Kids all have unique characters and qualities that define them; some are more obvious to put in a box from a young age than others. Strong athletic or intellectual prowess is normally detected early on and usually encouraged with ample enthusiasm by doting parents. Those less easily definable characteristics that are a little more tricky to judge on a performance scale, like an independent spirit, leadership strengths or a keen interest in all things business may not be treated with the same support.
One reason for this oversight could be that as we are inclined to evaluate performance, winning the marathon or coming first in your grade are obvious signs that you’re climbing the rungs of success. Chances are that the child selling cupcakes at the school market day will probably not receive as many accolades. In fact, your guess is as good as mine that no one will even bother to ask the budding young entrepreneur if he/she has any long-term plans in place for a next-level business venture.
Identifying these less obvious but in no way less crucial skills, is something all parents should consider as they watch their kids grow and develop in different areas.
Keep these in mind on that journey…
Don’t underestimate their enquiring minds
If you see your child hanging on your lips when you discuss financial matters or your day at the office if you happen to be in business, don’t cut your conversation short, thinking they won’t understand. It’s never too early to introduce them to the basic principles of entrepreneurship. Even if they don’t seek out a career in this field, getting their heads around the basics of business will be of enormous value in life.
Teach by example
If they find you busy juggling the monthly budget, allocating funds to your various accounts, pull up a chair and let them watch while you explain what you’re doing. This will teach them on a look-see-remember level how things work and how financial responsibilities have to be met in life. Balancing their own pocket money budget may suddenly make much more sense.
Open their options
Back in the day most of us only knew about the obvious career choices: the doctor, the dentist, teacher, accountant or lawyer, for example. Nowadays the options and diversions are endless. A passion for food does not necessarily need to lead to a career in the hotel or restaurant industry but with the right subjects could open doors to studies in food technology, for instance. By the same token being a physiotherapist does not have to confine you to a hospital or consulting rooms, so if you also happen to be a sports fanatic, you could find your niche with a sports team and travel the world.
And if it’s business they seek…
If you detect a committed interest in all things business in your child, encourage him or her so that the flame does not only glow for a while and then die but that it’s ignited to burn with passion. Killing an entrepreneurial spirit could do untold damage.
But then I don’t think a true entrepreneur would ultimately be put off by negative criticism, so in the end, it may be you or the discouraging teacher or friend or whoever else who may have egg on their faces if your kid becomes the next-generation Branson!
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