As an entrepreneur, I desire my children to follow in the crazy footsteps of entrepreneurialism. Just like I learned from my parents, I want to teach and instill skills, heart attitude, and mindset that will serve my kids as they grow. Teaching your child to be an entrepreneur is not something that should happen haphazardly, but with intention.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Not every child will or is wired to grow up to be an entrepreneur, but every child should be taught entrepreneur principles. Entrepreneur principles will help your kids no matter the career choice they choose as they get older. Here are 6 mindset and heart principles every child should be taught.
Giving. Giving is such a crucial part of both following Christ and owning a business. To properly lead and guide staff and to serve customers, instilling a heart of service is required. Any success in business or life without a giving heart will lead your children astray. It is in the giving that our heart aligns with God. Here are some tips by the Daily Parent on how to raise kids with a giving heart. Saying “no” to our desires and “yes” to putting others above ourselves needs to be encouraged and exhorted in our children.
Problem-solving (why). It is easy to give kids answers and not allow for creative imagination. We must allow struggle instead of jumping in and doing or fixing. Encouraging thought and innovation. When explaining things to our kids, put an emphasis on why. Why is harder to explain so it is tempting to throw out because I said so or because. I am guilty of that way too often. When you don’t know, be honest and find out together. It teaches our kids to look for solutions. Here is an excellent article by All Pro Dad on ways to teach your children to be problem solvers. All business is, is meeting a need or problem. Teach your kids to solve problems and they will thrive.
View of failure. What better time to allow your kids to fail and to keep them from fatal failure than when they are under our roof. My instincts as a dad are to rush in and save the day but in all reality, I need to allow failure and encourage my son and daughters to shoot again. Failure should just be merely a learning experience and not a defining point of loss. With the right perspective, children will learn not to fear failure and start to aim higher. Teach your kids not to settle by giving them a proper view of failing.
Romans 8:28 And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Training decision making. If you own a business you know the buck stops with you. You can’t put off or push decision making on to others. Still today I struggle to make the call in non-emergency settings. I am better than I use to be, but I have a long way to go. It is important to allow our kids to make age appropriate decisions. Decision making is a skill, and it must be treated that way. It takes practice and just like any skill there will be success and failure. Help your kids gain confidence by teaching them to lead and make the call.
Earn and spend money. Rachel Cruze talks about the difference between commissions and allowance in this short and great article. It is important for kids to connect work with money. Allow your kids to work with money and teach them how to use it. We have a simple three things they must do with the money they earn. They must give some; it all starts with giving. They must save some. My oldest daughter is saving for an American Girl doll. Lastly, they must spend some. We help them spend wisely and don’t allow them to buy whatever they want. Teach your kids how to earn money and how to spend money to help them become wise stewards in business.
Modeling. In anything we teach our kids it is always more important to model what we expect from them than mere words. Do as I say not as I do is the biggest bunch of bologna I have ever heard. Our actions will always speak louder than our words to our kids. Taking care, you model attributes you want your kids to have will make you a better spouse, parent, and business owner. Those little eyes are always watching and absorbing. Be proud of what they are soaking up by taking care to lead well. Model sound entrepreneurial traits so that your little sponges will soak it up.
Parenting is not formulaic because every child has a will and personality. We would like it to be a recipe book, but it is more art than science. Encourage and foster strengths that you see in your children. We will often fail, but we must never give up. We must learn and grow and always lean on Christ, which gives us what we need for the day. Be blessed as you plant seeds in the future leaders and foster their journey.
What traits are you teaching your kids?