It’s never too soon to start developing your child’s natural entrepreneurial skills!
Some of you may wince at the thought of preparing your youngsters for the world of innovation, competition, and independence. Let kids be kids, don’t let them grow up too fast, let them be innocent for as long as they can! These are probably some of the thoughts going through your head, but fret not, worried parents. Letting your kids be kids, and honing their entrepreneurial skills need not be mutually exclusive.
First of all, YOU know that you are helping them develop useful tools they can use in the business world, but you don’t want to tell them that. You don’t want to sit down little Jimmy and say “let’s play a game to enhance your networking skills.” That would most likely scare little Jimmy away from the business world all together once he is all grown, and that’s the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. All we’re saying is help your child build and strengthen his or her natural instincts that are essential for a successful, independent business person.
We use empathy every day to reach out and connect with our customers, especially in the insurance industry. Every entrepreneur will need to be able to empathize with their target customer to understand their needs and create a product they want.
To encourage empathy in your children, start asking questions to your child that are designed to help them identify their emotions. When they can identify their emotions, they can recognize those emotions in their peers, family, teachers, etc.
Help your child help someone else. Say you’re watching your kids play on the playground with their friends. Someone falls, scrapes their knee and starts crying. Instead of you, the adult, running to fix the situation, let your kid be a part of the process of making their friend feel better. This is the golden path to empathy and a future successful entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs are naturally curious. It is what drives each industry forward. It is how we advance as people, as a society. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but we the people have thrived on our curious nature. We’ve been to the moon and back. And now we’ve set our sights on Mars, millions of miles further away than we have ever been before. See, the moon used to the be farthest we could imagine going, but now we’re got a probe on Mars, discovering new things about our universe every day.
Encourage your child to ask questions. Encourage your child to imagine and to wonder and to guess about life around them. Our imagination allows us to look at things differently, and perhaps, as a result, we’ll come up with answers or ideas that could be the next big break in technology or medicine.
Innovation and creativity
Let your children explore the world around them on their own terms. Let them make mistakes, let them work out their mistakes, let them solve the problems by themselves. It’s easy for a parent to step in at the first sign of frustration, but if you let your child try to come up with their own solutions, you are giving them an invaluable tool for their future as an entrepreneur. They may not solve the problem the way that you would, they may not even solve it according to the instructions on the game box, but they will solve it, and who are you to say their way is not better? Either way, encourage your children to find their own solutions through innovation and creativity.
Allowing your child to make mistakes, get frustrated and then come out successful in the end will also teach them the most important quality of any successful entrepreneur: resilience! If you’re going to make it on your own, you need to be able to fail, shake it off, and learn from your past mistakes to create an even better product or service for your customers.