A guide to raise entrepreneurial kids (Part 1)

To be at the top of the game, an entrepreneur requires creativity, empathy, communication skills, problem-solving ability, practical maths, and a knack for spotting something at the right moment and having the confidence to act. These key traits of entrepreneurs like presenting an idea, handle objections, or guide someone through tough decisions have their origin in the early stages of development and can be found at home or school in everyday activities. Let’s take a quick look:

1.Developing basic skills

To be at the top of the game, an entrepreneur requires creativity, empathy, communication skills, problem-solving ability, practical maths, and a knack for spotting opportunities at the right moment, and the confidence to act. These key traits of entrepreneurs have their origin in the early stages of a kid’s life and can be found at home or school in everyday activities. Although these kinds of skills -presenting ideas, handle objections, or guide someone through tough decisions- are often associated with entrepreneurs, are in fact the basic set of skills for kids that grow up ready to take on the world, ultimately steering them towards the right opportunity. Kids that develop the passion, the attitude, the skills to spot opportunities, resilience, faith, not afraid of critics and failures, are prepared to handle whatever life throws their way.

Starting at home: There are so many activities and fun things for kids to Inspire and nurture these skills. From negotiating what’s for dinner, or making decisions about planning the week, putting someone in charge of a task or a special event at home, like planning a Bday party.

Home is the first place where kids get to learn how to be in the future.

2.Home-made skills

Raising kids with an awareness of entrepreneurship and its core skills can change their life for the better. Kids don’t need to actually be running a business, employing people, or pitching ideas to investors to gain these skills. Being a kid is already a serious business for them, so learning these skills should be fun and lighthearted. Kids are already practicing these skills at home at one point or another:  pitching, negotiating, decision making, leadership, customer service, and creative thinking. 

Practical examples: there are so many activities and fun things for kids to Inspire and nurture these skills. From negotiating what’s for dinner, or making decisions about planning the week, putting someone in charge of a task or a special event at home, like planning a Bday party. Challenges can be really fun and character-building.

Encouraging healthy debate about ways to help people or coming up with ideas to solve a problem so they can create their own framework for decision-making.  Simple ideas that are fun, entrepreneurial and valuable. The earlier someone learns these skills the more second nature they will be in the future.

3. Opportunities are everywhere

Finding entrepreneurial opportunities involves playing and observing real-life situations. Allowing kids to experience and interact with real-life entrepreneurial scenarios will open their eyes to the possibilities. Not only in opportunities but also different people with different skills. Being open to opportunities means seeing the possibility and abundance of options and results, incorporating the notion that opportunities are everywhere, they just have to be found like a treasure hunt.

Great entrepreneurs look at problems and see solutions and disruption it’s only a chance to add value. They constantly think of new ideas for products, services and new businesses. Their brains become trained to seek out opportunities, working their idea muscles every day until eventually, success becomes real. Inspiring kids into an opportunity-seeing mindset involves thinking in that way yourself. 

Foster questions that make kids think and observe their own paths and actions, opening playfully to the idea of “Why not” or “What if” Bring entrepreneurial opportunities closer by talking about their everyday activities and connect them to businesses or professions around them. Ask how they do, and how they do it, and which problems they encounter. Understanding the needs of the businesses all around you helps kids to become aware of possibilities, sparking ideas they could get involved in.

Practical example: observe situations around your home, neighborhood, or even current events that present a problem and need a solution, and bring up what could be done to solve the problem and “how could you be part of the solution, and what could you do about that?” Things like organizing the attic or organize a garage sale, or transforming a room into a ‘painting studio’ or maybe learning about things that might stir interest or relatable to kids like the technology behind video communications, healthcare professionals, or the different disciplines behind making videogames or a cartoon show. Kids will be fascinated.

Situations that need a solution at home or in the neighborhood and bring up what could be done to solve the problem and “how could you be part of the solution.


The business of creating tomorrow

Discovering your future and the right opportunities is a life-long journey. There are many careers and jobs, some more creative, some more pragmatic. But the heart and mindset of an entrepreneurial person go beyond the career choice and is a process that begins even before you start college. Our day-to-day is filled with uncertainties, markets keep changing, we are saturated and overloaded with information. How can we trust we are making the right decisions, choosing the best opportunities and developing the right skills? While the answer is different for every individual, the first step is always the right mindset.

Recalculating your thoughts

We value intelligence, personality, and character. But what is it? Luck, chance, genetic predisposition? Some believe success is based on natural abilities, others, in learning those abilities. Others think that “it is what it is”. Perception and how you see yourself can change everything. What you ‘think’ of yourself is who you are.

It’s crazy how our conscious and unconscious thoughts affect our decisions, especially at work, in our careers, in the direction of our future. And doesn’t matter if you are 7 or 47, those beliefs and mindsets will guide your steps. Is true, we all have different situations, but those conditions are not set or final, they are a starting point. And that’s where your ‘mindset’ comes in handy. What you think and believe of yourself is what’s happening: where you are right now is a result of that. And pandemic doesn’t help. neither instagraming, or streaming your day away.

Changing your beliefs can have a powerful impact on your mindset. Imagine if you could “recalculate” your direction? From the way relate to others, the way you make decisions, career or romantic ones. Normally we connect the term “successful mindset” with entrepreneurs. And that’s correct, but its just the tip of the iceberg. Learning, overcoming, trying. Imagine what would happen if you think of failure as a learning opportunity?

More than skills, it’s a vision

Entrepreneur and entrepreneurial concepts have certainly many things in common. But is like comparing a Jirafe with a Rhinoceros: they both have four legs, two eyes and many share many genetic traits and DNA -they even live in the African savanna- but, you don’t need to be a zoologist to recognize they are two kinds of animals. Building the mindset is more related to ‘purpose’ than to a set of skills. An entrepreneurial attitude is at its core level, resolving a problem by working out a solution. A mind is inspired by belief, that inspires others. Confident and positive, creative, resourceful, and resilient, capable of distilling concepts and ideas into actions and decisions, generating momentum an atmosphere for things to happen. An entrepreneurial person goes beyond creating a business or a start-up, an entrepreneurial person is someone who terraforms their environment, decisions, and actions into creating their own future.

More than teaching business to kids, our focus should be on inspiring them to develop their own abilities, confidence, and possibilities so they can find their own mission, understanding value, and whatever success means for them. And even in the most adverse conditions or failure, kids (and adults) will be able to find their way and purpose.

Learned skills or natural traits?

Why some people look at change and see opportunity, or when they look at problems they see solutions? Some people, when challenged, rise above and were doubted they exceed all expectations. Why? Is this a natural gift of nature? Although we are all born with a specific set of genes, with no control over our genetic allocation, we now know our lifestyle choices and different experiences through development and maturity also influence gene expression and thus exert influences over our behavior

Everyday experiences instill the “entrepreneurial” mindset, beginning within our family, and later when we go to school, college, the friends we have, and finally at the workplace. The sooner you start to understand and use these traits, it becomes a habit.

While entrepreneurship skills can be learned, and become a successful business entrepreneur, a classroom environment has its limits. Inspiring a mindset is a hands-on process, especially when you focus on leadership (and team development). Entrepreneurial instincts are naturally incorporated at home, by family members or observing other people, even friends. They may not use MBA or Masters terms, but they do understand the actions that matter to achieve success. And it focuses not only on their personal success but on helping others to reach their success.

Some people look at change and see opportunity, or problems and see solutions, like Neo when discover how the matrix operates behind 'the world’.

Where do we start?

The first step is to do a bit of “spring cleaning’, let some fresh air into the mind. Take a moment to look at your ‘mindset’ and visualize it. Are you aware of your abilities? how do you perceive your value? What do you love to do (having an ice-cream sandwich doesn’t count… unless you are planning to develop an Ice cream empire, you see, a passion can become a skill). Normally we connect the term “successful mindset” with entrepreneurs, but there’s so much more.

Strengthen confidence and trust in your abilities will boost your decision-making skills, your learning skills, and your time management. Imagine having more time to improve something you like or do something completely new. The simplest change in your mindset can have a profound impact on every aspect of your life. Imagine if you could “recalculate” your direction? From the way relate to others, the way you make decisions, career or romantic ones.

 

Practical application: if you feel brave enough, write down a list of your skills -even if it sounds small or unimportant- You might discover hidden or untapped skills. Write also what you are good at, and what you’ll like to improve. Also, exercise looking around. Focus on small situations and things that are important to you. Successful moments, mistakes…what is worthy to repeat and what to do differently. Understanding the value you could bring to your situation is the springboard to your future. Even if is a small thing, the payoff is giant. It will literally change the course of your actions. Learning, overcoming, expanding your tent. Imagine what would happen if you think of failure as a learning opportunity? or an obstacle as a chance for developing skills. The sky is the limit.

Creating an entrepreneurial mindset means inspiring people to believe in themselves and to dream big about what their future could be. It’s guiding people, teams and organizations to see the potential in ideas and situations, both individually or part of a group or community. Its creating a future.

Next: How to raise entrepreneurial kids.