How Parents Can Encourage Entrepreneurship

10586043946_c0b375a45f_k At the basketball games, the bleachers are filled with super-fan parents, cheering on their players with the tenacity only a parent can deliver. Debate competitions, more subdued but equally passionate. And choir recitals and musical performances empty local florists of their bouquets. These are the moments parents cherish, snapping pictures to share with their friends. So what if your child has no desire to be an athlete, soloist, or master debater? What if they crave a path defined not by letters on a jacket but numbers in a spreadsheet? What if…they want to be an entrepreneur? Encouraging—and guiding—your child in their pursuit of the entrepreneurial dream can take some creativity and intentionality. But there’s no shortage of ways to do so. Here are a few of our favorites.

Get into their world.

What is true for most any area of parenting is true for encouraging your aspiring Biz Kid: ask questions! Talk with your child about their dreams. Especially at first, ask questions that show you take interest in their dreams, not just questions of concern.

Recognize achievement.

All of those special moments that traditional hobbies and activities provide can be sorely missed in the more independent life of a young entrepreneur. Watch for opportunities to recognize their accomplishments. Perhaps a special dinner to mark the completion of their business plan, their first sale, or their website launch. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy; a simple gesture that says, “this matters” will go a long way.

Encourage mentorship.

Whether you have the business acumen of a Shark Tank investor or not, encouraging outside mentorship is a great way to ensure that your child asks the right questions without being labeled as a worry wart. Ask a local business professional to meet with your child every now and then and offer their counsel. Who knows, they could both learn a thing or two.

Identify resources.

You may not be buying knee pads, uniforms, or paying for special training camps, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play a role in equipping your future business tycoon. Looking for resources—paid or free—for your entrepreneur shows that you care about their success and support their endeavor. Not sure where to look? Here are a few places to look:

  • Your local library: Biographies on entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford, or more practical resources like business plan guides, are all free.
  • BizKids.com: We have a robust selection of free resources for your Biz Kid. Business plan templates, marketing worksheets, and more. Check them out.
  • Podcasts: Some of the brightest minds in the marketplace offer their thoughts on a weekly basis in free podcasts. Play them around the house to fill your home with wisdom!

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