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10 Steps to Teaching Your Kids to Become Entrepreneurs

There are so many inspiring and informative articles on the web supplementing our family’s journey of entrepreneurism…that I have decided to add a new category to our blog.  Welcome to Shafspiration!   In this series, I’ll be re-posting the best of the web’s best – not only because learning is one of our goals for the journey – but it also adds to the fun and AdVenture.
(This week’s original post can be found here.)  The only other step I would add to this list is a reminder, “If the kids are having fun, you’re definitely doing something right.”

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 percent more likely to be achieved? Imagine the possibilities!

How to teach: Ask your children to define and write down their top 10 goals and then choose the one goal that would make the biggest positive impact in their life. That goal should be their main focus. Next, write down the steps necessary to accomplish this exciting goal and encourage them to start taking action on those steps immediately.

2. Kids must learn how to recognize opportunities

Many people never meet their full potential because they fail to recognize 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 small problems or setbacks in their lives that cause them distress such as: soggy sandwiches at lunchtime or not being able 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 create profitable ideas in their future businesses.

3. Selling is involved in every part of life

This one ability will last a lifetime because it is applied 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.

4. 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 instill a financial foundation that schools often fail to teach.

How to teach: Give your children the opportunity to earn their own money through chores, their own small business, and helping you in 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 about how to budget their income.

5. Inspiring creativity will build marketing skills

Teaching kids 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 also quiz them on how to identify things like: the headline, subheadline, and “call to action.” Encourage them to create their own marketing materials for their business ideas.

6. Schools are wrong about FAILURE

In school we were all taught that failure is bad. In the entrepreneurial arena, failure can be a great thing if a positive lesson is learned. Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich, states that, “Every failure carries with it a seed of equal or greater benefit.”

Allowing your children to fail will force them to create new ways to accomplish their goals and 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, but instead discuss what factors lead to the failure and brainstorm ways to prevent it from happening again in the future. Always seek to find the “learning lesson” in each adversity and encourage your children to NEVER give up.

7. 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 provide them with the winning edge in business and in 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 to your children with e-mails. Do not allow them to abbreviate words and phrases, but instead, write grammatically correct sentences that flow together and convey a complete message.

8. The art of giving back creates happiness

Why start a business if it doesn’t support a greater cause? It is important for your children 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 it’s owner. People that 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.

9. Independence creates confidence

Wouldn’t you love to have independent and successful children? Of course! The entrepreneurial mindset causes kids to depend on themselves for their own success, which leads to well-rounded adults and future leaders.

How to teach: The next time your children ask for money to buy their favorite toy, this is your opportunity to ask them to brainstorm ways to create the money through entrepreneurship. This will inspire creative thinking and it will cause the entrepreneurial juices to flow.

10. Get the advantage by becoming a leader now

Children are taught in school to go with the flow and follow the rules. They are programmed to learn and memorize facts instead of becoming independent thinkers. Entrepreneurship forces children to think “outside of the box,” create unique solutions, and lead others. This will make your children leaders at an early age, and it will result 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, and 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!

What other steps should be included in teaching our kids to become entrepreneurs?

Next: AdVentures with Hey Cupcake!

Previous: Book Review (KIDPRENEUR$: Young Entrepreneurs with BIG Ideas!)

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Maria #

    Thank you for the . . . Shafspiration!

    August 8, 2012
    • Thanks for checking in Maria. There’s more where that came from. Check back soon!

      August 13, 2012
  2. This is a great list and very true! As an entrepreneur, I don’t know exactly what my parents taught me to eventually journey down this path, but I can relate to nearly all of these as being part of my childhood learning.

    August 9, 2012
    • Hi Stephanie, look to hear the feedback from a *real* entrepreneur. Thanks for validating the article. Also, congrats on the new addition to your last name!

      August 13, 2012
  3. Alicia #

    I find it interesting that kids are getting started at such a young age. Do you think this a good thing?

    August 9, 2012
    • Hi Alicia, that’s a great question and I think answer depends on how you approach it. Our primary focus since day 1 has been to have fun and the kids have really enjoyed it. And they definitely seem to be picking up things (learning) along the way. So far…so good!

      August 13, 2012
  4. sp #

    What about ethics? With the nature of today’s business world, it seems like it’s never too early to discuss “doing the right thing.” My two cents.

    August 9, 2012
    • Wow, what a great point. It makes me wonder how many of the large corporate titans (the ones who ended up in jail) learned about ethics from their parents. Thank you for pointing this one out; it should be number one on the list.

      August 13, 2012
  5. Ben #

    Holy relevant article, Shafer Power!

    August 10, 2012
  6. Thanks Ben. I thought so too 🙂

    August 13, 2012
  7. AR #

    Entrepreneurship certainly seems to be a trendy topic these days. What gives?

    August 16, 2012

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