Behind every story of a self-made millionaire is a long line of supportive family members, friends, and mentors who spoke up when it mattered, invested when times were tough, and bit their tongues when criticism wasn’t constructive. If you find yourself parenting the next Mark Zuckerberg, congratulations–and get ready for a wild ride. Here are a few handrails to guide you through a very unique category of parenting.
Surround your child with mentors.
Your decades of real-world experience have given you more entrepreneurial acumen than you may realize; bookkeeping, profits, and customer service may be obvious to you, but they aren’t to your child. But that doesn’t mean your knowledge is all-sufficient. It’s also important to identify which areas of expertise you lack, and surround your child with mentors to fill the gaps. Perhaps your daughter is an aspiring fashion designer but your nine-to-five is selling security systems. Contact a local fashion school and ask for permission to shadow a student for the day. Nothing educates like a shared experience with those who have gone before.
When Kyle decided to pursue his pilot’s license, he sought out input from a mentor named Mack. Watch his profile here.
Transform idle time into inspiration time.
The adage rings truer today than ever before: we become what we behold. In an era of unlimited channels, mediums, and platforms to fill our every waking moment, being selective about what we let fill our minds has never been more important. For an aspiring young entrepreneur, that means passing on mindless media and opting instead to learn from and be inspired by those who have found entrepreneurial success.
We’ll admit; we’re biased in this category. It’s why we crafted six seasons of Emmy-winning video content profiling young entrepreneurs across the country. The good news? You can watch dozens of clips from the show on our website for free.
Lend a hand with the nitty gritty.
Plenty of young people are attracted to the high life a perceived entrepreneurial career can bring. But far fewer have the dedication required to turn their dreams into reality. Pointing your child to resources that assist with the less glamorous aspects of running a business can mean the difference between pipe dream and profitable venture. Templates and tools on topics like business plans, bookkeeping, pricing, and taxes are invaluable to a successful enterprise.
Sky is a professional skater, not an accountant. That’s why he enlists the help of his mom at tax time. Watch his full profile here.
Know when not helping is the most helpful.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Sometimes, nothing creates more urgency, more financial stewardship, or more drive than a need to succeed. It may be tempting to simply give your child the materials they need to run their business. Perhaps it’s ink for the printer, cups for the lemonade stand, or thread for the sewing machine. By requiring your child to pay for their materials, you’ll give them a realistic picture of entrepreneurship. And by forcing them to cover their costs, you’ll nudge their business plan into a more profitable future.