There are several reasons we encourage an entrepreneurial mindset in our family. Briefly, because there is freedom and variety in it, and unlimited opportunity, allowing a person to do what he or she is good at and loves. And, entrepreneurs turn the machine–they are leaders.
And it even goes beyond that: even if our children end up in a life work that is more mainstream, the entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable one of innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness. It grooms us to see that the world is full of ideas, and to solve problems and live optimistically.
I can’t remember if I’ve ever told this story here, but my son Brooks has a passion for machines. He loves to look at them, talk about them and ride them. He loves to watch his Poppy repair them, soaking it in like a sponge. He has wanted to operate a machine business since he was old enough to articulate it.
When he was 6, he began quizzing me about how a business operates.
“If I have a machine business, I want people to call me to work for them. But how will they know to call me?”
“Well, you have to advertise and list your phone number so they can find it.”
(Long pause) “How do I get a phone number?”
“You call the phone company and they’ll give you one.”
“How do I find the number to the phone company?”
And on it went like this for about an hour of pure, fascinating interest in running his own business. He got a crash-course in business that day that continues to propel his dream.
When we got home, I ordered him some business cards. By then, we had talked all about a business name, branding, marketing and saving up for his first investment–a skid steer, his favorite machine. I encouraged him to share his business cards and tell people about his dream business. Part of that, I told him, was to hone his relational/communication skills–something very important to a business owner.
Brooks has a jar of money he has been steadily saving for his first machine. He does odd jobs for us and for his grandparents to earn money. With an early vision of his goals and a growing understanding of economy, he should be well-equipped at a young age to launch into adulthood.
And even if his goals change, maybe he has a good start in the foundations of business.
If you’re interested in raising entrepreneurs, you may enjoy Raising Entrepreneurs, Raising Leaders.
Also, I’d love to hear your stories about how you’re encouraging business/entrepreneurial skills.