What happens when your boss is 9yrs old? Like a CEO, my son is inspired with ideas for better business and community. And like many CEO’s, once he’s shared his vision he delegates the implementation strategy to his leadership team (AKA Mom & Dad). Like any parent, I went looking for ways to encourage his passion but also his initiative so I wouldn’t become his executive assistant.
Que the old man “back in my day…”
Today’s parents grew up with responsibility of supporting their community organizations (Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Sports teams, School events) by asking for contributions from friends, family and neighbors. We carried our flyers door to door and asked for signatures, empty cans/bottles and practiced our sales pitch for chocolate bars. Fundraising efforts now seem few and far between that when they do come around we whip out cheque books in favour of our kids having to ask and potentially hear “no” from strangers.
Is convenience a hindrance? Our kids are one google search away from learning anything they want. They are connected to a community of information, innovation and support. Every tool they need to bring an idea to life is available to them. With encouragement, coaching and guidance, kids can turn possibility into reality. What is the missing piece for turning ideas into initiative?
Build A Biz Kids is a non-profit delivery partner of Young Entrepreneur Learning Lab after-school and summer camp programs. We believe that today’s youth are one encouragement away from changing the world. We are building our future leaders by empowering community focused action takers. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive in today’s youth and our summer camp and after school programs are equipping them with the tools and resources to take action with their solution focused creativity.
Here are a few tips on raising KidPreneurs:
1 – Problems are opportunities – the greatest innovations are actually solutions to common problems. The innovative mind of a child has an advantage when it comes to creative ideas for overcoming obstacles because they have not heard all of the excuses yet on why something doesn’t work. Encourage their exploration by celebrating problems as an opportunity for creative solution based thinking.
2 – Mistakes are important part of the process – nothing is ever immediately great. Greatness occurs after lots of attention and effort. It’ s important to encourage the positivity in “failing” as the moment we learn there might be a better way. A perfectionist will often suffer from analysis paralysis and never take that first step. Encourage a messy process of learning and re-developing ideas.
3 – Communication is key – I love the phrase that you don’t fully comprehend a concept until you can explain it to a five-year-old. Imagine the power of a five-year-old who can explain a concept or idea to adults. The key to delivering a message to be clear and concise – when you encourage a child to simplify their communication, you are increasing their ability to be understood and supported.
Entrepreneurial skills challenge children to think outside the box, create unique solutions, and become leaders at an early age. The entrepreneurial mindset teaches kids to take initiative, solve problems, think critically, make decisions, interact with people confidently and look for opportunities around them. These skills help to increase self-confidence and provide more opportunities for bright financial futures for themselves and their communities.