Kids can come up with some pretty amazing ideas. Infact, ear muffs, the popsicle and the trampoline were all invented by kids.
Even Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, who is worth $105.6B, according to Forbes, began hustling as a kid, going door to door selling chewing gum.
By becoming an entrepreneur – whether it is simply putting up a neighbourhood lemonade stand, land mowing or developing a new app – kids can learn about budgeting, saving, spending and investing.
By encouraging kids entrepreneurship at an early age, it sets them up to have the right mindset. We essentially assure the future generation of entrepreneurs and pioneers that it’s okay to capitalise on their creativity rather than deny it.
What about the kids that don’t seem to be entrepreneurially inclined? There’s no reason you can’t teach them entrepreneurial skills, either! Entrepreneurial skills can benefit your kids no matter where their passion takes them. It will also prove to be highly advantageous if they take these skills with them on their respective career paths.
Here are 6 ways to teach your kids to become entrepreneurs:
1. Teach kids how to recognise opportunities
Entrepreneurship has always been about identifying and solving problems. Entrepreneurs know how to recognise a problem and set about finding a solution. In cases where the problem is present but unacknowledged by society, entrepreneurs find ways to illustrate the concern and the solution. In cases where the problem is known and the solution already exists, entrepreneurs find ways to make the solution better.
Whatever the case may be, it’s this recognition of the opportunity that leads to entrepreneurs creating a product or service that people soon become dependent on. As a parent, you may find that there are many opportunities for encouraging problem recognition and solution-oriented creativity.
2. Let the kids solve problems
We, as parents, are often guilty of unknowingly holding our kids back. Of course, we want them to reach their full potential, and of course, we want them to advance and mature. But how can they even start to grow when we are constantly making the big decisions for them?
In today’s age of helicopter parenting, many parents don’t allow their kids to think for themselves. They instead insist on taking the reins and making the calls, rushing to fix whatever difficulties they can and shielding their kids from whatever they can’t.
As parents, it’s our duty to protect our kids and not suffocate them. Eventually, we have to let them call the shots. We have to let them face adversity head-on and decide for themselves.
3. Help kids start enterprises early in life
Remember those situations we mentioned earlier? The lemonade stand and the lawn mowing? Those are examples of kids entrepreneurship that need to be encouraged.
It doesn’t matter if it’s been done a million times before. It doesn’t matter if their ventures don’t earn as much as other ventures. It doesn’t matter how simple, how modest, how easy it seems; these early enterprises are all the encouragement your kids need to learn the value of hard work.
Once your kid has experienced the creativity, freedom, and (hopefully) financial reward of building their first entrepreneurial venture, they may well be hooked. The best thing you can do to nurture this fiery entrepreneurial spirit is to support them in all their ventures. Whatever business idea they cook up, no matter how big or how small, be their first sponsor. Their first investor. Their first customer.
These simple businesses will teach your kids valuable skills that they can bring and apply anywhere:
- How to sell themselves?
- How to handle rejection?
- How to overcome concerns and anxiety?
It will also teach them the true worth of earning money through hard work. This will, in turn, make them value their financial resources even more.
4. Teach financial literacy
Teaching kids about money when they are young will provide them with a solid financial foundation that is often overlooked in school and later on they lack basic financial literacy knowledge.
Your kids are never too young to learn financial literacy. In the case of kids, entrepreneurship is an excellent means to introduce it. Kids need to learn how to save their money and invest it in things that matter. They also need to know that they can’t just expect money; they have to earn it.
When they receive money as gifts (especially from grandparents), teach them that those dollars don’t need to be spent; they can be saved. Illustrate how it’s much better to set aside that $20 from grandma rather than blow it on chips or candy.
Once your kids are old enough, help them set up their own bank account. Show them how they can track their savings accounts. Teach them how interest works. Aside from making them feel like real adults (which a lot of kids love), it will also help improve their sense of accountability for their personal finances.
5. Teach your kids to set goals
Setting goals is another great entrepreneurial skill that a lot of successful business people like Warren Buffett, and Elon Musk employ. They are practically obsessed with writing their goals down and tracking them as closely as possible. Digital notes, traditional pen-and-paper, voice memos whatever method they choose, smart business people insist on setting SMART goals.
And yes; SMART is capitalised for a reason:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – realistic
T – timely or time-based
As a kid, entrepreneurship might come off as a big, intimidating concept that they are not ready for but setting goals is something simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. It’s something anyone can learn to do from an early age. To effectively teach your kids to become entrepreneurs, goal setting is a must.
6. Teach technology skills
What do Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates have in common? They all learned how to code in middle school.
Coding for kids involves a myriad of skills that are undoubtedly useful and, once fully developed, will only prove beneficial to them in the long run. It fosters skills in math, logic, and creativity. It teaches them problem solving and situational analysis. It involves in-depth computation and reasoning – two things that can impact nearly every profession one can choose to get into, from marketing to medicine, from law to physical labour.
There are no shortcuts to learning how to code. Coding for kids can be both rewarding and discouraging, especially when there’s a particularly unforgiving problem that they just can’t solve. Coding inspires the kind of determination kids need to foster if they want to rise above the roadblocks and challenges life is going to throw at them later on.
You can inspire entrepreneurial skills in your kids by encouraging them to code. Coding for kids is not as unheard of or as difficult as you may think.
These tips can be useful in at least introducing entrepreneurship in your kid’s life if they already aren’t thinking about it which can take them a long way in their life.
At Quantum Space, Learning and Innovation Hub, our coding programs for kids can hone the entrepreneurial mindset in them, opening up avenues and opportunities for them to further develop their other entrepreneurial skills.
Stay tuned next week as we bring you a list of small business ideas for kids that they can think of implementing and taking their first steps towards entrepreneurship from the safety of their homes.
“Kids are just a sponge. When you expose them to things like brainstorming and prototyping, they get it. They are almost naturals at it.” – Don Bossi