As a young girl, I grew up in an entrepreneurial home. Over time, I was given the opportunity to do work for my Dad and Grandpa (both business owners), and in so doing gained confidence and many business and life skills and even earned enough money to pay for a month-long trip I took to Europe as a Youth Ambassador while still in high school. I used some of the skills I learned from my Dad to start my very first business in high school where I made handcrafted jewelry. My talents in jewelry making helped me earn college scholarships and provided me with extra spending money during my first year of college. It was a phenomenal start for my life!
Do you want to know how you can teach your kids these same entrepreneurship skills?
It’s a system I call kidsourcing and it led me to writing the book, The Parents’ Guide to Raising CEO Kids in 2011.
What do I mean by kidsourcing and how will it benefit your business and help you teach entrepreneurship to your kids?
As a small business owner and parent, you have tasks to be done each day/week/month and often these tasks get done by you, but is that really the best use of your time and talents? The answer is “No”. You need to be doing the things in your business that make you money and that only you can personally do.
The hard part is finding others to do those tasks that don’t have to be done by you. Often, when we begin delegating tasks to others, we look outside our own home, but I want you to consider hiring your kids or kidsourcing!
There are so many benefits, both financial and emotional, for having your children work for you. One of the biggest advantages is that while working alongside you in your business, your kids will learn valuable entrepreneurship skills and lessons. They will gain these lessons by “watching” you and then “doing” these same tasks themselves!
To teach your kids about entrepreneurship, you can get games and entrepreneurship programs, read business books together, or send them to a camp. We also totally recommend that you learn from other youth entrepreneurs and their families, particularly from those whose interests, values, or business are similar to your budding entrepreneur’s. You can find fabulous resources and recommendations on our website, raisingCEOkids.com. However, as a parentpreneur, the best resource you have is to personally teach your kids in your own home and business environment!
My children are 16, 13, and 9 and they have all been on my “payroll” and working for me since they were 7 years old. This has provided HUGE tax savings for my business and our family and has transferred income to them that they can then learn manage by giving, investing, sharing and spending. For example, once they started earning money, I began to have them pay for their extra-curricular activities, some of their clothing, and other items. This allows them to be responsible for the job they are doing for you and for part of their own expenses.
As my children mastered business tasks, they gained confidence and we began to see what activities they enjoyed most. Some of those skills were extremely marketable and helped them start their own businesses. My oldest son began selling items on the Internet, editing audios and videos for speaker/authors, remotely fixing computers, and doing general tech and social media setup and support for other small businesses and solopreneurs. My daughter started doing blog support, customer service, and even wrote a cookbook. You can find a complete list of “99 things my kids have done for me in my business” by Googling Kidsourcing.
Not only will having your kids work for you be beneficial from a financial and business education perspective, but it will open up opportunities to talk to your children about why you are doing what you are doing in your business as well as give you time with them where other teachable moments will arise.
Here’s to teaching your kids about entrepreneurship while growing your business! We can do it and our kids, our communities, and the global economy will be better for it!
Sarah L Cook is an author, speaker, and business systems strategist. She appears on Sacramento & Co as a resource for family finances and entrepreneurship. Visit her at www.sarahlcook.com
This article is from the SmallBizLady special blog series: 31 Ways to Boost Your Small Business in 2013. #Boost2013