What business owner doesn’t wish similar entrepreneurial success for their children, whether they have hopes to pass on the family business one day or can see their child creating their own. Duane Spires, a national motivational speaker and the CEO of Extreme Youth Sports (EYS) in Tampa hosts after school programs and summer camps that teach children ages five and up how to become leaders, develop confidence, and learn how to create successful lives through sports training and entrepreneurial education. Here are his steps to teaching your children to become budding entrepreneurs.
Teaching your children how to set and accomplish their goals is a fun and exciting activity! Did you know that written goals are over 80 percent more likely to be achieved? Imagine the possibilities!
How to teach: Ask your children to define and write down their top 10 goals and then choose the one goal that would make the biggest positive impact in their life. That goal should be their main focus. Next, write down the steps necessary to accomplish this exciting goal and encourage them to start taking action on those steps immediately.
Many people never meet their full potential because they fail to recognize opportunity. Teaching your children to seek out opportunities and take action on them, will directly contribute to their level of future success.
How to teach: Praise your children for pointing out small problems or setbacks in their lives that cause them distress such as: soggy sandwiches at lunchtime or not being able to reach items on a high shelf. Brainstorm solutions on how to resolve their troubles. This will teach them to focus on creating positive solutions, instead of focusing on the problem itself. This habit will allow them to create profitable ideas in their future businesses.
This one ability will last a lifetime because it is applied to all types of businesses and careers. From selling products and services to customers, to raising capital from investors, this skill is vital to the success of any business.
How to teach: Encourage your children to start with small projects like selling their old toys, starting a lemonade stand, or selling handmade goods. Let them price their products, sell to customers, and facilitate the transactions when sales are made.
This is one area that we all could use help with. Teaching children about money at an early age will instill a financial foundation that schools often fail to teach.
How to teach: Give your children the opportunity to earn their own money through chores, their own small business, and helping you in your business. Teach them about paying themselves first and then giving back. Educate them about investing and how their money could be used to create more money in the future. Help them set up a bank account and learn about how to budget their income.
Teaching kids about marketing is a great way to prepare them to attract customers to their future business. As you know, without customers, even the greatest business will fail. This is a very beneficial skill to learn while young.
How to teach: Motivate your children to start observing marketing materials like billboards, promotional banners in front of businesses, printed advertisements in magazines, and television/radio commercials. Ask them what catches their attention about the message and also quiz them on how to identify things like: the headline, subheadline, and “call to action.” Encourage them to create their own marketing materials for their business ideas.
In school we were all taught that failure is bad. In the entrepreneurial arena, failure can be a great thing if a positive lesson is learned. Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich, states that, “Every failure carries with it a seed of equal or greater benefit.”
Allowing your children to fail will force them to create new ways to accomplish their goals and learn from their mistakes. This will lead to confident children who know how to persevere when times are tough.
How to teach: This lesson is simple. When your children fail, don’t punish, but instead discuss what factors lead to the failure and brainstorm ways to prevent it from happening again in the future. Always seek to find the “learning lesson” in each adversity and encourage your children to NEVER give up.
Most children today are terrible at face-to-face and telephone communication because of the popularity of social media and text messaging. Successful businesses require that people actually speak to one another. Teaching your children to communicate effectively will provide them with the winning edge in business and in their personal relationships.
How to teach: First, lead by example. Teach your children to be polite and respectful. Most importantly, practice maintaining eye contact when speaking in person. When using the telephone, teach your children to speak slowly and clearly. A bonus activity would be to practice communicating to your children with e-mails. Do not allow them to abbreviate words and phrases, but instead, write grammatically correct sentences that flow together and convey a complete message.
Why start a business if it doesn’t support a greater cause? It is important for your children to develop the characteristic of helping others. This attribute will allow your children to stay humble during periods of great success and it will give them the insight that a successful business provides benefits to more than just it’s owner. People that contribute to the success of others live happy and content lives.
How to teach: When brainstorming business ideas with your children, ask them to choose a charity or special cause to support with a portion of the income that they generate. Explain the concept that all great businesses contribute to improving the lives of other people.
Wouldn’t you love to have independent and successful children? Of course! The entrepreneurial mindset causes kids to depend on themselves for their own success, which leads to well-rounded adults and future leaders.
How to teach: The next time your children ask for money to buy their favorite toy, this is your opportunity to ask them to brainstorm ways to create the money through entrepreneurship. This will inspire creative thinking and it will cause the entrepreneurial juices to flow.
Children are taught in school to go with the flow and follow the rules. They are programmed to learn and memorize facts instead of becoming independent thinkers. Entrepreneurship forces children to think “outside of the box,” create unique solutions, and lead others. This will make your children leaders at an early age, and it will result in more income, opportunities, and self-confidence, in their lives.
How to teach: Give your children the opportunity to lead their friends in fun activities such as: Outdoor sports, book clubs, music practice, and small business projects. You can also encourage them to propose toasts and small speeches at family dinners and birthday parties to give them experience in public speaking!