How To Raise An Entrepreneur

June 08, 2016

Stock Photo by Sean Locke www.digitalplanetdesign.com

If you’re the parent of a child entering the workforce — this year or in the years to come — let me tell you from experience what you want for them: You want them to be highly employable. You want them to be the one getting the job interviews, the second interviews and, yes, the actual job. Now, more than ever, that means they need a resume that screams, “entrepreneur.”

“When you look at the statistics, one in three employers are seeking people with entrepreneurial experience,” says Monroe Blakes, vice president of marketing for Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.

So, how do you raise one in your incubator of a home? A few tips for today’s parents:

1. Encourage Problem-Solving

 “Entrepreneurs are people who don’t just take the solution that’s handed to them, but create a solution,” says Alexandra Samuel, author of “Work Smarter with Social Media.” So the next time your kid presents a problem, Samuel suggests asking how he or she would solve it and then helping them brainstorm how the solutions could turn into business opportunities.

2. Get Them To Think Globally

Go a step further: in addition to solving their own problems, get them to think about problems in their community and in other parts of the world. To learn how the world operates, Blakes suggests reading the newspaper with them, finding the problems and, again, talking through the potential solutions.

 

3. Emphasize “Effort Out, Money In”

Do you have a nickel-and-dimer on your hands? In other words, does your kid try to put a price on every family request? If so, don’t necessarily discourage it. Samuel says you could have a future CFO on your hands. “As exasperating as it can be, and it can be, it’s also good for your kid to understand the lesson of effort out, money in,” she says. Even better, use these opportunities to teach them how to negotiate — especially if you have a daughter. (New data from Glassdoor shows 68 percent of women accepted the salary they were offered and didn’t counter, compared with 52 percent of men.)

 

4. Have Money Conversations Often

If you have a kid who is naturally interested in money, that’s fantastic, but if you don’t, then it becomes all the more important to try to raise the level of interest — again, especially with your daughters. Research shows that parents can subconsciously socialize their children by making gender-based distinctions when choosing which money topics to talk about. Boys are more likely to get the borrowing, budgeting and savings talks, while girls receive lectures on spending, checking accounts and overall family finances. “Another thing the girls get talked to about a lot more about than boys is philanthropy,” says Ron Lieber, author of “The Opposite of Spoiled” and this week’s guest on HerMoney. “So you’re talking to the girls about giving it away as opposed to earning it or spending it or investing it.”

 

5. Don’t Discourage Ideas Of Any Magnitude

When your daughter or son approaches you with a business idea, “The worst thing a parent can do is say, ‘You’re too young,’” says Samuel. However, it’s also important to be realistic. You want to encourage kids to undertake projects they can complete so that they’re not going to feel like a failure if they don’t finish. Small victories will help them build confidence, which, Blakes adds, is another important trait to cultivate. “When you think about ideas, it’s tough to put them into the categories of small and big,” he says. “It’s really more about how you execute on that idea.” As with any lofty goal, encourage your young entrepreneur to chunk it down into mini-goals and work their way to success.

Jean Chatzky (Contributor)

With Kelly Hultgren