How early can we teach our kids an entrepreneurial mindset?
Learning from mistakes. Passive income. Uurtje factuurtje. Brand building. Compound interest.
Is it all too much for a kid?
It depends on how you approach it.
Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. — Truman Capote
Even if they don’t resell gum on the playground, they can change their perspective on how to create products — and make a living selling them. Or at the very least know that there are other opportunities out there other than the typical day job if they have some guts, daring, and are willing to put in a bit of sweat equity.
Did you catch that? Big finance term: equity. What does it mean? That’s the kind of thing you can teach your kids or at least the concepts.
We’re on vacation. It’s a time when you can sink into your lounge chair and drink Mai Thais (pun intended: we’re in Thailand). Or you can rustle up some Chang-induced discussion about how we can better raise our kids. I’m all for the lounge chair, but remember that on vacation, your mind is more open than when you’re back home. Let it open. Allow different, new, and possibly uncomfortable ideas in. Let them simmer, talk about them, dig in deep. Then you can go back to your Mai Thai.
You might think: Who cares? Why bother? Let them go to university, get a job, work there for their adult life, retire, get a gold watch, and go on a cruise to the Bahamas.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. Just like some people don’t like pecan ice cream and some people do.
This is for kids who think there might be a chance to do something different in their lives. Maybe make a tiny difference. Make a ton of money. Help a cause. Figure something out. Have fun with it.
It’s up to them — and a little bit up to you.
The Two Most Important Rules For Entrepreneurs
One of my all-time favorite posts on the subject is “The Two Most Important Rules For Entrepreneurs” by John Muldoon. I’m not going to give you the two rules so that you have to go read that article, but I’ll add that I think his #1 rule is possibly one of the most important rules for
entrepreneurs, creative types, go-getters, everyone, people who want to transform themselves into a better version of their current selves.
Number two is then how to make money — lots more money — doing number one.
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
It’s not like I go on road trips with my kids and make them figure out the distance between our starting point and destination, divide by the number of hours driving and figure out the average speed. OK, just kidding. I do actually do that. It’s more than I want them to have opportunities, to realize that there are options and there’s pretty much only one person who is going to make that option available: you (well, you and/or your kid).
At least open the door to possibility and let them have a look inside. Don’t hit them over the head with it. But maybe drip it into their hair a little. Make it fun. Keep it light. Then go have a Mai Thai.
More from those who know this better than I do:
- Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens: The Secrets about Money–That You Don’t Learn in School! by Robert Kiyosaki. How to speak the language of money, ways to make money work for you, tips for success (including: “Work to learn, not to earn.”), and
why games can help you understand money, investing, and ways to choose your best path to financial freedom.
- How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After a Loss by Sheryl Sandberg. The good news is that resilience isn’t a fixed personality trait; we’re not born with a set amount of it. Resilience is a muscle we can help kids build.
- How To Raise An Entrepreneurial Child by Chris Myers. Parents can no longer assume that if you raise a decent child, he or she will be able to make their way in the world without too much trouble. In order to be successful in today’s competitive and often chaotic environment, you have to have a grit, intelligence, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
- How to Raise Entrepreneurial Kids by Mark Cuban. Want successful kids? Cultivate a can-do mindset at an early age.
- Kidpreneurs by Matthew and Adam Toren. What is it about teaching our children the basic principles of sound money management that seems to tighten the throat and sew the lips of the average parent?