Want to raise entrepreneurial children? How to Raise Entrepreneurial Kids?
Mark Cuban, Tony Hawk, and nine elite entrepreneurs and “Advisors” in The Oracles share the things their parents did that helped make them become successful entrepreneurs.
1. Make them figure it out.
My parents always encouraged me to try new things and to always read and learn as much as I possibly could. Neither of my parents had a college degree or any business experience, so they were always telling me that I had to learn and figure things out myself.
Learning how to figure things out on my own gave me the insight I needed to succeed. – Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, billionaire, and Shark on “Shark Tank”;
2. Support their pursuits and encourage them to invest.
I was lucky that my parents were supportive of my skating when most parents weren’t. They let me follow my own path and try something that wasn’t proven to make you successful. Their support gave me a sense of self-confidence that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
I was only in my late teens when I started making money and thought that I’d continue to do so forever. My dad knew better and encouraged me to save and invest in a house; so I owned my own home when I was only 17 years old.
Staying focused on school was a challenge, but I was thankful he taught me the value of planning for the future. As a result, I know how to save and enjoy life at the same time. –Tony Hawk, founder and CEO of Birdhouse Skateboards and president of the Tony Hawk Foundation; the most influential and commercially successful skateboarder of all time with a $100+ million net worth.
3. Teach them about money.
My husband is a serial entrepreneur and helps me guide our kids. We homeschool, so they’re taught financial literacy from an early age. They’re encouraged to pick up every coin and appreciate its value. We have family discussions about investments, planning, companies we’re looking to buy, and how the numbers work.
Our kids have savings, but also opportunities to invest or grow their money. They’re always coming up with ways to earn money because they understand financial freedom from watching their parents achieve it, so they know it’s possible to create it themselves.
Entrepreneurs make decisions and execute. But kids constantly have decisions made for them.
Encourage yours to keep an open mind, explore the options, and make their own decisions; they’ll become better observers and start seeing opportunities. Our family motto is “See a need, fill a need.” – Jessica Mead, founder and CEO of BrandLync; co-founder of Mead Holdings Group, The Epek Companies, and Grayson Pierce Capital;
4. Encourage them to read.
One of my father’s favorite books was “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki. He wanted to teach me its concepts; so when I was 9 years old, he bought me a copy of “Rich Kid Smart Kid” by the same author. He assumed it was the same book, but for kids – which it isn’t; so most of it went over my head. But every year, I reread it and learned more each time.
Most entrepreneurs have to rewire the ideas they were taught about money as a child. But because my financial education started the right way and early in life, I never had to do that, which gave me a big head start. – Sarah Chrisp, founder of Wholesale Ted, one of the largest (over 350,000 subscribers) online educational resources teaching new entrepreneurs to create, grow, and scale successful online stores; started her first online store at 16 years old;
5. Involve them in decisions.
I didn’t grow up in an entrepreneurial family, but I received a lot of love, support, and respect from my parents. My mother started treating me like an adult when I was young, asking for my opinion on “important” decisions and discussing the pros and cons with me. That’s how I learned to make accurate decisions.
My parents also gave me much freedom and taught me to take responsibility for my actions. When I was 18, I wanted to quit an elite program at BMW to pursue my dreams. They didn’t think it was a great idea at first, but they let me explain my motives and respected my decision because they believed in me. Even with criticism from friends, they were always 100% behind me.
They laid the foundation for my success, for which I’m very grateful. – Markus Hetzenegger, founder and CEO of NYBA Media GmbH, a fast-growing digital marketing agency in Germany that generates nine-digit revenues for their customers;
6. Don’t hand life to them.
When I was a kid, my best friend had a complete collection of every G.I. Joe action figure, while I only had a few. My family didn’t have much disposable income, and nothing was handed to me.
If I wanted something, I had to work to earn it, and I think that was the start of my work ethic. My parents always encouraged me to pursue more and challenge myself to achieve my potential. They taught me to take charge of life instead of waiting for success to come to me.
Sometimes I wonder where those G.I. Joe figures are today. If I’d had them then, I wouldn’t have learned to work hard to improve my circumstances. How I grew up taught me not to expect a free ride in life.
As a result of going without, I learned to create my success. – Robert Martinez, founder and CEO of Rockstar Capital, a real estate investment firm with $348 million in assets under management; host of “The Apartment Rockstar” podcast;
7. Demonstrate gratitude, humor, and abundance.
My parents taught me to be grateful and find the silver lining, even if you have nothing or are facing pain, loss, or failure. After my father lost his job at one point, they never let on that they were struggling financially.
They taught me how to meet both success and failure and to face challenges with gratitude, humor, and abundance instead of scarcity. With that mindset, there is nothing you can’t be or do, and no problem you can’t solve. That’s how you pick up the pieces after failure and reinvest, reinvent, reshape, and succeed. At 83 years old, my dad is in a lot of pain today, but he still reminds us that everything is “fine and dandy” and there are others with bigger problems.
You just need to count your blessings to see how rich you are. – James Daily, founding partner of Daily Law Group, which helps high-profile clients with fiduciary abuse litigation, including fraud, crisis management, and business and family disputes;
8. Do good work.
It was my grandparents who inspired the entrepreneur in me. They owned a grocery store and several apartments in a small town in Pennsylvania. From a young age, I saw firsthand the struggles and risks they took, which taught me many lessons about business.
One of the bets they placed was on some land they acquired, and my grandfather was sure the mineral rights would be a huge win for the family.
Even though that didn’t work out, at least half of their grandchildren are entrepreneurs because of their inspiration. Kids are smart; if they see you do the work, they will often want to prove that they can too. –Tom Albert, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence expert, and founder and CEO of MeasuredRisk, a leading enterprise risk management company;
9. Help them pursue their profitable passions.
I tell my kids to follow their passions, but that doing what you love doesn’t always make money. I bring them to entrepreneurial events and set up mentorships and internships with people who learned how to make money doing what they love.
Happiness comes from keeping those things in your life, whether that’s singing, art, or playing video games. To experience real success, build on your profitable passions. Identify your niche, become the best at it, network with others, and learn to market yourself. For example, you might start a podcast about your industry, learn by interviewing others, identify what’s missing, and offer that service. Building a profitable passion takes hard work, but it’s fulfilling.
10. Instill a sense of pride and hard work.
My dad wanted me to be an investment banker so we could do hostile takeovers together. While that didn’t exactly work out (laughs), he did instill in me a great work ethic and a sense of pride for my contributions.
He taught me that it’s not about the company I worked for; it’s about feeling good about myself and what I spent time on each day. If you focus on those things, you pick up skills and ideas along the way.
Then you get the audacity to put them into action, and you’re an entrepreneur! – Michelle Luchese, co-founder and chief product officer of wedding band company Manly Bands; read how Michelle quit her job, moved cross-country, got married, and started a business in a month
11. Show them that anything is possible.
I was lucky to grow up with parents who taught me that anything is possible. They were both overachievers; one was a triathlon gold medalist, while the other was gifted in two sports and ran on the national triathlon team.
As a result, I spent much of my childhood traveling the world with elite performers. Through that experience and my parents’ encouragement, I developed the belief that you can do extraordinary things when you put your mind to it, set big goals, and work hard.
I plan to push my children to think big and teach them that they can achieve anything they want if they dedicate themselves and aren’t afraid of failure. – Rudy Mawer, founder and CEO of ROI Machines and RudyMawer.com; Facebook marketing and ad expert, who built a multimillion-dollar business by age 26;