More and more people are drawn to the idea of being an entrepreneur. However, nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit starts from a young age.
Whether it’s having their own lemonade stand or mowing their neighbor’s lawn for a few bucks, there are a number of things that can help a child learn valuable financial lessons and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
Emphasize the importance of independence
Being an entrepreneur is about being independent and learning how to rely on yourself instead of leaning on others. This may clash with the parental instincts telling you to protect your child from each and every unpleasant experience in life and do things for them instead of letting your kids do things on their own.
However, this approach is counterproductive and only creates dependency, which is definitely not one of the traits of a future entrepreneur. Here’s what you should do instead:
- Teach them responsibility by having them set the table or get their own utensils
- Teach them accountability by letting them self-correct when they’re wrong
- Teach them to get back up on their own when they fall instead of rushing to help them up
- Encourage your child to make decisions by presenting them with choices
- Assign tasks to them (e.g. doing their homework, tackling age-appropriate household chores) so they can get a sense of achievement after fulfilling them
- Let them take a bath or shower on their own to teach them independence
Teach them to embrace risks
We’ve all heard of the quote “Great things don’t come from comfort zones”. Risk-taking is a crucial component of developing an entrepreneurial mindset. Think of all the great things that wouldn’t happen were there not for brave individuals who stood up for what they believed in and fought for their ideals even if their ventures were risky.
Therefore, don’t teach your child to blindly obey. Instead, teach them to embrace their inner risk-taker, as it’s the only way to truly grow. Resist the urge to protect them at all time, and instead let them experience life on their own and grow from those experiences. Here are some of the ways you can promote healthy risk-taking in children.
- If your child is older (8-11), consider letting them walk to school without supervision
- Embrace risky play at playgrounds (wrestling, climbing trees, playing at heights)
- Let them ride their bike without constantly keeping an eye on them
- Have them stay at home with their siblings before you get back from work
- Encourage socializing with other kids at the park or the playground
- Have them try new activities and test their capabilities and talk to them if they’re nervous
Manage how your child spends their time
We’re inevitably affected by what we consume on a daily basis. It impacts our mood, behavior, and even way of thinking. When children are young, their brains are like sponges – they absorb everything around them. This is why their early years should be spent doing something creative, something that will inspire them and help them grow, boosting their skills and helping them develop their thinking.
Find some educational games they can play – bonus points if they require critical thinking! Also, if there are any subjects they’re struggling with, help them out. For instance, if they’re struggling with math, hire a tutor to work with them and practice a bit.
Similarly, if your child is having trouble with spelling or reading, find a great course in phonics to enroll them in and help boost their skills. An experienced teacher will easily identify areas for improvement and ensure all the learning outcomes are met. Remember – if you regulate what they consume early on, they’ll be able to reap the benefits afterward.
Encourage curiosity and foster creativity
Children are natural-born innovators. Because of this, they’re naturally curious about the world around them and are able to think creatively from a young age. However, as they grow up, their curious mind is silenced and their creative expression is often hindered.
By the time they’re adults, they’ve learned not to ask too many questions and accept everything as is. If you want to raise your child to think like an entrepreneur, you must nurture their creativity and curiosity through various activities.
- Encourage them to meet and hang out with different people
- Let them try different foods and explore all the different tastes
- Let them get out of their comfort zone and explore
- Most importantly – encourage them to ask questions!
Teach them life lessons one day at a time
Some things are meant to be learned along the way, and this is especially true when it comes to entrepreneurial skills. Learning how to be an entrepreneur takes time – it’s definitely not something you can teach to your child in a couple of hours or even a few days.
The road to entrepreneurship entails all the different life skills that can only be acquired through experience. Therefore, skip the fire-hose method most parents use and instead, make it a commitment to teach your child life lessons step by step, one day at a time. Take them on this exciting journey by starting small and being consistent.
Begin by teaching them about budgeting and giving them an allowance, and continue by teaching them about profits, taxes, and savings and how they can make their money work for them. Maybe have them read a book that will teach them about entrepreneurship. Take your time, don’t rush into it, and let it sit.
Not only is becoming an entrepreneur a great way to learn a thing or two about spending, budgeting, and saving – developing an entrepreneurial mindset can also help set a child up for a lifetime of smart financial decisions and a role of a leader.
Sometimes, even the simplest tweaks in our daily routines can pay off big time when the time comes to reap the rewards. By implementing these five tips, you’ll help nurture your child’s entrepreneurial spirit, help them carve their own path and reach for the stars.