The way we work is changing, and millennials are leading the charge on starting new businesses. But what about the next generation of entrepreneurs? Heck, with people like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg perceived as the contemporary, ‘hip’ face of business innovation, maybe entrepreneurship will be the new ‘stage school’! (Will there ever be such a thing an an ‘entrepreneur mom’, complete with a reality show? Time will tell.)
Think about your own journey to where you are today. Now imagine what it could have been like if someone was helping you hone your skills as you were growing up. Yep, probably leaps and bounds ahead of the class.
Parents already have plenty to juggle, between the school projects and soccer runs and birthday parties. So we’ve looked at the key attitudes of successful entrepreneurs and crafted some simple ways you can encourage an early entrepreneurial mindset for the kids in your life:
- Teach ‘em about money. There’s a money lesson for kids of every age: how to earn it, how to save it, how to spend it, and how to invest it. Studies show that kids who grew up with jobs have higher financial literacy than those who didn’t. Perhaps a great place to start is to bribe motivate your kids to do chores for the family and/or neighborhood to earn money. Plus, you can help them choose what to do with their pocket money: save, spend or invest.
- Flex their imagination muscle. Work out what activity your child is most engaged with creatively and set aside regular time and space for them to play, create and explore. There’s no rules here – it doesn’t have to be art or craft, it could be music, writing or cooking. Just let them dream big!
- Give them a diary. Encourage them to keep track of their ideas, be it through writing or drawing. Then, ask them about these ideas: who would use their idea, or how they could make their idea real. And this part is really key because rock star entrepreneurs don’t just have ideas, they act on them.
- Inspire them. Share stories of entrepreneurs with your kids to show them what’s possible. Here are some kidpreneurs doing clever things to get you started.
- Lead by example. Kids pick up a lot just by watching. If you’re always open to new ideas, see problem solving as an opportunity and enjoy starting new projects, they’ll be far more likely to do the same. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to do this, modelling behaviors is the key thing here.
- Ask them if they’d like to study entrepreneurship. They’ll be surrounded with like-minded peers while honing their skills. Club Kidpreneur is a fantastic, immersive nationwide competition in Australia, and also includes engaged learning aligned with the school curriculum. Or if your children are in high school, get them to start thinking about enrolling in entrepreneurial studies at college or university.