Damon Dash recently made remarks on being “your own boss.” But his spill went beyond the traditional concept of business ownership, as he spoke on teaching children to be entrepreneurs. If working for someone else has ever brought you discontent, you will understand the importance of instilling entrepreneurial values in your children early on.
When speaking to our youth, how many conversations have we began with, “If I knew then, what I know now,” or “I’m cutting your time in half, so you don’t make the same mistakes I made.” The jist of each is to teach our children to work smarter, not harder and most importantly, to work for themselves. As parents, counselors and mentors, we encourage the youth to do great things in life, like going to a good college and earning a degree, but now it’s time to encourage them to start their own business. Our children are the future and we have to hone their skills and talents to make it better. Here are a few ways to encourage the youth:
- Don’t wait until your teen is on the brink of adulthood to ask then what they want to do, ask them now.
- Don’t try to live vicariously through them. They are not you, so don’t make them live the life you wish you had. Pay attention to their needs and wants. Whatever they show interest in, that’s what you should encourage them to explore.
- If they have not shown interest in anything special, start exploring with them. Enroll them a few classes at the community center to see what they gravitate toward.
- Speak to them about money and time management. This is a skill that some adults have yet to master, set your youth up for greatness early on.
In our day and time, it’s so important not to be dependent on one person, company or source of income. Teaching that to your child, instead of teaching them to get a ‘good job’ will afford them a great foundation to build something to pass down. Teach them how to be resourceful, teach them how to barter and network with others. Teach them how to listen to their clients. Teach them how to budget money and time. Teach them how to manage personalities, in order to be a great leader and someone else’s boss!
Take a look at these remarkable entrepreneurs; all of which are under 15 years old!
- Mo’s Bows – a bow tie company started by 9 year old Moziah Bridges from Tennessee.
- Crocodile Browser Lite – a web browser, started by 12 and 14 year old brothers Anesi and Osine Ikhianosime from Nigeria.
- Super Business Girl – a candle and merchandise company, started by 11 year old Asia Newson.
- Bee Sweet Lemonade – Mikaila Ulmer of Texas is the founder of this bottled lemonade organization. At 9 years of age she’s successfully secured Whole Foods Market as a partner and commits to donating 20% of profits to organizations that support bees.
I hope my words and these young entrepreneurs inspire you to light the fire in your young ones today!