We're living in a fast-changing world with a competitive job market and the looming threat of automation. This means that having an entrepreneurial mindset has never been more important. It gives you the power to do something an AI can't do – think outside the box.
Learning to think like an entrepreneur at a young age will help our kids come up with creative ideas to keep themselves afloat and succeed in their careers as adults.
Universities are already adapting to the increasing need for such skills and are now offering their students more opportunities to learn them, regardless if they're majoring in business or something completely unrelated.
Schools are beginning to teach youngsters fundamental business skills by including them in activities such as running their own makeshift companies.
As parents, we should also help our kids get ready for whatever the future might throw at them.
Setting Goals and Following Through
Start by asking them about things they'd like to achieve – both short-term and long-term. Talk to them about things that make them happy. Then choose a goal that is relatively easy to reach and ask them about how they intend to go about achieving that goal.
As they tell you their plans, talk to them about the advantages and disadvantages of different strategies. You also want to teach them how to anticipate and overcome hurdles. Then, as you move on to bigger goals, teach them how to break them down into feasible steps.
They should be able to do something to get closer to their goal every day, so they don't lose momentum. As they go through this process a few times, they'll develop more patience and focus and will be able to take on more ambitious objectives.
It's also important that you ask them about their progress, how they feel about it, and anything that might be setting them back.
The Subject of Money
The earlier you teach children about money, the better. You may not be able to teach kids about inflation, the stock market, or the economic impact of political instability on a country, but there are still plenty of things they'll be able to grasp.
Giving them work and paying them for it is one option, as is finding work for them through neighbors, acquaintances, or family. These should be things they can handle at their age, like simple chores, dog walking, babysitting, etc. This will teach them about the relation between time, money, and work. Next time they want a toy, they'll be able to calculate how long it took them to make that money, and they can decide if they feel it's worth x hours of work.
This also helps kids realize the difference between what they need and what they want.
The ability to delay gratification has been associated with a variety of benefits for adolescents and later in life, such as higher resilience to stress, healthier eating habits, better academic performance, and a more developed sense of personal accountability.
These days, summer camps are no longer just places to have fun and make friends. These days you can find camps that can help your children learn various skills such as foreign language, creative writing, marketing, finance, and engineering. And if your kids are too young to go to an overnight camp, there are alternatives like Queens day camps.
If kids get an opportunity to explore different interests early in a fun, relaxed setting, they won't dread it as adults because they associate it with positive feelings.
As a parent, you already know how imaginative kids can be. All you have to do is help them make the most of it.
Creativity is crucial for entrepreneurs, and helping your kids maintain and develop their imagination and a certain flexibility in how they look at the world around them will improve their problem-solving abilities as well as their performance in topics such as math, science, and writing.
Spending time with them while playing games and brainstorming will also strengthen their emotional intelligence and your relationship.
Let's say that your child really likes animals. You could encourage them to volunteer at an animal shelter. The goal is to teach kids how to collaborate effectively with others, how to accept responsibility, and how rewarding it is to give back and have a positive influence on the world.
Initiative and Commitment
If your kid begins to show initiative and tell you about goals they want to achieve and ideas they have on how to improve certain skills and better themselves, that's definitely something you'll want to encourage, especially if you can see they're putting a lot of effort into it.
Encouragements should come in the form of celebrating their successes with them and offering to help out when they're struggling with an obstacle. Seeing that you're there and you're happy for them means a lot to a child. It will make them braver and more comfortable with setbacks.
Coping with Setbacks and Failure
Since we're on the subject of setbacks, schools tend to instill in students the notion that failure is bad and something they should feel ashamed of. You may remember instances from when you were a child in school. However, for entrepreneurs, failure can be beneficial if they know how to cope with it and use it as a learning opportunity. Our mistakes are our greatest teachers.
Rather than chastising and penalizing them for failing to do something, start a discussion about what they could do differently in the future – about what they've learned. Share with them memories of when you failed at something, highlighting the things you learned and how the experience benefitted you later on. When kids start dreading failure because they're ashamed or afraid of how others will react, they'll be more prone to avoid challenges and give up quickly.
Leading by Example
Many of the world's most successful entrepreneurs say that their parents' influence was the most encouraging and motivating factor in their early careers. Kids look up to their parents, and that's why it's so important to practice what you preach.
They'll become hard workers if they see that their parents are hard workers. Similarly, if you want them to have patience and be respectful, they need to see those qualities in you.