Being an entrepreneur has many benefits that are worthwhile skills to teach children. Being your own boss can give you control over your future, as well as provide self-confidence, accomplishment, resilience and independent thinking, among other things.
If your kids aren’t already in business for themselves, here are some ways to encourage them to at least think about it:
Discuss What They Enjoy
You probably do this anyway as a parent, but talk to your children about what they’re naturally good at and what they enjoy; it should help them figure out what type of business they may want to start.
If they’re good at math, maybe they could work as math tutors to younger students. If they love dogs, then a dog-walking business might be a good way to try out their skills of gathering clients.
Expand Their Network
Widening a child’s circle of friends, mentors and others who are entrepreneurs—or those who are pursuing their passions—can show children how to start a business and how rewarding it is.
Help them find kids their age, as well as adults you know who have started successful businesses. Connect them with people who will show them that dreams are possible and will encourage their business ideas along the way.
Don’t shoot down your child’s idea when they come to you for advice. Help them figure out how to make it work and let their enthusiasm build.
Help Them Identify Needs
Every business is looking to solve a need or a problem. Teach your children to identify these as chances to make money.
These unmet needs can be at home, in school, around the neighborhood or throughout the world. Do they see a problem they can help fix?
Encourage children to think of ways they can help out around the neighborhood at various times throughout the year, or as the holiday season approaches.
Giving your kids an allowance for doing chores around the house teaches a good work ethic, but it probably doesn’t do much to improve their entrepreneurial skills or teach them how to deal with money.
Help them set up a savings account at your bank and show them the value of saving up for something they want—whether it be a short- or long-term goal. Encourage them to save at least half of the money they earn and to have fun with the rest. After all, if they’re not enjoying the money they’re making, they’re not seeing all the benefits of running a small business.