What business owner doesn’t wish similar entrepreneurial success for their children, whether they hope to pass on the family business one day or see their child create their own business? I love teaching children how to become leaders, develop confidence and learn how to create successful lives through sports training and entrepreneurial education. Here are ten steps to teach your children entrepreneurship.
1. Goal setting is vital for future success
Teaching your children how to set and accomplish their goals is a fun and exciting activity! Did you know that written goals are over 80% more likely to be achieved? Imagine the possibilities!
How to teach: Ask your children to define and write down their top ten goals and then choose the one goal that would make the most significant positive impact in their lives. That goal should be their primary focus. Next, write down the steps necessary to accomplish this exciting goal and encourage them to start taking action on those steps immediately.
2. Children must learn how to recognize opportunities
Many people never reach their full potential because they fail to recognise an opportunity. Teaching your children to seek out opportunities and take action on them will directly contribute to their level of future success.
How to teach: Praise your children for pointing out minor problems or setbacks that cause them distress, such as soggy sandwiches at lunchtime or being unable to reach items on a high shelf. Brainstorm solutions on how to resolve their troubles. This will teach them to focus on creating positive solutions instead of focusing on the problem itself. This habit will allow them to develop profitable ideas for their future businesses.
3. Financial literacy is a must
This is one area that we all could use help with. Teaching children about money at an early age will instil a financial foundation that schools often fail to teach.
How to teach: Give your children the opportunity to earn their own money through chores, running their own small business and helping you at your business. Teach them about paying themselves first and then giving back. Educate them about investing and how their money could be used to create more money in the future. Help them set up a bank account and learn how to budget their income.
4. Inspiring creativity will build marketing skills
Teaching children about marketing is a great way to prepare them to attract customers to their future business. As you know, without customers, even the greatest business will fail. This is a very beneficial skill to learn while young.
How to teach: Motivate your children to start observing marketing materials like billboards, promotional banners in front of businesses, printed advertisements in magazines and television/radio commercials. Ask them what catches their attention about the message and quiz them on identifying things like the headline, subheadline and a “call to action” or CTA. Encourage them to create their own marketing materials for their business ideas.
5. Schools are wrong about failure
In school, we were all taught that failure is bad. Failure can be a great thing in the entrepreneurial arena, provided a positive lesson is learned. Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich, states, “Every failure carries with it a seed of equal or greater benefit.” Allowing your children to fail will force them to create new ways of accomplishing their goals and enable them to learn from their mistakes. This will lead to confident children who know how to persevere when times are tough.
How to teach: This lesson is simple. When your children fail, don’t punish them—instead, discuss what factors lead to the failure and brainstorm ways to prevent it from happening again. Always seek to find the “learning lesson” in each adversity and encourage your children to never give up.
6. Effective communication improves all relationships
Most children today are terrible at face-to-face and telephone communication because of the popularity of social media and text messaging. Successful businesses require that people actually speak to one another. Teaching your children to communicate effectively will give them the winning edge in business and their personal relationships.
How to teach: First, lead by example. Teach your children to be polite and respectful. Most importantly, practice maintaining eye contact when speaking in person. When using the telephone, teach your children to speak slowly and clearly. A bonus activity would be to practice communicating with your children via email. Don’t allow them to abbreviate words and phrases. Instead, insist they write grammatically correct sentences that flow together and convey a complete message.
7. Independence creates confidence
Wouldn’t you love to have independent and successful children? Of course! The entrepreneurial mindset forces children to depend on themselves for success, leading to well-rounded adults and future leaders.
How to teach: The next time your children ask for money to buy their favourite toy, you can ask them to brainstorm ways to earn that money through entrepreneurship. This will inspire creative thinking and cause the entrepreneurial juices to flow.
8. Get the advantage by becoming a leader now
In school, children are taught to go with the flow and follow the rules. They are programmed to learn and memorise facts instead of becoming independent thinkers. Entrepreneurship forces children to think “outside the box,” create unique solutions and lead others. This will make your children leaders at an early age, resulting in more income, opportunities and self-confidence in their lives.
How to teach: Give your children the opportunity to lead their friends in fun activities such as outdoor sports, book clubs, music practice or small business projects. You can also encourage them to propose toasts and small speeches at family dinners and birthday parties to give them experience in public speaking!
9. Selling is involved in every part of life
This single ability will last a lifetime because it applies to all types of businesses and careers. From selling products and services to customers to raising capital from investors, this skill is vital to the success of any business.
How to teach: Encourage your children to start with small projects like selling their old toys, starting a lemonade stand or selling handmade goods. Let them price their products, sell to customers and facilitate the transactions when sales are made.
10. The art of giving back creates happiness
Why start a business if it doesn’t support a greater cause? Your children need to develop the characteristic of helping others. This attribute will allow your children to stay humble during periods of great success, and it will give them the insight that a successful business provides benefits to more than just its owner. People who contribute to the success of others live happy and content lives.
How to teach: When brainstorming business ideas with your children, ask them to choose a charity or special cause to support with a portion of the income that they generate. Explain the concept that all great businesses contribute to improving the lives of other people.
It’s easy to teach your children entrepreneurship when you know how
By following the ten steps in this article, you’ll be well on your way to giving your children a headstart in life. What you teach your children about entrepreneurship when they’re young will stay with them for life.