Is striking out on one’s own to make a living something people are taught or something they instinctively do? If it’s something parents can teach their kids, what exactly do they need to teach them?
That’s what small business co-owner Barbara Taylor is thinking about when she thinks of her 6-year-old son’s future. She lists 5 lessons she’s trying to instill in her kids, on the off chance they’ll want to be their own bosses some day.
Her ideas are good, but in terms of raising entrepreneurs, I think she missed a big one. I’ll get to that in a second.
1. Ability to solve problems creatively.
2. Desire to learn and expand knowledge.
3. Ability to analyze a situation and make good decisions.
4. Self-motivation and belief in your own abilities.
5. Persistence, tenacity and resilience.
Great tips which, as Taylor points out, are good lessons for regular ol’ life as well. One thing I think she misses, especially for future entrepreneurs is this: risk and getting comfortable with it.
As Taylor well knows, there’s a certain amount of risk in starting and running a business. There’s a risk you won’t get paid, you’ll get wiped out or that you’ll won’t be able to take a day off ever. These things sometimes work out, it all becomes worth it in the end, but there are no guarantees. Has your child ever made a choice that didn’t come with guarantees?
We parents are accused of (often rightfully) never letting our kids fail, never letting them see danger, heck never losing a round of Candyland. But wouldn’t that be an important thing to have experienced — failure, danger, second place — the more the better.
All those things are survivable, but if you haven’t lived through it, well, how would you ever know?
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