Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Setting Your Kids Up to be Successful in Business-Part 1 "WHY?"

So, I've talked before about how much I love homeschooling and the freedom it has given our family.  Mostly, I love the freedom it gives my children to follow their interests and passions.  I also love it because homeschooling gives us the time to spend with our children, preparing them for their futures.

There's one thing in particular we've intentionally tried to promote in our kids' lives-- an avid entrepeneurial spirit.  This world is changing rapidly and our kids won't have the same kind of lifestyle we do.  My goodness, we don't even have the stable job continuity that our parents and grandparents enjoyed.  I want my kids to be prepared to  provide for their families in whatever way they can.  And we always tell them that it's so much better to be your own boss.  That way, YOU set the schedule, YOU call the shots, YOU are in control, and  YOU are not at the mercy of a "BOSS."

To that end, about 4 years ago we helped our kids launch their own business selling candy and renting inflatables.  While they haven't gotten "financially rich," what they have gained in knowledge, poise, confidence, and business sense is beyond value.

Here are our Top Reasons Why You Should Consider Setting Your Kids up in Business

  • Hands-on-learning is the best kind of learning. Business skills don't come naturally. Your kids will learn important skills, i.e. how to handle money, deal with customers, fulfill obligations, handle inventory, etc. in a safe environment.  They aren't risking their house or life savings to see if they "like" running a business. You are there to guide them.  And I guarantee that you will learn a lot too!

  • It will open up a whole new world to your family.  Our business is mostly a traveling business.  We don't have one set location; we travel to different fairs, festivals, block parties, birthday parties, athletic events, carnivals, concerts, etc.  Everywhere we've gone, my kids have made new friends of all ages, plus they've been presented with myriad opportunities to try new things.  One time when we had a booth at a certain athletic tournament, my youngest son spent some time with an older gentleman who teaches fly fishing to kids in schools. You guessed it....Silas is now addicted to fly fishing, which has led to great father/son bonding times.

  • Your children will grow in confidence. When we are out, people are interested in what my kids are doing.  They ask a lot of questions, and they usually think it's pretty cool that the kids are running their own business. They compliment my children on their customer service and their initiative.  Plus here is nothing like earning your own way to pay for things, and  our kids have done all kinds of things with the money they have earned.  Their business paid for our first trip to Disney World, and helped to fund mission trips to Honduras and the Dominican Republic.  

  • They will learn how to quickly make decisions.  Practical problem-solving will come more naturally to them because sometimes you have to make hard decisions when you are responsible for your own business.  For example, we mostly work outside.  The weather must always be considered.  Is our tent safe?  Will our inflatables get wet? One of our pieces is 800 pounds, and the weight increases dramatically if it gets wet.  A wet inflatable = problems! How much product should we purchase for an upcoming event?  Too much, and our profit margin goes down; too little and we run out.  These are all items that must be considered.

  • You will be investing in their future in ways you can't even imagine right now.  Enough said. :o)