What makes an entrepreneur successful? Some people might luck out on their success and be at the right place at the right time. Another entrepreneur may be born with the drive to succeed. Then, others might be raised in an environment that creates that mindset.
Grayson, my oldest son started a lawn business at age eleven. He set out with lofty goals of a long-term business but we saw a scrawny boy looking for some extra cash.
I was not raised in an entrepreneur driven environment. Most family members had 9 to 5 jobs. However, I have had creative, or crazy as my husband calls it, ideas from a young age. I have stepped out on many occasions to make my ideas work. Some have and some haven’t but I never give up the idea of trying it out. I definitely see this in Grayson and his business. Is that a trait of an entrepreneur?
Yes, a drive to take a risk and not be afraid of failure is key to a young entrepreneur. Learning to evaluate risk at a young age helps you grow into adulthood with a secure sense of knowing failure is part of growth. The nurturing of play is important. Exploration and imagination play a huge role in developing the characteristics of a young entrepreneur.
Grayson is not afraid of failure. He works his ideas in his head, tries them out and assesses the success. He always sees the end he is looking for, not the possible failures in between.
This starts on the playground. Let kids work on our social issues and find their own boundaries. Helicopter parenting prevents children from experiencing natural interactions with other children. When we interfere with critical thinking opportunities, it actually affects the brain’s development. Children need to learn the feeling of fight or flight, the endorphins, and hormones that bring about emotion and thought processes. We want to protect our children but we don’t need to step in and solve every issue for them.
My son Grayson had a stroke as a baby. Walking with him through recovery was tough as a mother. I wanted to shield and protect every move. Once I realized I was not helping him to deal with his own abilities, I backed off. I taught him to find his own strengths and build on them. Grayson needed to find his own way, be independent and self-motivated. This played a key role in his attitude of perseverance as an entrepreneur. It is what has made his business of four years flourish and be successful.
Being an independent learner is a valuable asset to growing a business. Knowing how to find information, ask questions and not wait for someone else to do it for you is key to becoming an entreprenuer.
Historically entrepreneurs and inventors were different. They stood apart and may have been thought odd. They also had a common denominator of having grit. When I think of grit, I think of standing firm and digging my heels in. I believe grit is the number one factor of successful entrepreneurs and inventors. They never give up. Working hard and trying all possibilities is part of the journey.
Don’t sell your kids short of their abilities.
Let your young entrepreneur know they are safe in their home. Safe to share fabulous and maybe ridiculous ideas. Give them the time and space to create and build on their ideas. Letting them try and fail in your home gives them the confidence to learn mistakes now before heading out on their own. Love them even when you don’t understand them. Children and adults with a mind that is always working can be difficult to deal with. Prayer can help you give grace and love when you want to shut down an idea.
My co-host over at Roadschool Moms, Mary Beth and I had an in-depth conversation about this subject. She is a wealth of knowledge on the subject. We banter quite a bit on our opinion about modern culture and how it is preventing success in many children today. Join us for the podcast conversation.
Looking for more parenting tips? Read my book on motherhood.