Want To Change The World? Raise Kids With An Entrepreneurial Mindset
As parents, we want our kids to grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive. We hope that while we figure out this whole parenting thing without a manual, our kids will benefit. We teach them table manners and how to share and how to handle conflict at school. So much of what kids learn is “caught, not taught.” They see the things we do, how we speak, how we treat others and file it away in their brains as acceptable. So it only makes sense that we would model for our children the power of having an entrepreneurial spirit. From an early age, we can show our children that working for someone else, punching time clocks and adhering to the rules of the corporate world is not the only way to make a living.
One of the best ways to foster an entrepreneurial mindset is exposing them to those who have it. If your child has an uncle or aunt, grandparent or close family friend that is involved in real estate investing, have a conversation about what he/she does and what it means to be in business for yourself. Discuss how the family member got started; maybe they saw an opportunity to help someone and jumped on it. Maybe they had a problem and came up with a unique way to solve it. Ask the family member to explain the feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with the creative problem-solving process.
Your kids aren’t going to learn about being an entrepreneur at school. They will learn the foundational elements of how a business works, but their real exposure to the world of entrepreneurship will come from people in their lives who have done it.
Some of the most successful people in the real estate industry, and in the world, know the value of personal development resources. We know several entrepreneurs that wake up an hour early just to listen to motivational podcasts. We know people who only read books that help them improve their mental game. Exposing kids to all types of age-appropriate personal development resources can be a game changer. Teaching them that the only limits they have are the ones that they put on themselves can be life-changing. Helping them realize that when they feel scared about doing something, it’s usually because thy ear about to do something courageous.
There are many great podcasts and YouTube videos about personal development for kids that you can listen to in the car as you drive your child to school. This will get them pumped up for the day and remind them of their potential. It could also be the start of healthy mental habits that can set them up for success.
“Back in our day” kids got jobs in high school to pay for gas and going out with friends. There are many advantages for teens having after-school jobs, and one of them is helping them realize that it may not be for them. It’s also important to remind them that when they work for a cooperate company, having and keeping a job always comes with a bit of uncertainty. Encouraging the entrepreneurial mindset in your children helps them set their own path, set their own schedule, and do work that they are passionate about. During their lifetime, your child’s work landscape will change and evolve. If they have a fixed mindset that working for someone else is the only way, they may have a hard time adjusting to these changes. If they are taught to find creative ways to solve problems, they can adjust accordingly.
We recently featured a very smart and talented nine-year-old (who also happens to be Jack’s son) in a teaching your kids about investing podcast. We discussed different ways parents can teach their children about investing and how to raise successful entrepreneurs such as:
- Give your child the tools he/she needs to fix the cause of problems in their world, not just the symptoms. Help them to find the root of a problem by working backward and encourage them to find a solution instead of a temporary fix.
- Teach your children to seek out opportunities and take action. So many people see an issue and assume someone else will take care of it. Or they believe they aren’t equipped to fix it. Teach your children to be “doers” to find solutions to problems instead of just complaining about them, Next time your child has a problem, brainstorm together a list of solution ideas and guide your child through the process of solving their own problem.
- Be an example of goal setting. When your children see you vocalize, write down, and work towards your goals, they will do the same. The reward for reaching their goals should be pride and self-satisfaction, not the approval of anyone else.
- It’s never too early to teach children about the value of hard work and money. In the real world, you don’t just get a weekly chunk of money just for existing. If you need money, you work for it. Giving kids age-appropriate opportunities to make money will help them develop a solid understanding of how money works. You can also teach them the importance of spending, giving, and saving. Your child will appreciate a toy or an experience much more if they’ve had to work for it. It also teaches delayed gratification and patience. Playing games like Monopoly is a great way to teach about money while spending time together.
So many kids hear their parents groan that “I have to go work today” or “I wish I could XYZ, but I have to work.” This negative attitude about work undoubtedly carries over into children and makes working seem like something nobody likes to do. Entrepreneurs love what they do, and are excited (most of the time) to do what they love. Parents who want to instill successful business owners will use phrases like “I get to go to work today!” or “I can’t wait to do XYZ at work today!” Raising kids to be entrepreneurs puts them on a path to self-improvement, and helps them develop into adults who do what they love, not settle for 9-5 that they hate because it’s all they know.
There are so many feel-good stories about kid entrepreneurs who saw a problem and became the solution. These are the kids who will change the world. These are the kids that will wake up every morning about doing what they love. They will have a sense of purpose and direction. They will work because they love it, it challenges them, and they make a difference. The paycheck will just be the bonus.
We’ve all heard the saying that “if you do what you love, you’ll never work again.”
If we can encourage our children to do things that make them happy, we are giving them one of life’s greatest gifts. When we encourage them to step away from what society says working is and find their own way, we are creating future leaders. And who doesn’t want to be a parent of a leader?