Many kids dream of being a rock star, a famous athlete, or an astronaut. Other kids set their goals a little more down to earth, with eyes set on owning their own business or creating a new product to sell.
How do you know if your kid is ready to become an entrepreneur? Here are three real-world skills your kid needs to become a successful entrepreneur, along with tips for developing these skills in 2016.
Does your kid have passion? Whether they’re interested in the arts, technology, business, or a combination of the three, passion should be the starting point. Passion is what drives kids to develop come up with the next big idea.
Does your kid want to be an entrepreneur, but doesn’t have a business idea? Encourage them to explore their hobbies and interests to look for an undiscovered opportunity. Great ideas start with a natural interest—passion can’t be forced. In addition to being the spark to great ideas, passion can help your kid move forward when they encounter hurdles to their success. Being an entrepreneur means not being afraid of failure.
Teaching your kids to be passionate starts by encouraging them to explore their own interests, whether through additional learning opportunities or simple encouragement. When they meet an obstacle, point them towards brainstorming solutions instead of feeling defeated.
Entrepreneurship is all about creativity. Many people assume that you’re either born creative, or you’re destined to a lifetime of dull, uninteresting ideas. But it turns out that creativity can be taught and learned, even for people who aren’t naturally creative. This BBC article from 2014 discusses how it’s possible to prime the mind for creative ideas to emerge. Gerard Puccio, the chair of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College, even goes so far to say that creative thinking “[Is] no longer a luxury. It’s about survival.”
There are many ways you can foster creativity in your kids and teens. First, identify the ways in which your child likes to express their creativity. This can take on any number of activities, but encourage them by providing the time and resources necessary to explore. Encourage their ideas without interjecting—autonomy is key for them to explore new concepts.
Business savvy is crucial for any kid who hopes to become an entrepreneur. You can have all the passion and creativity in the world, but if you don’t know how to organize your ideas into a profitable, business model, it’s difficult to make any progress. Of course that’s not to say that your kid’s creative efforts need to be profitable, but giving them the foundation they need to do so gives them that option.
Luckily, business savvy is a lot more straightforward to teach than creativity or passion. Teaching your kids about money can start at a young age, by giving your children an allowance and showing them how to budget that money. Kids who are a little older can benefit from a financial literacy course that will teach them to apply real–life financial principles and make informed decisions about personal finances. If your kid is ready to take the business world by storm with their own ideas, there are even classes that can teach them to develop a business plan.
Regardless of whether or not your child is ready to become an entrepreneur, it’s never to early to start teaching them the principles of passion, creativity, and business savvy.