Guest Post by Ann Morgan James of How to Raise a Millionaire
Next Stop: Kid Entrepreneur! Are your kids ready?
Here is a simple question: If you were at a shopping mall, amusement park, or a baseball game and you got separated from your munchkin, would they know what to do? Mine would and it is not by accident, but by design. I have taught my son Jack he has the wherewithal to problem solve. I have intentionally taught him: self confidence.
Teaching our kids to be confident requires we pump them up daily with a healthy dose of self-esteem. I like to call it Bully Proof Self-Esteem.
One of the quickest ways I know to teach kids confidence, self-esteem and responsibility is to help them start their own business. Yep…turn your child into a kid entrepreneur and you’ll arm them with the tools they’ll need to be a success at anything they put their mind to!
Let’s face it; the world we live in has changed. We are no longer in the Industrial Age where you go to work for one company and retire with a feathered nest. We live in the Information Age and we are moving rapidly into the Entrepreneurial Age. Are you kids ready?
Kids need to learn an entrepreneurial spirit. They must know they have earning potential and know how to tap it. Our kids can be agile and effective in any market–especially a down market–if we teach them. Teaching them something as simple as “finding a need and filling it” can give them the confidence they need to be a success in any situation.
It used to be getting good grades got you in college. Not anymore. A 4.0 GPA is standard. Kids need to stand out from the crowd. Being an entrepreneur is one way to do just that! Admissions boards look for indications a kid is capable; the board wants them to be a success–their bottom lines depend on it. Nothing says capable like being a successful business owner.
You are probably asking yourself: “What can I do to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in my child?”
First step is to realize entrepreneur skills are learned, you are not born with them. This means anyone can learn them! It also means anyone can teach them!!
Next step is to stop paying your kids an allowance and help them start a business. Contrary to popular belief, paying for chores is not teaching responsibility. The chores themselves are the responsibility. I don’t get paid to do the dishes or cook dinner. Kids should not get paid to help around the house, chores are part of being a family! We all pitch in.
Now I realize there would be a small revolt if you suddenly stopped “paying” them, so make a deal. You will help them make more money by starting a business and in turn, they will do chores for the family without pay. It is a fair trade off.
Enter Step Three: Starting the business. Sit with your kids and evaluate where you live and what business they can start. Help them think about the neighbors (their potential customers), what their neighbors need and what service they can offer them. Remember, we are going way beyond the lemonade stand and looking for a product or service their neighbors need on a regular basis. Encourage them to start a neighborhood business. This will force them do have personal interactions with your neighbors. This interaction will help them with self-confidence, manners, communication skills and more. This is not to say web-based businesses are bad, they are great, but they will miss out on a whole host of learn opportunities if they stay hunkered down in front of their computer.
Once you decide on a good one, go for it…make flyers, practice a sales pitch, get out there and get some customers–it is just that simple! Of course my personal favorite is the business Jack started; Jack’s Garbage Valet, where he takes his neighbor’s garbage cans in and out to the curb for garbage day and charges $10 a month. But I am admittedly prejudiced.
Once you begin this journey, your kids will be well on their way and the entrepreneurial spirit in them will begin to take flight. You’ll see it in a number of ways, the least of which is increased self-esteem and confidence!
Stayed Tuned for Part 2: Helping your Child develop Entrepreneurial Skills