It is up to us, as entrepreneurs and parents, to be a living example in such a way that it exploits the opportunities for teaching entrepreneurship and positive attitudes towards risk-taking. The more we work on our own personal development and handle the tough times intentionally, it empowers them to manage the highs and lows of life. I know that sometimes the thought of being a living example can be a thing of dread, but done with intention will bless your children.
Here are some simple ways to live entrepreneurship in front of your children:
Don’t hide what you’re doing; let them see how you work, break it down in simple language for them to understand the basics of what you’re doing; the inputs, potential outputs, and even the risks, then share the outcomes so they can connect the dots.
When my daughter was around four years old, she saw me stuffing envelopes with my catalogs and wanted to help. When she did, I would give her money for her piggy bank. She was already beginning to understand the value of work. When she would hear me speaking to my husband about the sales we made, “was that because of the catalog I sent Mummy” she asked, “Yes, baby girl, you did a great job, let’s do some more.”
Show your children that you’re living your dream, let them know that it’s not always easy, but if you believe in something, nothing is stopping you.
Resist hiding with it gets tough.
They also pick up the bad habits because our kids are programmed to copy us; they’re like sponges. Just like we model how to speak, share, and show kindness, we also model how to be entrepreneurs. As we model behavior to become successful entrepreneurs, we must know our limits and understand that we can’t do everything we want. We can’t be 100% perfect because nobody is. Sometimes you have to let go and give up control – even if it’s hard, sometimes it might be best for the family unit as a whole.
They may not immediately understand why we can’t come and play or sometimes can’t take holidays like their friends. They see and experience the struggles and the hard times with us. They may see that others have it easier. They may pick up your fears and stress.
Children see how their parents handle stress or disappointment. They will learn by watching us at our best and our worst. We need to be aware of the messages we send our children.
Celebrate the wins together.
They also learn from the good side of entrepreneurship. They see and celebrate the wins with us. When my husband and I are excited because of the new business we’ve gained, they can feel the excitement in the air and benefit from the additional generosity.
They learn from the things we’re learning because they’re seeing us live it out. They see what you’re living for and how it’s making a difference. They see what living for something is like and how it improves life.
Bonus: Your kids might even start their own business when they are older or even when they’re young. They get it! I do this for you (service), or I provide that for you (product), you’ll give me money, and I need money to buy the things I want (profit). And so, the spark begins.
Model their behavior with living examples. Like anything, it’s easier if you show your kids what they can do rather than tell them what they should do. The more living models you have, the smoother the journey will be.
And finally, I was the child of an entrepreneur. We didn’t call it that back in the 1980s, but my dad was a self-employed painter and decorator. I would watch him write up quotes, figure out his numbers with a pencil, paper, and not a calculator in sight. I would type his quotes, invoices and create his letterheads. Entrepreneurship was in my blood, whether I knew it or not; it was being nurtured in me.
So, as you live your life out loud in your home, in front of your children, your home becomes the school of entrepreneurship, and how they see you handle things will cause them to run towards it or away from it. Be intentional as they watch you from the front row seat of your business. Our children will mimic what they see and hear from us, which means that even if we think we’re not teaching, we are.
* * *
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo Credit: @GaudiLab on Shutterstock