Opinions expressed by entrepreneur The shareholders themselves.
How to Raise Entrepreneurs – Classical Nature vs. the Effects of Nurture.
Are Entrepreneurs Born or Raised? For me, it was probably more nature than nurture. I didn’t really grow up around entrepreneurs. My grandfather was a guardian. My mother cleaned the houses. I think this could be considered running her own business. But I haven’t seen my parents do the traditional things for a startup like talking about financial issues at the dinner table, reading income statements, or managing employees.
Entrepreneurs see problems and try to come up with solutions
Natural entrepreneurs have a problem-solving mindset. They walk around and see problems in the world and think of solutions like, Wouldn’t it be great if…
For example, I used to play baseball when I was a kid. I noticed the long line at the snack hut afterwards. Most of the other children were eating and talking with their friends. But I wondered in the back of my mind how I could come up with a better system. The pizza wasn’t even great, but the location was perfect. Every two minutes they had kids spend $6 to get a slice of pizza. I did the math in my head. That was one of my aha moments when I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
Once again, I went to Costco with my grandparents. I’ve seen packets of juicy fruit gum with 25 cents printed on each individual packet. But if you buy in bulk, you can get it for 12 cents a package. For me it was a no-brainer. I didn’t even have to mark up 25 cents to make about 50 percent profit. It’s just the way my brain works.
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Your environment can naturally affect your entrepreneurial mindset
There was also quite a bit of upbringing on my way to entrepreneurship. My environment contributed to my natural instinct. We didn’t have a lot of extra money. I had to wait for Christmas to get the big gifts like the bike. If I wanted to get that bike sooner, I knew I had to make money myself.
So for me it was a mixture of need and mindset. This was the basis of my entrepreneurial journey.
Entrepreneurial families can nurture future entrepreneurs
Then there are people born into entrepreneurial families. They see the long hours of hard work their parents put in. They may even be involved in the family business from a young age. They learn to be self-sufficient. They see the financial fluctuations that can occur early in the business. This can certainly affect their views when starting their own business, either positively or negatively. Ultimately, I think you still need an entrepreneurial mindset to take advantage of the lessons you learned while watching your entrepreneurial parents.
My colleague and fellow entrepreneur, Troy Hoffman, has had more entrepreneurial experience. He remembers having a teacher who had piles of entrepreneur Magazine at the back of the chapter. The teacher enthusiastically talked about starting a business. Hoffman was also inspired by his parents and a family friend, who had set up a successful surf shop. Seeing them build a successful business gave him the desire to start his own business.
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Even if you are not an entrepreneur yourself, there are things you can do to develop entrepreneurship in your children.
Think outside the box
Reward thinking outside the box. In general, our school system teaches us to do things the way they have always been done. Encourage your children to find unique solutions to real-world problems. If there is no obvious solution, help them create one.
Failure is a learning experience – no risk, no reward
At my company, we have a no-blame culture. I think this allows people to work creatively without fear of making mistakes. Entrepreneurs know that mistakes are part of the learning process. Make sure your children understand that mistakes are an integral part of learning and growth. Entrepreneurs need to take some risks. Calculating the risk and reward for your actions is a valuable skill in any situation, even if you haven’t become an entrepreneur.
If your kids ask you for something, tell them you’ll think about it if they come up with a good presentation and a solid action plan. Even if it was just a puppy request. Ask them to follow the steps – analyze their options, calculate the cost and decide the best path to obtain financing. Entrepreneurs find solutions to complex problems and make others believe in their vision.
Is your child by nature an entrepreneur? If so, give them the freedom to explore that side of themselves. It’s the perfect lemonade stand scenario.
If not, try out some of the tools I’ve outlined to put them on the entrepreneurial path. Even if they don’t go on to build unicorns, the skills they learn will help them succeed in everything they do.
Related topics: How to raise entrepreneurial children