If you’re an entrepreneur, it can be hard for your kids to understand you’re your own boss. However, the best way can be simply walking them through the process of transforming themselves into one as well. Making your kid into a baby boss so they’re making dollars while in diapers can secure them a successful future.
Kidpreneurs‘ co-author Adam Toren (who co-wrote the book with his brother Matthew) tells Parentology the zeal he and his sibling shared for entrepreneurship began very young. It was their grandfather who served as inspiration for the then seven- and eight-year-olds. The duo’s interest was sparked by a set of role model principles targeting key elements of entrepreneurship: good communication, a growth mindset and determination.
Its their early adoption of these principles, and their impact, that led the Torens to write Kidpreneurs. What the book covers? Everything from modeling behavior to encouraging and supporting your child to follow their ideas to completion. The best way to kick off this family journey — through conversations, of course.
Encouraging Your Kids’ Business Concepts
Starting a conversation about your child’s business inclinations, per Toren, begins with encouraging them to set effective goals and follow through with them.
In the process, ask questions about the purpose of their goals. Then, “Really listen to their answers,” Toren says. “Go deeper, validate their ideas, and allow them to experiment and take calculated risks. This will build their confidence to explore the world and try new things.”
Toren warns, however, not becoming a helicopter parent. Instead, give them space to be creative in their entrepreneurial ventures.
“Follow your child’s lead with this,” Toren says. “While you may really want them to be a piano maestro, they may have a ton of enthusiasm for learning a skill like woodworking or archery. See where that takes them. Let them engage in diverse experiences such as volunteering in their community, traveling (even if it’s just within your city), and learning new life skills.”
When your child is focusing on their goals, remind them owning a business is hard work, but it can also be fun. Encourage them to maintain a productive routine and remain focused on their long-term goals. This is a skill that can follow them into adulthood. Toren is a prime example, finding such balance to be difficult, but rewarding when cultivating it in his daily life.
Ideas for Kidpreneurs
Lemonade stands used to be a great business venture for children trying to fill their piggy-banks with quarters, but now this concept has moved to the digital world. Living in a digital age is a great advantage for small businesses with its ready access to marketing, advertising, and sales avenues. The internet and social media can be the backbone kids need to begin making their goals global.
Kid-friendly businesses can be anything a child is really passionate about, Toren says. And making a profit may not necessarily be the goal. While some children opt for going on YouTube to making unboxing videos like Ryan Toys Review, others find ways of helping their community.
And if your child does turn a profit, this is a prime opportunity for them to learn some financial responsibility and discovering what they’d like to do with their earnings long-term, be it investing further in their own business or even stocks, if they’re 18.
Money-hungry versus Money-savvy
Introducing your kids to the world of business can change how they view money, which is why it’s important to highlight the concept of financial responsibility in a way they understand.
Toren explains entrepreneurship teaches kids how to budget money and to respect the freedom and the limitations that can come with it.
Included in this is the responsibility of being a good citizen and giving back to the community. Toren says, “Kids can learn how to make a difference with their money and this experience can boost their self-esteem, helping teach them empathy and fostering a healthy emotional connection with others.”
Still, there’s a fine-line between money-hungry and money-savvy, which needs to be clarified from the start.
“It’s important for kids to understand money-hungry means they may likely end up spending money that could have, or should have been, used to reinvest in their business,” Toren says. “Money-hungry means their business might suffer, they may not have enough supplies or inventory, or may be stuck with old equipment or technology because of poor money choices.”
Remind your kids being money savvy has a higher pay-off in the long-run, Toren suggests. This financial responsibility will stoke a growing and thriving business.
And, finally, parents should instill the idea that having a successful business isn’t without its mistakes and failures. Above all, these same failures are lessons to improve upon, not to be stopped by.
How to Make Your Kids into Kidpreneurs — Sources
Entrepreneur: 5 Ways to Teach Your Children to be Kidpreneurs (Infographic)
Adam Toren, co-author of Kidpreneurs