Every kid should have basic entrepreneurial skills.
I know that sounds like a crazy statement to make but I truly believe it. It doesn’t matter if your kid wants to be a pop star, teacher, air force pilot or even President of the United States. It’s my firm belief that every kid will benefit from acquiring basic entrepreneurial skills.
Here are 5 entrepreneurial skills that I believe that every child should learn.
Every great entrepreneur knows about the importance of having a business plan. Investors and banks insist on seeing it before they will approve any loans but more importantly, a business plan helps the entrepreneur work out their strategy for moving the business forward.
In the same way, I believe that every child needs to learn how to plan well. This can be planning their day, planning their homework or planning their pocket money. The ability to plan is useful and can be used in all aspects of life, even after they become an adult!
Many people are wary of the word “selling” and salespeople. This is for good reason as some salespeople can be pushy, can’t take ‘No’ for an answer and don’t seem to know when to stop talking.
However, really great salespeople don’t push products and services onto people who don’t want or need them. Great salespeople see it as their job to serve their potential customer, Instead of pushing and imposing themselves on others, they act to provide useful recommendations and information to people who are searching for such information.
Whether our kids ever intend to go into sales or not, the fact is that selling is a useful skill. Whether we realize it or not, we are all “selling” daily. When we are trying to influence our friend to join us for a movie, we are “selling” that movie to them. When we are trying to convince our spouse to allow us to buy a dress, we are “selling” to our spouse how happy the dress will make us feel. When we want to have an evening out with the boys, we need to “sell” the importance of that evening out to our significant other and assure them that we will behave ourselves.
The same goes for kids. Our kids have to learn to “sell” their projects to teachers, “sell” their ideas to an audience during a school debate and “sell” their opinions to schoolmates. Learning how to sell is essential in life.
Negotiation is slightly different from selling. Unlike selling, negotiation is all about trying to get what you want as well as giving another person what they want. The best negotiators are able to reach a “win-win” solution for both parties.
Most young kids already are negotiating with their parents (think of the child who asks for an extra cookie in exchange for good behavior). Instead of limiting negotiation to home life only, we can teach our kids to negotiate anywhere they are.
It could be negotiating with the school teacher for extra crayons. It could be negotiating with the shop keeper for a discount. It could be negotiating for extra opportunities to play in sports games in exchange for undertaking longer practice sessions.
Like selling, negotiation doesn’t have to feel sleazy if it’s done with the intention of benefitting both parties.
Every kid needs to learn how to manage their own finances. We all know of stories of kids who are entitled and spend a fortune of their parents’ money on useless things or don’t know how to appreciate what they have.
Not only do kids need to learn the value of money and hard work, they should also learn how to delay gratification when appropriate, start saving and look for investment opportunities to increase what they have.
Last but not least, every kid should learn how to be assertive and ask for what they want. Assertiveness is not the same as aggression. Aggression imposes on another and usually has tones of violence in the behavior.
Assertiveness in entrepreneurship is important because every entrepreneur needs to learn how to ask for a sale, knowledge, resource or other forms of support when needed.
Assertiveness is about asking for what you want and accepting the other person’s response, whether it is the response that you want or not. An assertive kid is not afraid to tell others what he or she needs or wants while not being demanding.
Assertiveness includes the ability to say “No.” A kid that knows how to be assertive will end up much happier than a passive-aggressive kid who isn’t able to say ‘No’.
For ideas on specific activities to do with kids to build future entrepreneurship, visit our website at www.lebrickfamily.com.