A society of entrepreneurial minds is a society with great economy.
Entrepreneurs are important in our society because they provide jobs, contribute to national income and may cause social change due to their innovation not only in their business but also in how it affects the whole community.
Our future entrepreneur and CEOs are the children we have today. It is therefore essential that we train them early.
How exactly do you do that?
Very young children like to ask “why” almost all the time. Parents and other caring adults should not try to stifle this no matter how endless the questioning is. Curiosity leads to discovering and learning and it is an important part life – in school and after graduation. Famous scientists and inventors started their journey with this single trait, curiosity.
Besides, you do not have to answer all of their questions. Let them think of answers on their own. Raise children who are going to be adults who are not afraid to ask why and challenge the status quo in a constructive way.
Let them solve their own problems
Nowadays, we seem to do every little thing for our children – and although it may sound noble – doing so makes them miss some of the most important skills in life.
One of those is the ability to solve their own problems.
Problem solving needs a variety of skills and the right set of attitudes as well.
First, you have to be able to see and point at a problem. For example, a child with a broken toy can only fix what is broken if he can figure out what exactly is broken. Is it the wheels, the gears or the batteries?
After figuring out the problem, then it is time to think of a solution. One problem does not always have just one solution available – and in brainstorming different solutions your child’s brain is in motion, thinking of all possibilities.
Next, your child needs to decide on what to do – should he go ahead and dismantle a toy or wait for an adult? In this third step, children who are allowed to make their own decisions would probably be more confident to go ahead with whatever idea they have in mind. In short, it is also important to let your child make his own decisions.
Lastly, if they fail let them pick themselves up. Let them learn to stand up on their own, brush off the dust and take care of their own wounds. This is an important lesson to learn because in life, failures will come every time (we all know that).
But we have to be resilient, and we have to teach this to our children as well because time will come when we can no longer pick them up after a fall. I am not saying that we should be harsh and just let them be, but as it is important to show support and help them master different things, they have to experience failing and standing up again while we are still around (and while it is still cute to be around them).
Of course, you would still be there to guide him in every step of the way, but guiding is different from being the one who is driving while your child takes the back seat.
Allow your child to earn
Remember those days when your parents or grandparents would entice you to get their grey hairs for them in exchange for some coins? Well, now it is your time.
Kidding aside, this is one great way to teach your child about earning money. Your goal is to let your child understand the value of money – that money comes from hard work.
Some may think that teaching children to earn makes them become materialistic as an adult. I think the opposite is true, if you help a child understand that money is earned and not picked form trees (or out of his parent’s pocket) he would have more value for work and money.
As they grow older, encourage them to look for ways to earn money for themselves or to help in the house or better yet, to help a cause of fund a project.
It would also help to teach your child early about personal finance.
Also, refrain from thinking that if your child earns money early before finishing college, they would not want to study anymore. If your child grew up knowing the importance of education and knowledge, he would absolutely want to continue studying.
If not, do not worry so much, there are different kinds of knowledge as there are different kinds of intelligences and different ways of learning. If it helps to know, some of the most successful people today are school drop outs.
Caution: Do not dangle money for chores and homework. This might translate to something negative. It is still important for children to work in home and school by being intrinsically motivated and not because they are motivated by the prize.
Be a model entrepreneur
The best way to teach a child how to be an entrepreneur is to be one.
Maybe you are not a full blown business person but you can still model how to be one by imbibing the basic traits of an entrepreneur like being curios, solving problems, taking risks, and looking for ways to earn.
As they say, we are most believable when we walk the talk. If your child can see you with all the traits of an entrepreneur, half your job is done.