Five proven ways to teach your children about entrepreneurship
The tough truth is that if you’re not preparing your children for entrepreneurship, you aren’t preparing them for life. Economic crises and a dynamic and less secure work environment means that today’s youth struggle to secure fulltime employment. It’s nevertheless a world that presents many exciting opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs. But how should parents encourage an entrepreneurial mind-set at a young age?
Grow your own entrepreneur
The team at whichfranchise.co.za has put together our five top tips to develop the entrepreneurial skills that people need to thrive in a competitive and ever-changing world.
- Talk about money
Entrepreneurs need to have a good financial grounding. Unfortunately, this is an area that schools are unlikely to give enough attention. As a parent, you need to teach your children about money from an early age. This means overcoming the awkwardness and taboo that exists in many cultures about talking about money. Some experts argue that this involves moving away from talking about general topics like saving, spending and earning and tackling sensitive subjects like the family’s income and family debt. Wall Street Journal provides some interesting perspectives on how to teach children about money.
- Encourage holiday work
Entrepreneurship demands determination and hard work. As a parent, it’s very easy to want to give your children everything. Instead, encourage your children to find holiday and weekend work to earn some pocket money. In the process, they’ll improve their communication skills, learn to deal with difficult customers while also gaining work experience and connections. If you are lucky enough to run a franchise or small business, involve your children in the life of the business.
- Embrace a love of learning
We live in an information age where there are thousands of books, podcasts and video clips about business management and entrepreneurship.
Some of the top books on entrepreneurship include:
- The eMyth by Michael E Gerber. This gives insights into how entrepreneurs can scale their businesses by setting up systems and ‘working on’ and not ‘in’ their businesses.
- Eric Parker’s Roadmap to Business Success by Eric Parker and Kurt Illetschko. This is the must-read guide to setting up and running your own business.
- And for all these reasons… I’M IN by Gil Oved, Lebo Gunguluza, Polo Leteka, Vinny Lingham and Vusi Thembekwayo. In this book local Dragon’s Den participants offer insights into the thinking and experiences of people who have built successful businesses. Its essential reading for all aspirant entrepreneurs.
There are also a number of seminars on franchising and entrepreneurship throughout the year. Watch the whichfranchise.co.za platform for details on upcoming events.
- Incentivise an opportunity mind-set
According to leading investor Warren Buffet, the best indicator of future business achievement is the age of starting a first business. The younger the age, the greater the chance of major success. Buffet, incidentally, started his first business at age six, when he bought a six-pack of Coke for 25 cents and sold the cans for a nickel a piece. Today Buffet is a major shareholder in the Coca Cola group.
Consider asking your children to find things that need to be done around the house. Then, ask them to negotiate on how much doing that chore should cost. Encourage them to take on small projects like making something for sale or selling their own playthings online – with your supervision of course. These small, manageable projects will empower them to see new opportunities.
- Find entrepreneurial role models
Many entrepreneurs credit their parents or a family member as being their role model. These living examples of entrepreneurship were proof that this was a viable and worthwhile career path. We are not all lucky to have entrepreneurs as parents. This doesn’t mean that your children can’t learn from other entrepreneurs in your family or a broader network. Know an entrepreneur that you admire? Ask them if they’d be prepared to share their business journey with you and your child. If they’re passionate about their business, they may enjoy imparting their knowledge. Your child will be able to pick up their enthusiasm.
Lead by example
The best way a parent can teach a child about entrepreneurship is to run a small business. With the support of a dedicated and experienced franchisor, becoming an entrepreneur needn’t be a tough journey. Have a look at the number of exciting franchise opportunities listed and browse through our franchisee success stories section. Take the first step by reaching out to our panel of experts at whichfranchise.co.za.