If you find a parent who has it on their radar to foster entrepreneurial spirit in their children, it’s sad to say it, but you have found something quite rare. The majority of parents are just focused on ensuring their children get a good general education and enjoy a happy childhood. These are fine things, no doubt. But the future is seized by those who dream about more than the average and are willing to do what others don’t.
The Young Entrepreneur Council asked 14 successful young entrepreneurs about how they got their start so early in life. They published the responses in an article that appeared on Inc.com. As I read through the article, the following observations struck me:
- It is truly fascinating just how early entrepreneurial traits tended to show up.
- Most of these people don’t recall thinking about becoming entrepreneurs while they were kids, or even contemplating the word. But they learned to think and act entrepreneurially.
- Supportive parents and families are a recurring theme – though it may not always have been highly intentional.
Getting Intentional to Foster Entrepreneurial Spirit in Kids
There are a lot of people who dream of one day striking out on their own as an entrepreneur. Some are quite open about it, while others keep their little fantasy a secret. But, laying aside the security of a weekly paycheck to go after a passion takes lots of moxy. Especially for a person with the responsibilities of a family.
And so, a lot of people quiet the dream, and settle into working to build wealth for someone else for a large part of their lives.
Imagine if that entrepreneurial bent had been intentionally nurtured in our homes from a very young age. Would we have more courage to strike out on our own?
You might say it’s a moot point — a depressing hypothetical. But while we cannot change the past, maybe it should compel us to try and give our children a different experience. To foster entrepreneurial spirit in them, and hopefully set them up for anything that they want to do in the future to take charge of their destiny.
Raising an entrepreneur can teach them to be:
- Confident in their abilities
- Excited about their ideas
- More independent
- Willing to make decisions
- Effective in leadership
Encouraging entrepreneurship in your kids is more than talking about “making money”. In fact, it has more to do with teaching them that it’s okay to follow their intuition, even if it means going in another direction than the crowd.
Be Inspired by the Story of Young Ashley Qualls
In 2004, Ashley started a website called whateverlife.com, providing tutorials on HTML coding and MySpace layouts. She was 14 years old at the time. The business exploded, and she made over $70,000 within a few months. By 2008, Ashley’s net worth was reported at over $4,000,000, and she had turned down lucrative offers to buy the website.
Amazingly, Ashley’s startup cost had been just $15 to register her website domain name, and a small monthly hosting fee. She was soon employing her mother and friends from school to cope with the workload.Anything can be done, as long as you truly believe it. - Ashley Quall Click To Tweet
… or By Serial Entrepreneur Cameron Johnson
Cameron’s attempted his first business venture at age 5, selling vegetables! At age 9 he started a greeting card company called “Cheers and Tears”, and by age 12 he was making over $50,000 a year.
It was just the beginning.
Next he jumped on the Ty Beanie Baby craze, selling them on eBay. Then an email forwarding company called “My EZ Mail”. By age 15, he was earning up to $400,000 per MONTH from his various ventures and was a millionaire before graduating high school.It's not always going to be smooth sailing or everyone will do it. If you have something people want, it should be the perfect recipe for success. - Cameron Johnson Click To Tweet
What Does It Take to Raise a Young Entrepreneur?
It really does not require you to be rich or “seed” them with a lot of money. In fact, that may be counter-productive. The entrepreneurial mindset is typically self-supportive; an entrepreneur thrives on “bootstrapping” their projects.
Lots of business ideas can be funded for less than $100. Encourage your child, if they’re old enough, to get an after-school job to raise those funds. If they’ve invested time, effort and their own heard earned resources into a startup, they are more likely to persevere and make a success of it.
Every win will encourage them to reach for higher heights. Along the way they’re also bound to have some setbacks. They need you more than ever to encourage them that they can embrace failure as a learning experience and grow from it.
Some more ideas you can instill to foster entrepreneurial spirit are:
- Any idea may be a valid business idea
- Failure is not just ok, it’s the price of entry for a successful life
- A profitable venture will require continual learning and tweaking
- Creativity is priceless, and is a learned skill
- Innovation sets you apart from your competition
Your child may have ideas that turn into surprisingly great successes, and others that produce nothing more than a learning experience. One venture might generate a lot of income, while others squeeze out just pennies. Keep on being encouraging, and train your child to be resilient.
In this post, we haven’t set out to propose that you pressure children to be something they are not, or do things they hate. Every child is different, and all their dreams are valid – entrepreneurial or not.
But many children would respond with excitement at the prospect of turning their ideas into simple small business ventures. And surrounded by a supportive family, they can learn a lot by the process AND develop skills and instincts for the future.
And then the world may be their oyster.
A favorite book of ours …
Raising an Entrepreneur: 10 Rules for Nurturing Risk Takers, Problem Solvers, and Change Makers by Margot Machol Bisnow
You Might Also Like These Blog Posts:
- Allowance for Kids: How to Be Generous While Teaching Vital Lessons
- 25 Things Positive Parents Say to their Kids Regularly
- 45 Easy Chores for Toddlers to Tackle
1 2 1 150 2