Fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in your children is an important factor in supporting them to become self-reliant and financially independent as they grow into adults. It’s a gradual process that requires you as a parent to be actively and effectively involved in your child’s development.
Though formal education is very important and we cannot avoid it, relying on it solely is no longer enough to deal with the changing demands in our life. You need to help your children to understand money and how it works. You need to begin early enough to deal with the obstacles that deter educated people from achieving financial independence. These obstacles include mainly fear, cynicism, laziness, bad habits and arrogance. By fighting against these behaviors early enough, you foster a culture of entrepreneurship in your children.
Fear is a very big obstacle to success. Fear of losing money or losing anything should be fought early enough. Let it be properly understood that there is no rich person that has never lost money and there is no successful person that walked his way to success without any challenges. But there are a lot of poor people, who have never lost money. Whom do you prefer?
Cynicism, a belief one may have that something good will not happen, prohibits many people from venturing into business. Being doubtful about success is a major hindrance to financial freedom. Guide your children to be optimistic about what they set their heart to do. Opportunities are so sly that cynics tend to wake up when it’s too late. That’s one reason why they remain poor.
Fostering a spirit of laziness in your children is a very bad tendency among some educated and well-to-do people. They tend to provide everything that their children request, thinking that their children will be happy. But they forget that by so doing, they ignorantly kill the children’s ability to solve problems, to make good choices and to be creative.
Arrogance kills the spirit of seeking information. Many people tend to ignore the things they don’t know and ignorantly consider them to be avenues for losing money. If you find yourself ignorant in a subject, the best way to become knowledgeable is to find an expert in it to coach you or to look for a book and read it. Help your children to seek information on what they don’t know.
Our habits are reflected in our lives more than education. For instance, he who was loved is more likely to love other people he interfaces with. But the one who was never loved in his childhood will find it difficult to love others even if he is highly educated. Love is learnt through association with lovely people. Practicing value adding habits is one of the basics of fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in your children.
How can you then foster a culture of entrepreneurship in your children?
1. Train your children to communicate assertively for them to acquire good communication skills that will eventually help them to become successful entrepreneurs. The way people communicate is normally a reflection of their behaviors and beliefs. Most successful people are always assertive while unsuccessful people are either aggressive or non-assertive.
Aggressive communicators’ behavior is based on the thinking that they have to win at all cost while the people they interface with have to lose. They think that they have more rights than others. On the other hand, people who are nonassertive think that other people are winners and they are losers. Their submissive nature makes them to develop the feeling that other people have more rights than them. But assertive communicators believe that they have the same rights as others and they are the best communicators your children should emulate.
The best way to foster the culture of entrepreneurship in your children is by resorting to communicating to them assertively. They will learn from you and end up being assertive communicators. Let them learn to assertively say “No” to others, to receive and to respond to criticism, and to respond to aggressive or nonassertive people. This will eventually help them to live independent life and to venture into any kind of life, which is one of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. The onus now is on you to communicate assertively to your children so that they can learn from you.
2. Raise entrepreneurship awareness to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in your children. You can purposefully expose them to various situations where they will informally learn about entrepreneurship. For instance, take them to events on entrepreneurship like trade fairs. Organize outings to places where they learn something on entrepreneurship. Engage them in some good talks geared towards discovering something new. Use entertainment like showing them videos on entrepreneurship. Look for other ways of raising awareness.
3. Instill in your children a spirit of hard work, irrespective of whether you are rich or not. Let them learn that it takes someone to work hard to earn money. Instead of just giving them whatever they request you, let them work to achieve what they want. For example, set clear goals for them and reward them with what they crave for upon achieving the goals. When you do that you will be training them to become achievers and hard working people, which is one way of fostering the culture of entrepreneurship in them.
4. Another practical way of fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in your children is by starting a home business. You will not only become their role model but you will also enable them to acquire many entrepreneurial skills that will eventually help them to start their own businesses.
5. Train them to acquire new skills. It’s important to interest your children to learn various skills. This does not only unlock their mind but it also helps them to engage themselves in meaningful activities.
6. Another way of fostering the culture of entrepreneurship in your children is by associating them with successful entrepreneurs. Be friends with people, who have worked through to riches or to financial freedom so that they can act as role models to your children.
7. Guide them to take meaningful decisions that can impact positively on their lives in future. For instance, guide them to differentiate “needs” from “wants”. While needs are essential items you cannot live without such as food, wants are things you can live without. Guiding your children to make right decisions basing on what is essential to their life as opposed to luxuries is important in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in your children.
8. Take them to schools where programmes on entrepreneurship are organized. Such programmes may range from activities like music, dance and drama to programmes like essay writing competitions, funding winning business proposals, debates and entrepreneurship award schemes. These help to sharpen your children to acquire behaviors of successful entrepreneurs such as being innovators, problem solvers, hard working people, information seekers, committed persons, persistent and many others.
9. Inculcate in your children a culture of reading to get knowledge and apply it. Let them know that knowledge is useless unless it’s applied. Applied knowledge is what makes a difference in people’s lives.
In conclusion, I would like to reemphasize the need to help your children to develop behaviors of successful entrepreneurs. Formal education alone is no longer enough to lead people to financial freedom. A doctor who has entrepreneurial skills is more likely to begin a business in his field of expertise and succeed than the one without any entrepreneurial behaviors. The onus is now on you to put in practice the above practices as a way of fostering a culture of entrepreneurships in your children.