t there more business owners? Well, children tend to lose those attributes that make them natural entrepreneurs as they get older.
As a business leader, it’s only normal to want our children to retain these entrepreneurial traits. Sure, running a business can be difficult, but it brings benefits that other jobs simply cannot.
In an article for Forbes, business owner and father John Hall offers five ways that you can raise your children to be entrepreneurial:
1. Make them feel like anything is possible
Ask your kids what they want to be when they grow up and you’re sure to get answers like “astronaut”, “actress”, or “professional footballer”. We all know that the odds are stacked against them achieving those dreams, but they’re not impossible.
Rather than encouraging them to have more realistic visions, make them feel like anything is possible if they put their mind to it. With this mindset, they’ll be more inclined to pursue challenging goals in the future.
2. Help them develop a growth mindset
Tell children to tidy their room and most will look for the quickest and easiest way they can go about it, even if that means stuffing toys under the bed or in a cupboard. Let them go about the task as they see fit, but once they’re done, ask them what they think of their clean-up effort.
This moment of reflection encourages children to think about how they approached a task and how they could do it better. That ability to self-analyse and seek improvement are qualities which will help with the development of a growth mindset.
3. Teach them the value of money
Money management is not something that you just pick up without a bit of guidance. While you may not want children to become too money-oriented, it’s healthy and sensible to ensure that they understand that earning it requires work. When they’re earning money for themselves, it’s up to them how they spend it, but try to encourage them to spend it wisely and effectively.
4. Set them difficult challenges
Nobody wants to set their children up for failure, but a bit of disappointment won’t do them any harm. I’m not talking anything too soul destroying, but it’s healthy for them to learn that you can’t win every time – sometimes a challenge will need a few attempts in order to be overcome.
5. Set a good example
It might be a bit of cliché, but we, as parents, are the people that our children look up to the most. At least, that’s true until their horizons are broadened a bit…
So, why not introduce them to the sort of challenges that you’re facing at work every day? You might have to simplify the issues, but it’ll get them to understand real-world challenges, how to think through them, and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.