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How to Raise a Millionaire – Developing Your Child’s Entrepreneurial Aptitude

This guest post from Dean at The Millionaire Nurse is part of the Yakezie Blog Swap #16. In this swap, we were asked to write on the topic How to Raise a Millionaire – Developing Your Child’s Entrepreneurial Aptitude. 

When I was a kid, how did kids make money?

  • Lemonade stands
  • Mowing lawns
  • Throwing newspapers
  • Allowance chores

When my kids were young these same activities were an option although throwing newspapers is fast going the way of albums and 8 Track tapes.

Those are all great ways for kids to earn money-except the newspaper thingey.

Is earning money enough to develop an entrepreneurial aptitude?

Is an entrepreneurial aptitude even desirable in your child?

First the definition of entrepreneur

An “Entrepreneur” is defined as someone who risks capital to start a money generating business and is responsible for its success (or failure.)

Would those be desirable traits for your child?

Would you rather he/she volunteer for the Peace Corp, or to always work for other people during their working life?

To me the reason to encourage entrepreneurism and it’s associated skills in your children is the importance of those skills in helping your kids make their own way.

Not doing this in the current economic environment would be like a stone age Dad and Mom telling their children, “Don’t bother learning about hunting, fishing or gathering roots to eat, there will always be someone around to do it for you. Then Mom and Dad get chewed up and swallowed by a saber-tooth tiger. Where does that leave the kids? Cold, hungry, and afraid?

Our kids deserve our encouragement and instruction on how to work, save, imagine a project, and how that project can be implemented and monetized. These are all traits known collectively as Personal Responsibility.

Even if they don’t choose an entrepreneurial career, they will understand how capitalism works. And even charities and non-profits must be able to raise money and allocate it appropriately.

Teaching Kids Business Skills

On a practical basis, how can you instill these entrepreneurial skills in your kids?

  • Teach values.
  • Teach importance of keeping score-life is not fair, it’s not fair to imply that it is…
  • Teach the true value of money-early on they need to know what things cost
  • Teach negotiation
  • Teach relative value, not to be confused with moral values….A lemonade is worth 25 cents, a nickle, a buck? What does it cost to make? What does overhead cost?
  • Teach the value of time-what is 5 minutes, an hour, a year’s worth of time?
  • Teach the value of giving.
  • Teach the value of health, fitness, and nutrition for without those, all the above is of no value.
  • Teach the value of patience.
  • Teach the value of focus.
  • Teach them what “loss” is.

Making it happen:

How do you accomplish those things, instill them into your children?

By making this important to you! By using every day to find examples of the above and calling attention to them. By working on projects together. By allowing them to be involved in your entrepreneurial activities.

Finally, by allowing them to fail. If your kids have a safety net every step of the way, they won’t know what to do without it. That can be the hardest part for parents, allowing their kids to fail. We take it personally, it’s our fault.

This isn’t about you, it’s about them. Teaching them how to be successful, to make something happen.

When a plan comes together, there is nothing better!