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How to raise entrepreneurial kids

By Pauline Muindi | July 29th 2020 at 12:03:33 GMT +0300

Teach them young, they said. Known as “kidpreneurs”, young children are starting businesses, gaining online popularity, and leading movements in spaces traditionally dominated exclusively by adults. You might have seen some of these enterprising kids, often flanked by their parents, pitching their businesses on TV shows such as Shark Tank.  

Kidpreneurs are particularly interested in creating social media brands and inventing products for kids. With access to platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, today’s youngsters can create their own unique content, gather millions of followers, and turn their brands into big-money businesses.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you might be wondering how to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in your own children.  Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Cultivate the mindset

You should start instilling the right mindset in your children as early as possible. Instead of handing your child everything they ask for, an effective strategy would be to let them earn some things. For instance, when your child asks for the latest toy, don’t be in a hurry to buy it for them. Instead, ask them “How can you make money to buy it?”

You can help the child figure out ideas on how they can make money to buy some of their toys. Ideas can range from performing house chores in exchange for a boost in allowance, selling their old toys online, or caring for neighbours’ pets for pay. Through this, your child will learn invaluable lessons in problem solving, work ethic, budgeting.  

2. Teach them about money

Most parents neglect teaching their kids about money and its management. But they expect their children to somehow know how to manage their finances with their first job or entrepreneurial pursuit. They act shocked when their kids, as young adults, blow their salaries on clubbing and have little left over for saving or investing.

If you want your kids to be entrepreneurs, you can’t afford to neglect their financial education. The best way to teach children about money, according to a 2018 study for the University of Arizona, is by giving them hands-on practice. This starts with teaching them how to manage their allowances.

Pay your children for performing tasks that go above their usual chores and give them financial rewards for special achievement. Teach them how to save their allowance, invest it to be able to buy the toys they desire. To avoid creating a sense of entitlement, explain to your child why you’re giving them an allowance. Being able to handle their own money from a young age will teach your child how to save, budget, and invest wisely – invaluable skills for any entrepreneur.

3. Involve them in financial discussions

Most parents tend to keep their financial discussions away from the kids. This mostly stems from fear of burdening their young minds with financial worries. But involving your kids in discussions about finances is one of the best ways for them to learn.

As an entrepreneur, give your children a glimpse into your business finances and how you make financial decisions for your business. If they’re old enough, have discussions with them about investments and financial planning. Tell them about your business successes as well as the failures.

4. Let them fail

One of the differences between entrepreneurs and other people is their approach to failure. According to Margot Machol Bisnow, the author of Raising an Entrepreneur, “If you protect kids from failure, they never learn to pick themselves up, figure out what they did wrong, adjust, and try again.”

In their simple entrepreneurial pursuits let your child make decisions and learn from them. Even if you know that something won’t work, letting your child find out for themselves. This will give them opportunity to learn and even brainstorm solutions to their problems. Don’t criticise them when they fail but praise them for their efforts.

5. Help them spot opportunities

Successful entrepreneurs are skilled in spotting opportunities to make money by selling products or services. You can ask them guiding questions to help them figure out great business opportunities. For example, ask them about their solutions to everyday problems. Kids are naturally curious and creative – you might be surprised at the innovative solutions they come up with.

6. Introduce them to mentors

Introduce your children to various people who have chosen the entrepreneurial path. The children can watch these people at work, talk to them about why they chose their business, and learn from them about various aspects of running a business.

Most entrepreneurs chose the path because they grew up around other entrepreneurs. This exposes them to a particular way of thinking and acting that will serve them as entrepreneurs in future. Being around other entrepreneurs will open their minds to what they can achieve in future.

By being more intentional about raising entrepreneurial children, you can unlock their potential and give them a solid foundation to be high-achieving business owners in future.  

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