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Monday, March 23, 2015

7 Ways to Nurture the Budding Entrepreneur Within Your Child

Photo by Steven Depolo (Flickr)

You might be able not imagine your kid wheeling and dealing with business bigwigs just yet, but there are kid entrepreneurs all over the world. At the age of nine, Neha Gupta started crafting and selling wine charms to help orphans; since this humble start, her nonprofit Empower Orphans has raised over one million dollars in 10 years! Even if your child doesn't launch a business, the innovative mindset that entrepreneurs develop can help your kids in all aspects of life. Here are 7 tips encourage independent thought:

1. Don't Force It!

Being an entrepreneur builds confidence, boosts creative thinking, and enhances leadership skills. Your kids don't need to actually start a business to enjoy these traits, though. To plant the seeds of originality and courage to explore uncharted territories, let your child be wholesomely themselves. If they express interest in a certain hobby, do what you can do help them experiment with it.

2. Use Playtime to Cultivate Interests

As adults, we thrive most in a job that is fueled by our passions. The same holds true for your child. Do they love to swim? Perhaps they could test their fins in the heroic waters of lifeguarding. A child who enjoys drawing could tutor fellow aspiring artists at a studio. What about your athletic child? Introduce them to coaching. Just be careful not to push them into taking these steps; if it turns into work, it may lose the uplifting spark that play naturally offers.

3. Cultivate Financial Literacy

Help your kids realize the fulfillment of earning. At our home, we have a special chore chart that offers monetary and non-monetary awards upon each completed task. In addition to an allowance, this builds financial responsibility and a sense of the real world. You can also encourage small business ideas such as mowing lawns, lemonade stands, and making trinkets! There's a colorful range of fun ways to earn and grow.

4. Encourage Goal Setting

If you write a goal down, it is 80 percent more likely to be achieved! If we guide our kids to set goals, it helps build patience and motivation. This skill goes beyond just their ability to establish a business in the future; it will equip your kids with the ability to strive towards the bigdreams they hold.

5. Embrace the Power of Failure

Thomas Edison once said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." The ability to bounce back after failure is essential to success in every aspect of life. Aim to cultivate a healthy respect for failure in your kids. This means being an example yourself by facing falls with a bouyant attitude! The way you speak to your kids and yourself becomes their inner dialogue, so celebrate effort, focus on affirmative words, and highlight the lessons learned from failure.

6. Provide an Honest Review

You are your child's biggest cheerleader. A constructive review of their endeavors is key for making progress. If you approach it proactively, failure can add fuel to their ambitions. Entrepreneur magazine reports that failure teaches a child to work though problems, persevere, and exercise creativity. Start your review by pointing out what works. Then, address any shortcomings and provide some ideas on how to overcome them. It's crucial not to hand-hold too much; a true entrepreneur is willing to venture into uncharted territory and think for themselves!

7. Lead by Example

The Internet, library, and Small Business Administration offer thousands of resources about running a business, yet your child will look to you first. Do you jump to provide reasons why a dream won't work before focusing on the possibility of it? Try to be more mindful of the example you set through your actions and words.

While your child may not be launching a Fortune 500 company just yet, helping them cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit can inspire them in every aspect of their lives. What business ventures have your children explored? We'd love to hear stories!

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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