The next big idea could be right around the corner. In fact, it could be coming from one of your kids. Children today have an excellent grasp on social media and the world of opportunities the internet provides. Because of these facts, it comes as no surprise that many kids today are starting to pursue their entrepreneurial goals as early as six or seven years old.
One child-entrepreneur survey polled 1,721 students in grades 5 through 12 and found that 77% of students wanted to be their own boss. A whopping 45% said they wanted to start their own business and not far behind were 42% of students who said they wanted to invent something that changes the world.
These big ambitions for such young children need to be cultivated, and as a parent, you can help them make their business goals a reality.
From online learning classes to teaching kids about money, here are 7 parenting tips for empowering kid entrepreneurs:
1. Encourage their curiosity
Kid’s have brilliant minds. It is often said that it is easier for a child under the age of seven years old to learn a second language than it is for adults. Why? Unlike adults, they are still steeped in education on a daily basis. Their brains are ready to create new information more willingly than an adult mind.
The Teachers College Columbia University reports that this has much to do with the prefrontal cortex, which contributes to an inventive and creative outlook on things. This curiosity and ability to learn should be encouraged by parents. Help them take online learning classes or find opportunities to do projects with them that relate to their interests and ideas.
2. Take your children seriously
One of the main ingredients of good parenting is letting your kids know you understand and support them. Children’s minds are always changing and growing. One week they may want to be an astronaut while the following week they want to be a veterinarian. These flip-flopping ideas may make it tempting to smile and nod when your little one expresses their desires, but don’t be so quick to say no.
If your child wants to be a pastry chef and asks you if they can sell cupcakes in the neighborhood, why not say yes? Yes, the mind of a child can change from one minute to the next, but parents help their children grow and explore new ideas when they take their requests seriously.
3. Teach children the value of money
In order to build a thriving business, children need to learn how to manage their money. A child who receives an allowance of $15 will have $60 by the end of the month.
You can help teach your child both responsibility and the value of money by encouraging them to spend money wisely. By using basic math or putting up a pie chart on the refrigerator, you can teach your children the importance of saving money and investing wisely in products to pursue their goals.
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand
4. Teach that it’s okay to fail
In the same survey cited at the onset, 91% of entrepreneurial students said that they are not afraid to take risks, even if they fail.
Starting a business is a big job that requires your child’s patience, drive, and responsibility. Putting all this effort into a project only to have it fail can be crushing for a young child.
It is important for you to teach your children that it is okay to fail. Highlight that having fun, learning and gaining beneficial experience should be the primary goal of their entrepreneurial career, and not necessarily fame and success.
5. Help your child get started
A great parenting tip for empowering kid entrepreneurs is to help them get started off on the right track. Help them do research about similar products or ideas. Is their pricing, right? Is there a current need for their idea or business?
If your kid wants to become an entrepreneur, it’s your job as a parent to help them make it a reality. This means helping them learn how to market their service or idea. This may also involve learning how to manufacture a product and taking online learning classes about their interests.
6. Look for opportunities
If your child wants to launch a product or service, they’re going to need opportunities to be in the public eye. This can be done through social media, word of mouth, neighborhood canvassing, and even getting a hold of your city’s news station to have a piece done on the local child entrepreneur.
Taking your children to such things as trade shows can also give them the opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs. There are also various online learning classes that can help parents and children discover how best to market a new product and make business connections.
“In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg
7. Make it fun
There are many successful child entrepreneurs with thriving companies today. At 12 years old, popcorn giant Orville Redenbacher, began growing his own popping corn in pursuit of the perfect kernel.
While his passion for popcorn did earn him enough to pay for his college tuition, no doubt, Redenbacher wasn’t thinking that he was going to turn his love of popcorn into a billion-dollar market. He was just having fun.
The same should be true for your little one. Childhood is a time for being carefree, not to be weighed down with worries and anxiety. One of the best parenting tips for encouraging little entrepreneurs is to make having fun the primary goal of their pursuit.
Follow these 7 parenting tips to help empower your child to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. Teach your kids the value of money, remind them that building a business should be fun, and get them involved in online learning classes to make the best of their budding entrepreneur spirit.