If you have a child that dreams big and has big ideas,
you might be raising an entrepreneur.
In everyday terms, an entrepreneur is a person who has a talent for seeing opportunities and developing them into profit-making businesses.
27 million, or 51% percent, of Americans are starting or running a business. Your child may already be in that percentage.
Do they like to make things and sell them, or buy and sell for profit?
Are you aware that “recent research clearly indicates that in some cases, environment triggers genetic tendencies, certain situations trigger genes that would otherwise lie dormant”? James V. Koch
This means you could have a child that was born with entrepreneurial traits. Maybe they were born to be a speaker, a dancer, an athlete, or a scientist, and if you allow and encourage certain situations in their life, these very traits will come to life!
It is very important to know your child, see their strengths and help them develop those strengths. How Am I Smart?, or the updated version, 8 Great Smarts by Kathy Koch was so helpful to me in learning how to find these strengths in my children.
According to multiple studies, there may be an “entrepreneur gene”–or possibly people with certain genetic characteristics and personality traits that are more likely to be successful entrepreneurs than others. They have been “hard-wired” that way.
Be a student of your children. Watch your children. You can learn so much from their behavior, questions, and conversation. Even at a young age, they will start showing entrepreneurial characteristics if that is the way that God has wired them.
Don’t lose hope. Whether the drive is innate or a trait acquired at birth, several believe that anyone can become an entrepreneur. Anyone with exposure to the ideas and lessons of entrepreneurship can have lasting effects, even if they are not “natural” entrepreneurs.
Does your child take risks?
One entrepreneurial characteristic that shows up quite young, as young as toddlerhood, is risk-taking. You cannot teach somebody to love to take risks. Either they like it, or they don’t.
Let’s talk about just a few characteristics of an entrepreneur and you can decide for yourself if your child is an entrepreneur in the making.
Does your child see a need and then figure out how to fix the problem or fill the need?
I’d like to share one example of my son and show you how many of these traits showed up just in this one story.
When he was 10 years old he wanted a game console. He knew that we would only buy him what he needed not what he wanted (unless it was a birthday or Christmas gift, of course) He would have to use his own money.
He watched me buy on eBay and decided to save money by buying a used console on eBay with my guidance. It wasn’t long before he realized, on his own, that he could make money from buying and selling on eBay. Along with his eBay venture, his other businesses included selling candy and lemonade. His goal was to save up enough money to start a skateboard brand. He was only ten years old!
I saw his natural God-given ability to buy and sell. So, I supported these efforts by supervising him on the computer with this desire and newfound ability. He used his money and he did learn, sometimes the hard way that some things are not as they seem.
He was resourceful.
My son used his resources (his money and time), figured out how to get something that he didn’t have with the small amount of money he did have.
He was a problem-solver
Being able to make money by himself through ways that he figured out on his own was a huge motivation.
It made him feel independent and self-confident.
I will have to say, this was back during the prehistoric computer internet days when all the dangers of the internet were not so readily available. If your child has any type of gift that involves a computer with internet access, I strongly encourage you to help and guide him through the dangers in the cyber world.
You are the one who knows or should know, your child best.
Not all children or teens can be or should be trusted with a computer that has internet access, especially when they are alone.
We added parental control software much more in-depth on our home computer and our son’s computer. As he matured, he was allowed to take his computer to his room, but he was not allowed to close his door. I would check on him quite often, to see what he was doing, even with the software.
Entrepreneurs think outside of the box and may have self-doubt, but that doesn’t stop them from believing they can achieve their goals.
If you have seen the characteristics of an entrepreneur in your child or teen, or maybe they have a strong desire or passion to start a business but lack many or some of these characteristics, start working on them now.
Start a family business or help them start a business of their own.
- Help them learn how to brainstorm. Come up with a great idea that people will pay money for. Encourage them to start something they can handle at their age. Dreaming is to be encouraged but the younger they are, the more chance they have of wanting to try something that their mind or age may not be able to handle.
- Allow them to think independently. Encourage them to think “outside the box”
- Help them form a plan of success. How will they reach that goal?
- Encourage consistency in the execution of the plan.
Another great characteristic to learn is collaboration.
This can easily be done in your homeschool. Give them a problem to solve. Maybe something in your house needs minor repairs or painting. Only give them tools or materials that would not normally be used for the project. Then give each child only one tool and tell them that they will have to work together to figure out how to repair or paint.
Use your creativity to come up with other collaborating activities. This might make a boring subject or chore fun! No matter where they go in life this is a tremendous trait to have.
Our son Matthew (on the right), the entrepreneur, owner of three successful software companies in the U.S. and U.K.
Whether your child is an entrepreneur at heart and is successful in starting a business, or just learns a few things in the process and develops some characteristics that will take him far in life, your efforts will not be in vain.
Get a much more in-depth look at Homeschooling Your Entrepreneur in my workshop coming April 1st. Find out more at Yellow House Book Rental.
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Michelle Osborn is the owner and founder of Yellow House Book Rental, specializing in providing homeschool curriculum for rent or purchase, as well as counseling and guidance for homeschool families. She is a wife of 30 years, a 22-year homeschool veteran, and mom of four amazing children. She and her husband absolutely adore their four grandchildren. Two of her children are now entrepreneurs, running their own businesses and doing quite well. Michelle’s passions include serving by leading worship at her church and encouraging homeschool moms through one on one, social media and speaking engagements. She has found her niche in helping parents homeschooling their teens through the high school years and on to pursue their dreams.
Come on over to Yellow House Book Rental to find out more about Michelle, her family, as well as how YHBR could give you and your family more options in meeting your homeschool needs and budget.