Are child entrepreneurs born or raised? We contend that they are raised. Case in point, just see this Mashable post on raising entrepreneurs from Jim Aberman, father of WePay Co-Founder Rich Aberman. So if your child shows an aptitude for coming up with new ideas, encourage them! They may not be successful in their first, second or even tenth business, but they’ll keep trying if you keep encouraging. If you’re interested in helping your little one explore entrepreneurship, keep these six steps in mind from the minute they express interest in earning a dollar:
- Help Your Child Find His Dreams – Provide opportunities for a variety of hobbies to help spark interests that your child may not even be aware of. Look for classes, groups and organizations that teach about topics that are not in schools to really broaden your child’s interests. Don’t be upset if they get bored or are unhappy and want to do something else.
- Allow Your Child to Pursue His Dreams - Your child may talk about owning an airline or creating an invention. Both probably seem far fetched to you, but don’t put him down! Inspire him instead. Talk with him about his dreams. Encourage him. Help him research his interests.
- Teach Your Child about Business – Teach your child the basics of running a business, how to make a profit, how to sell, how to keep records, etc. Point him or her toward online games such as Disney’s Hot Shots. Or check out books and other educational resources like Dr. Jerry and Sarah Cook’s Raising CEO Kids, which may even be accessible for older children.
- Lend A Hand – If your child wants your help, be willing to put some hours into helping them start a new business or a business that’s in progress. You can assist her with deciding on a location for the business, using the internet for business, publicizing the business, completing legal paperwork or financial documents, or creating a business plan, etc. Remember that driving your child, attending meetings and allowing access to your phone, computer and/or phone are other ways of helping.
- Lend Some Money – You may want to give your child money to help with her business instead of lending it. It depends on your child’s age, business knowledge and abilities. You can also help by providing work space, equipment, start-up products or advertising.
- Teach Your Child about Other Child Entrepreneurs – Let your child read about how other child entrepreneurs got started, about their business models and about their successes and failures. Some examples are Jake Lunn, of Nautical Napkins, Cameron Johnson, who began selling in his neighborhood, then online, and is now a speaker, and Leann Archer of Hair Inc.
Because of the internet, we are seeing more successful child entrepreneurs. The internet helps to cut back on business costs and allows children to work their own hours. One such option? The brand new WePay Stores. With mom or dad’s help (WePay requires users to be 18), a child entrepreneur can set up a new store in a flash! Just sign in to WePay and check out the “Stores” option.
Are you raising a child entrepreneur? We’d love to hear about it, so let us know in the comments!