A great entrepreneur can come from anywhere. Some come out of thin air and create success that nobody could have expected. I always wonder what drives other people to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit. Was it a teacher that inspired them? Did they have a role model that showed them glimpses of the life? As a parent, I hope it is not too much to wonder whether or not mothers and fathers can ignite this passion.
I am so proud of my children and know that is not going to change regardless of what career they choose. So long as they are happy, I will be happy. While they do not have to found their own businesses, I do think that having some entrepreneurial leanings will serve them well in any industry. Being a self-starter, having the drive to challenge themselves, and seizing opportunities are some basic skills that will impact so many facets of their life.
Beyond encouraging your children to get very serious about that lemonade stand, there are some smart ways to set them down the right path. There are some great entrepreneurial organizations your kids can join to hone their skills. You could slip a book that you found inspiring under the tree for them this year. While I think that some acts of nudging like these are helpful, the greatest resource they have is you.
Even if you are not a CEO, you can demystify so many aspects of the working world. Explain what you do – not just your title or your profession – but what it takes to be successful in your role. Tell them about the business people that you respect, tell them the stories that keep a fire lit underneath you.
Most of all, lead by example. Show them what a hardworking mom or dad looks like. You can be the role model, the teacher that spurs your children to ask more of themselves. Through all of this, be supportive whenever they seem to embrace this ethos.
One more vital note: let them fall. Failures teach us so much so quickly. We learn what moves lead to downfall, we learn what strategies elevate us, and we learn that failure does not kill us. When this fear is removed, our kids have the freedom to reach further, to dream bigger.
We owe it to our children to foster a spirit that creates opportunities out of what seems like thin air.
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