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Why Entrepreneurism?

Bart Starr

When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a professional athlete.  Specifically, I wanted to be a professional basketball player.  I used to shoot hoops all day long and pretended I played for the Milwaukee Bucks.  Come to think of it, I wanted to be a professional football player too.  I would emulate the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers by throwing bombs to my big brother in our front yard.

I bet a lot of children are still doing this today, although many parents are probably encouraging them to practice being a doctor or…sigh… lawyer (much love to my attorney friends).  I’m embarrassed to admit it but I’m also guilty on all accounts.  I’ve asked myself if we should we be exposing our kids to medicine already and have even considered hanging up diagrams of the human body on their walls.  Should we be quizzing the kids on the names of various body parts or reading them anatomy and physiology books at bedtime?

As crazy as this sounds, I assure you I’m not the only parent who’s researched options for human anatomy posters online (anatomywarehouse.com has some pretty cool options).  Fortunately for Owen and Malia, I’ve not brought any skeletons into the house yet, nor have I given any pop quizzes.

This brings me to the point of this post and that is, “why entrepreneurism?”  Why would a four and six-year-old ever be interested in becoming an entrepreneur?  Do they even know what money is?  Would they understand a bottom line?  In my opinion, it is because children are probably the most creative and energetic beings on the planet.  They’re little sponges and seem to absorb everything.  They’re also willing to try just about anything (except broccoli, of course).

The reality is that children are probably the best candidates for entrepreneurism as they carry none of the baggage we do as adults and really view the world as a blank canvas.  I’m not expecting either of my children to be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.  But I think learning about entrepreneurism at an early age can only benefit them as adults – even if they decide to become a doctor or…sigh…lawyer.

For a great video about raising kids to be entrepreneurs, check out the following Ted Talk by Cameron Herold.

What are your hopes for your children?  Would you ever try to influence a career decision?  Where do children get their energy and creativity?

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