Everyone who has toiled in the corporate world has fantasized about working for themselves at some point or another. In fact, many of the world’s most successful and fulfilled professionals work for employers they love: themselves.
Teaching Kids How To Run A Business while most primary schools don’t teach entrepreneurial skills or provide business classes, parents can make up for this shortfall by providing an at-home education. By encouraging kids to start their own business, parents can instill valuable leadership and critical thinking skills for 21st century success.
The Power of Passion
By talking with your kids about their passions and talents, you can help them identify fun areas of interest which can also be monetized. Let’s say your daughter enjoys making beaded jewelry.
Perhaps she would be interested in making and selling bracelets at a local farmer’s market or craft show? If your son loves to bake, meanwhile, he might consider starting a business selling homemade cookies at local events.
From babysitting to lawn mowing, many lucrative opportunities are just waiting to be discovered when kids know where to look. Just keep in mind that it is important to separate their dreams from your own, and support them to the best of your ability. While it may not be what you love, their lives will be far more fulfilling if they follow their own hearts.
Goals Gone Wild
It’s not enough for your kids to love something: they will also need help setting goals in order to turn their passions into ideas and their ideas into action. Research shows that a goal is far more likely to be achieved if it’s written down.
Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University of California, conducted research which concluded that people who shared written goals with a friend, along with weekly updates toward their progress, were 33 percent times more successful than those who didn’t commit on paper.
Set your kids on the right path by asking them to write down several goals, then identifying the one with the most potential positive impact. After determining this focus point, have your child write down the steps toward achieving the goal and begin working toward them immediately.
Money talks, but not everyone learns to listen. There are several ways you can help your kids understand the value of financial prudence. First, show your kids that you believe in them by investing in their dreams. This can be accomplished through startup funding, investment of time, or provisions, such as supplies and/or educational materials.
These resources not only boost productivity, but can also help foster confidence and motivation. If you run your own business, bring your kids on board as employees. The chance you take on them is an investment in their education and their professional future. Speaking of investing in education, instruct your kids from an early age about the importance of lifelong learning.
It is equally important to show your kids the importance of investing their own money. By opening a joint bank account for you and your child, you can review monthly statements, track income and expenses, and prioritize future expenditures.
Allowing kids to see for themselves how quickly the money comes and goes delivers a unique perspective on fiduciary responsibility. This can also be a good opportunity to teach kids the importance of giving back, not just to their business, but to the community, as well.
By building in a philanthropic component–such as donating a portion of every dollar earned to a local charity–you can show kids that they can make a difference right in their own backyard.
Many adults wish they were better about managing their professional and financial lives. By teaching your kids now about the valuable skills involved with running a business, you will empower them to become successful members of the workforce, as well as contributing members of society.
Even if they don’t end up working for themselves, the lessons they learn now will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Joanna Hughes is a freelance writer who is committed to sharing tips that help prepare kids for careers with business degree requirements that are fast-tracked and high-paying. Joanna is a strong believer in the importance of lifelong learning, and she advises that early business education can have significant pay-offs down the road.