5 Tips For Raising Kids to be Budding Entrepreneurs

June 15, 2015

12:30 pm

Tomorrow’s unicorn company founders and industry leaders will be today’s kids whose parents started teaching them the basics of entrepreneurship just as they learned to walk and talk properly. As a parent, you can teach your kids to be comfortable with risks, think outside the box, and effectively solve any problem they face. Here are 5 tips for raising your kids to become budding entrepreneurs one day.

1. Leverage failure as a learning opportunity

As a parent you influence your kid’s willingness to try, experiment, fail, learn, and try again – an essential approach for any entrepreneur-to-be. First of all, allow your kids to make mistakes and get bumps and bruises. It might sound tough for some parents, but your child can’t develop in a protective bubble and can’t grow up without realizing that certain level of failure is inevitable.
Instead of criticizing, help your child to practice the skill or brainstorm what exactly they could do differently next time. Don’t have enough time for that? There are numerous niche tuition opportunities out there available from coding courses for kids to entrepreneurship schools for the smallest ones.

2. Foster a sense of mastery

Entrepreneurs take huge risks daily, but being comfortable with the uncertain doesn’t happen overnight. Kids need to have freedom for testing their boundaries and master fears while they’re young.  Let them take their own decisions and learn to face the consequences (positive or negative).
This gives the child a sense of mastery. Gradually, you empower them to take risks and stay confident at the same time.

3. Teach them to set goals

Without a clear goal in mind no entrepreneur ever succeeded. Sit down together and write a top-10 list of goals your kid would like to accomplish this year. Let them choose the one major goal that would make the biggest positive impact in their life. Next, write down bite-sized, actionable steps necessary to achieve each goal and encourage them to start taking action on those steps today.
You can make it even more fun by drawing a visual scale of their progress and set up some motivational rewards once each goal (or step towards it) is achieved.

4. Teach them to recognize opportunities

Most startups fail because they can’t seize the opportunity or recognize a potentially profitable market at early stages. If you want your kids to succeed, teach them how to spot untapped opportunities and pursue them.
Start playing a long-term game: each time your child points out small problems or setbacks in their or their friend’s lives, like not being able to get stuff from the top shelf, praise them and brainstorm a solution together. This simple routine will teach them to focus on creating positive solutions, rather than focusing on the problem itself and allow them to create profitable ideas for their future companies.

5. Stop buying them stuff for nothing

The next time your kid asks a few bucks for a new toy, don’t give the money straight away. Instead, ask them to brainstorm some ways to create the money for the things they want e.g. propose to you some service like doing the dishes for a few days or setting up a crowdfunding campaign among other family members. This will inspire creative thinking and will help your kids grow up with the spirit of entrepreneurship rushing through their veins.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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