Financial Advice

Ignite your child’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

Your home-based business is the perfect platform for educating your children about business and financial independence. As a business owner you have taken control of your own life and destiny. You are ahead of the curve – but are your children? Many parents expect their children to learn what they need to succeed in school. But consider this: Visit a kindergarten class and you see excited children jumping up and down. “Pick me! Pick me!” they yell, eager to learn anything and volunteering for everything. Now fast forward into the future ten years and imagine those same children in a classroom as seniors in high school. The front row seats are empty; the students not only avoid volunteering, they won’t even make eye contact with the teachers for fear of being called upon. What happened during those 10 years? Their love of learning, thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm for life have been challenged and often stifled or lost entirely. Whether we like it or not, traditional education today is still teaching our children to become good employees rather than creative entrepreneurs. In fact, creativity is often labeled as rebellion. What’s the difference? Employees live for paychecks. Entrepreneurs live for results. Owning a business is a great way to teach kids about the responsibilities and benefits of entrepreneurism, but they’re also lessons that transcend the business world. Becoming a role model for your children will encourage them to take responsibility for their own dreams and goals. Share, don’t tell. There is an important difference between “sharing” and “telling.” Share your business with your children; don’t just tell them you’re busy. You may be amazed by the respect you will get from your children when you talk to them as equals. Ask for their opinion. Once engaged, children will have great ideas you haven’t even thought about. Their perspective and insights may even give you new opportunities for growth. My friend Judy told me how her daughter had shared with her friends how much she enjoyed working with her Mom. The next week, six of these girls’ mothers called Judy asking about her business; they’ve since started their own businesses with Judy as their mentor (and with their daughters as partners!) This all happened because Judy shared her business with her daughter. Involve your children in bill paying. There is nothing like experiential learning. Our children understand it’s easy to “Just Charge It, Mom.” That’s because children are typically not with us when we make out money. They don’t understand the effort and costs involved in earning money. Have your children pay the bills for your business and let them learn firsthand about the costs of running a business. Compensate your children for results. Money speaks volumes with young people. Compensate your children for any help they give you based on the results they achieve. This will ignite their entrepreneurial spirit quicker than anything. Do NOT compensate them for just time worked; that creates an employee “live-for-the-paycheck” mentality. Judy pays her daughter a percentage of the income she receives from the business started by her friends’ mothers. Provide perspective. Review your monthly financials with your children. Let them see the “whole picture” of your business goals and successes. They will gain a new appreciation for your achievements through the eyes of a business owner, which may empower them to start their own business. Encourage their ideas. Encourage your children to set their own business goals. You will see their self-esteem increase light years with their first sale in their own business. Fulfilling a goal on their own is priceless education! Only YOU can make sure your children have the financial education they need to not only survive, but to thrive in the world they face. About the Author: Sharon Lechter is a co-author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the founder of The site provides hands-on, experiential financial-education tools for teaching young people about starting a business and getting on the path to being their own boss. This article appeared in the May/June 2008 addition of SimplyHome Magazine.

Contact Sharon


Previous Post Next Post

Recent Posts