Being an entrepreneur isn’t about writing up fancy business plans, getting money from investors, and closing big deals and making a fortune. It really is about taking an idea, figuring out what to do with it, and doing the hard work to make it happen. Along the way, you may have to raise the money, negotiate for resources, and persuade people to believe in you. If you think about it, everybody has done that ever since childhood, and so entrepreneurship should be natural to everyone. Parents should encourage and cultivate this and the related skills as early as possible because it is really an integral part of our lives.
I was really inspired by the story of Ryan and his pet bakery business: http://www.inc.com/larry-kim/this-10-year-old-entrepreneur-owes-his-incredible-success-to-his-four-legged-fri.html
Start with something small and close to your child’s heart. Does he like to build Legos? How about selling his creation online or give them away as birthday gifts to friends? Does he like to write? How about posting his work online and seek feedback from others, or even sell a copy to somebody. Does he like to design something? How about using a 3D printer and turn his design into real objects? Imagine him taking his own creation to school for show-and-tell. He’d be so proud.
A small success here could also build up your child’s self-confidence. I had my brother buy my 7-year-old son’s first comic book for $0.25 and my son was thrilled! He thought he has a future as an author. We’ll let that dream live on as long as we can.
And if the kid has a really viable idea like Ryan, go down the road with him and see where it takes you both. This may just be the most memorable thing you can ever do for you and your child. Maybe it’d be your retirement money also…