As parents, we often ask our children what they want to do when they grow up. However, sometimes, our children come to us with an idea about what they want to do now. These budding entrepreneurs have a talent, a skill, or even just a novel idea that they want to use to launch their own business.
Instinctively parents want to encourage kids to experience childhood and push the pause button on starting a business. It’s important to remember that celebrating our daughter’s entrepreneurial spirit will help build reliance that will last a lifetime. Whatever the business idea, selling snacks in your place of business, making a lemonade stand, creating crafts on Etsy or reselling things on eBay, no business idea is too small to start.
Helping your daughter be an entrepreneur and create a business will teach her to:
Build confidence: Believing in herself (and knowing that you believe in her too) as a competent and capable business owner is a great way to have courage and feel confident. She’ll also gain a sense of independence when she starts earning her own money. If she brings friends into the business, it will help her gain leadership skills.
Set (and accomplish) goals: Knowing how to set goals and effectively work towards accomplishing them isn’t just for entrepreneurs. While she may learn the skill when working out how she will sell and deliver her idea, understanding the benefits of goal setting can be something she carries with her always.
Embrace failure: Sure, all entrepreneurs have their eyes firmly focused on achieving their goals; however, even the most successful entrepreneurs occasionally miss the mark. Business owners quickly realize that failures can produce amazing (and often, surprising) byproducts. Mastering how to accept, adapt, and, most importantly, learn from failure at a young age can help her conquer any obstacle she may encounter in the future. Sara Blakely, CEO and founder of SPANX, featured in The Startup Playbook by David Kidder, said her father would ask her “what did you fail at today?” This helped normalize failure until it wasn’t failure.
Accept her unique gifts: Sometimes middle schoolers can have a tough time accepting the things that make them different from their peers. However, successfully running a business means learning how to embrace the unique talents and creativity that sets her apart from everyone else.
Recognize opportunity: Savvy entrepreneurs not only recognize an opportunity, they also know how act on it. Knowing what to do when an opportunity presents itself can help her live up to her full potential as well as achieve future success in any other endeavors. You might even encourage her to have idea book handy or record inspirations into her phone when they come up.
Manage finances: Teaching children to understand fiscal responsibility can prove a struggle for any parent. Rather than lecturing on how to balance a budget, running a business means that she’ll get hands on experience on how to manage her own finances and learn what it means to make a profit.
Communicate…to actual people: Today’s parents often find themselves tasked with teaching their children the difference between texting (and posting, and tweeting) and communicating. Having a business requires in person communication with others. Learning how to communicate with both peers and adults now can have a lasting impact on her ability to effectively engage with others in the future.
Have fun: The most important lesson to starting a business can teach your daughter how to simply enjoy the journey. Supporting her entrepreneurial spirit is a great way to teach her that it is possible to love what you do and actually have fun doing it!
We love hearing from you! Join the conversation in Girl Talk or leave a comment below. Know a budding entrepreneur- be sure to share this with them.