Growing up, I wanted to be an accountant. I knew I was good with numbers and this was a well-paying profession so that was where I channelled my energy, I wasn’t brought up to consider entrepreneurship in any way, shape or form.
I am sure for most of us growing up in African households, our parents’ ambitions were for us to go on to be engineers, doctors, lawyers and the rest of it, I am not saying this was a bad thing but I guess it never gave us another possibility which was Entrepreneurship.
As parents, uncles or aunties, I think it is time to start exploring this possibility for our young ones. Just as we want to expose them to sciences, art, culture, sport, athletics, we should also be exposing them to the world of entrepreneurship. If you see this trait in your kid, encourage them, nurture it, expose them to the right circumstances and the right people just the way you would nurture them if you realised they could play football. Sure, you still want them to be all-round good and have exposure to other things but I think more attention should be paid to this trait.
For those kids that do not naturally show this trait, expose them to it and get them thinking like an entrepreneur in addition to their dreams of pursuing other careers like engineering. Here are some practical tips you can employ as a parent:
– Consider ‘Paying’ your kids rather than giving them allowances. Pay for services rendered around the house and let them know the more services and value they can add, the more payment they can generate. This naturally gets them thinking of ways to boost their ‘Fees’ for services rendered
– As they make money, teach them to save some straightaway. Maybe 50% spent as they see fit and 50% tucked away in a house fund, education fund etc.
– Let them get exposure to how money is managed in the house
– Never let them throw away a penny
– Bedtime stories. In a week, maybe ready them 5 bedtime stories and then let them create stories on the other 2 nights. Could be about their day or about anything. This boosts their creativity and problem solving skills and dare I say, their sales skills
– Encourage them to speak publicly and watch their confidence grow
– Create scenarios for them to be entrepreneurial. E.g. If they ask for money, you could ask them to join you in baking, selling the cake in their school or social gatherings and let them determine the price that they deem fair and that will add up to the money they need and help them consider bulk discount, age discount etc.
– If they are naturally coming up with ideas, encourage them to have a notepad or phone app to jot these ideas down
– If they really come up with an idea that makes even you go “o boy!”, then it’s time to guide them into bringing that idea into fruition. You are surrounded by a strong community in Edinburgh Black Professionals so reach out to the right people if you need guidance.
If nothing, all the above should help your kid become a more well-rounded person and maybe, just maybe shape them to be a successful entrepreneur. I will leave you with the story of Lily.
Lily Born – Kangaroo Cups
At the age of 8, Lily Born developed a three-legged drinking cup, intending that people who have Parkinson’s disease (like her grandfather) could use it without worrying about spilling. She raised a little over $6,000 on Kickstarter to put it into production. “This campaign is not just about bringing a product to production,” Lily’s father wrote. ” it is about sending a message to every parent and every kid with an invention (which is just about every kid) that … dream can be made real.”
Something to add? Question to ask? Do leave a comment.
Written by Enoch Adeyemi
Click here to see his LinkedIn profile.
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