My wife and I are entrepreneurs who own and operate a family business. Our children know that we own a business, and we make sure that they understand the purpose of our business. We want business ownership to be a viable option for them in the future, if they choose.
With that being the case, we work to instill values and knowledge that will assist them in the future. We develop lessons that we can teach them now that they hopefully will reflect back on at some point. And most importantly, we try to make it all fun so it doesn’t feel like work or a chore.
Here are a few of our favorite tips for raising a young entrepreneur.
My kids love TV. Yeah I said it! And since they love TV, I take advantage by pulling them in to watch one of my favorite shows, Shark Tank. Our kids get into each episode because there are different inventions being pitched by all types of people, and the sharks (investors) provide the comedy, which makes it entertaining. Also, we keep them engaged by asking questions. Some of the questions that we ask during the show are: What is your favorite product? Would you invest in this invention? And, what could the person do to make the pitch better?
When we found out that the kids actually liked watching the show, we turned it into a game. One Saturday, we had the kids create their own inventions with cardboard boxes that were around the house, LEGOs, and anything else they could find. They then had to prepare and deliver a pitch to a panel of “sharks” that included their mom, dad, and grand-mom. I will say that all three of our young daughters performed very, very well.
Something else that I like to do is use other kids their age as examples. We don’t want them to use age as an excuse or limiting factor for when they’ll start to follow their dreams. We love showing them young people who are achievers in school, business, sports, or any other field that requires hard work and perseverance.
No entrepreneur can succeed without knowing the true value of money. This job is definitely tougher, especially for our youngest daughters, but we try to instill the importance of money. We help them with saving and spending, so they know the experiences and value behind both. We teach our oldest daughter how to budget her allowance into different categories so that she’ll have money to do the things that she needs to do as well as the things that she wants to do.
Additionally, we love playing board games that incorporate learning about money and finances.
What do you do to teach your kids about entrepreneurship and money?