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Business Ideas For Kids
Why Business For Kids?
Imagine what life would be like if making money came as easily and naturally as riding a bike or tying your shoelaces. Imagine graduating high school with a permanent, secure, passive income already in place. You wake each the morning to find more money has appeared in your account overnight! If you want to travel, you do. If you want to paint, write, or do any other creative activity, you do. You choose your occupation based on what you love to do, not the burden of having to pay the bills. You have all the time you need to be with your family and friends, to stay in shape, and to practice your spirituality.
Most of us weren't raised that way. Most of us had to struggle to learn the basic truths about money and business. Many of us are still struggling.
But with the right knowledge and tools, we can make that life available for our children.
Business experience builds confidence, develops life skills, and encourages your child to take an interest in mathematics and written English - subjects which can otherwise seem quite pointless in the school environment.
And early business experience, in the right environment, can leave kids with a lifelong ability to make money, without any of the hard work and struggle that so many adults still endure.
Young Entrepreneurs Will Inherit The Earth
Here are just some of the many ways for kids to make money:
Finding lost golf balls
Selling things on eBay
Exercising agisted horses
... the only limit is the size of your imagination!
The Right Attitude Is Vital
If I had to pick one thing, and only one thing, which will set your child up for success, this is the one. With a can-do attitude your child will fill in any missing pieces for themselves, using other resources, for the rest of their lives.
We started early with this one, as soon as they started to speak. We've all heard our children complain "I can't", haven't we? And when they are little, it's often true that some tasks are beyond their capability at the time.
However, we knew that the can-do attitude was essential, and that self-talk like "I can't" is a major threat to the can-do attitude.
What we did was to get them to replace "I can't" with "I need more practice" (or sometimes "I need to get taller"!) These days, they are all teens and tweens, and we just don't even hear "I can't" any more. In fact, we sometimes get the delightfully honest "I could do that if I practiced, but it's too much of a trek and I can't be bothered ..."
The difference between "I can't" and "I choose not to" is priceless.
After running their first business for a while, our girls chose to shut it down. (The full story is told at www.cash-smart-kids.com.) They knew they could have kept making the money, but they didn't want to keep doing what it took - they were bored with it. After shutting it down, though, they didn't immediately start asking for hand-outs from their parents. They knew that their income was a matter of their own choice.
The next principle we applied for the can-do attitude was a very careful approach to doing things for the kids that they could do for themselves. We would do things that they had not yet mastered, only to the extent that they needed help, and not one tiny bit more.
It is awfully tempting, especially when you are in a hurry, to step in and do things for them, just to get them done. Kids are very good at minimising the effort they put out, so anywhere they can get someone else to do something for them, they will. And in the process, they learn that going slowly and complaining gets them off the hook - not the work habits of a successful entrepreneur!
At the same time, you need to help where it is genuinely needed. We made as many mistakes in this direction as we did in the other, I'm afraid. When your child gets a spot of help, just at the right time, they get the satisfaction of success, which is very rewarding. If they don't get help when they need it, they can feel that it's all pointless, and give up trying things that look like they are too big.
It's an art, judging just enough help and not too much, but at least we can offer as reassurance that you can make quite a few mistakes and as long as they aren't all in the same direction the kids turn out OK.