You always hear that the right skills and lessons instilled in a child at an early age are the ones that stick with them through adulthood. Why not teach your children the skills of an entrepreneur? Duane Spires is a national motivational speaker and the CEO of Extreme Youth Sports in Tampa. He holds after school programs and summer camps to give children ages five and up a foundation in entrepreneurial education. For those of you who want the condensed version of his lessons, Inc.com provides a list of steps you can start implementing now to bring out the entrepreneur in your kids and we’ve highlighted five of them. You may find that you can use some of these steps in your own life.
Step One: Teach your children how to set and reach their goals. Written goals are more than 80 percent more likely to be successful. Have your children identify and write down 10 top goals. Next, let them pick the goal that would have the biggest influence on their life and help them work to take steps toward that goal as soon as possible.
Step Two: Help them recognize a good opportunity. If your child never learns how to see an opportunity in each situation, they may grow up never knowing what path to take. Start by helping them find opportunities early by helping them find solutions for how to resolve the problems in their lives. Instead of focusing on the problems, your child will instead see the solution and opportunity created by that problem. This will help them brainstorm creative and profitable ideas for the future.
Step Three: Team them how to sell. We’ve all heard of the traditional childhood lemonade business stand set up. As old school as it may be, projects such as this instill the basic techniques of how to sell. If they’re not into the lemonade stand idea, have them sell their old toys at a yard sale or handcraft a product. Even selling Girl Scout cookies is a good start—as long as you don’t do all the work for them. Make sure that they stay in control of each business transaction.
Step Four: Provide your children with financial literacy! There’s nothing worse than a person who mismanages money. After you’ve taught them how to sell, help them understand the importance of paying themselves before giving to others. Give them tips on various investment options and help them create a budget and set up a bank account
Step Five: Instill the importance of marketing. Marketing is essential for businesses to attract potential customers. Build their marketing skills by pointing out interesting billboards and commercials. Ask them to identify the company’s message and what stands out about the company’s approach. Help them figure out the headline, subheadline and action component of each marketing material. Then suggest ways they can create their own marketing campaigns.
Other important skills include creativity, effective communication and recognizing the benefits of failure. Try implementing these steps one at a time and see if you notice a difference.