The world has changed dramatically over the last few decades, and today it’s no longer just about having a degree or a fancy job title; instead, success lies in the hands of the creative and competitive entrepreneurs who bring their ideas to life. More than ever, it’s important to start fostering creativity and entrepreneurial thinking into our children, so that they can be prepared for this ever-changing world.
There are many ways to go about this. One of the most effective methods involves creating an atmosphere where children can learn how to start and run their own businesses, whether selling lemonade on the front lawn or starting an internet-based business while they’re still in high school.
Most entrepreneurs develop their first business ideas during childhood, when the entrepreneurial world seems like a limitless playground full of potential and possibilities. In fact, these early startup ideas can lay the foundation for future success, or even determine whether or not your child will grow up to be an entrepreneur. Ideas are born when we least expect them - and the start of an idea is fragile, delicate, and easy to break or scare away.
My 6-year-old son comes up with a new idea every day, so I knew I had to teach him how to keep those good ideas alive and motivate him to try new things - like starting his own business. So we created a company called www.rockinthepocket.com together. It didn't matter if we only made $10 or not; this experience would provide valuable life lessons for my little guy - giving him crucial skills down the road that would allow him more flexibility when figuring out what he wants to do with his life.
So, I chronicled five crucial steps in our journey that helped me guide him to a path of entrepreneurship.
- Be aware of your child’s interests – their true interests
It is essential to be aware of your child’s interests, so you can help them find opportunities to explore these topics further. If your child is interested in fashion, you can encourage them to learn more about design or help them start a small business selling their clothes. By being aware of their interests, you can better support your child’s natural curiosity and creativity.
My son prefers making videos on YouTube as opposed to watching television, and he recently asked me for his own Youtube channel so that he could become a content creator. I realized that my son has an innate need to express himself creatively - which can take many forms.
- Pick one thing to focus on
As a parent, you can help foster creativity and encourage a business mindset in your child by teaching them how to find their true passion and to pursue it. Doing this will help them develop the skills they need to succeed in whatever they choose to do. The more creative ideas they come up with, the better- but ensure you're there to support and guide them as needed. School teaches us to build hard skills like reading, math, etc. Still, the ability to identify and connect oneself with a passion is through exploration.
It is often guided by influential people in our lives, especially our parents or those who raised us. Help your child to find that true passion and show them how to pursue it.
- Help them to connect their passion to a purpose
It's essential to help kids connect their passions with a greater purpose or meaning. This can be done by talking about how their favorite activities can be used to help others.For example, if they love animals, you can discuss how they could volunteer at an animal shelter or start a pet-sitting business. By connecting their passions to something meaningful, you'll help them see that their interests can positively impact the world.
- Start small
When it comes to entrepreneurship, it's never too early to start small. You can encourage your child's creativity and business mindset by giving them opportunities to be enterprising from a young age. It doesn't matter if you have an incredible idea or not. I shared my son's business idea with a friend, and she told me it inspired her to do something like this with her kids - then she quickly followed up with a discouraging comment about how hard it would be to start from scratch.
So I encouraged her to start small, because you have to start somewhere. Even if that means creating 10-second reels on social media, blogging about your ideas, or designing t-shirts for family members. The hardest step is always the first step, so teach your children how to take it.
- Don’t have high expectations.
Getting caught up in wanting our children to be successful is easy as a parent. But it’s essential to have realistic expectations when it comes to entrepreneurship. Just because your child has a great idea doesn’t mean they’ll be able to turn it into a successful business. Every idea doesn't need to be a million-dollar one either. Some ideas mean something more, those for skill-building, and even those that offer nothing but learning for oneself.The key is that you help your child find the confidence and the necessary drive to make an effort with their idea.
And even if it fails, there's always something valuable to learn from the experience of trying.
As a parent, you play an essential role in encouraging your child's creativity and supporting their entrepreneurial journey. Following the tips above can help set them up for success.These five steps were the root of how my son and I built the Rock in the Pocket brand. He enjoyed painting, so we started to paint rock characters. Once those rocks were made, we found that they had a function - linking up with the symbol of rocks being strong or unyielding against anything trying to change them - which led us to name it after its purpose, Rock in the Pocket.
My 6-year-old and I just started our own business in our kitchen, literally with a bag of rocks. It was a fantastic experience because we spent time together and were able to give our rocks a greater purpose. Now we're looking forward to reaching out to people who might need some help or support but don't know where to start yet - life is about helping others reach their goals no matter what they are, so let's get together! Please add comments below and we will respond to them all!