Never too young to dream big!
It’s a great idea for children of business owners to get involved in the business as early as possible as this creates a better understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and also helps strengthen the family bond.
It’s a fact, running your own business is more than a nine to five proposition. It’s more than likely going to play a big part of your family’s day to day existence, so it’s important that they understand the purpose and process. As a result, your children will feel a sense of ownership and part of the family’s goals. You may also give your kids some age appropriate jobs so they feel they are contributing to the success of the business.
Entrepreneurial parents have the opportunity to instil good work ethics into their children as well as teaching them useful skills, whether that be using a computer, printing orders or even simply sorting and dispatching items. These are great skills that your children will carry with them for life to assist them later on with their chosen line of work or even with their own entrepreneurial endeavours.
Children get to see a more complete picture of how a business really works and how their family income is generated. This also creates a better understanding of Mum or Dad as a whole human being, so they’re not perceived as just the exhausted parent at the end of each day.
Your philosophy of life shapes you more than anything else. – Tony Robbins
Being an entrepreneurial parent often leads to trying to build a solid foundation for those who wish to follow. And, many who have grown up in a family business do aspire to learn the theory to complement and enhance the family business.
Let’s face it, these kids do have a leg up over other students because of their environment and experience. They are likely to be strongly motivated in getting a more purposeful education that will benefit the family business or to run their own entrepreneurial ventures.
They are more likely to run their own business as they have a better understanding of the process and their experience gives them the confidence to take that’ leap of faith’. Although, they are more likely to run their own show, it may not be your show they wish to run.
Understand, there is the possibility that your business might not be suited for some or any of your children. You must allow them space to choose their own career paths so they too can live their dream. If they’re not interested in the family business, as hard as it may be to accept, it may be the right thing for them and your business.
This is something you can do at an early age, as soon as you think they are ready to understand. Be careful not to overly dramatize the whole process, but help them to understand why you started the business.
Many of us children of business owners have some fond and not so fond memories of going into mum or dad’s work after school or on weekends. When the ‘quick’ pop in for a minute, turned into almost a whole day. It’s funny, those memories stay with you as an adult whether they were good or plain annoying.
Maybe try and limit the time the kids are at your work and if they are there, get them involved so they feel they are contributing in some way. This will play a big role on how they feel about the business later on. In many instances, the love and passion for the business started with those early visits and we didn’t even know it.
Let them know you are proud of the business you are running and how it benefits others. Share some success stories with them and get them involved whenever possible.
It is very important that children understand that there are good and bad sides to running any business. There’s nothing wrong with letting them know that your business has problems, just like any organization. Try not to exaggerate the trials and tribulations. Understand that when young ears hear negatives, they often have no way to put those facts into perspective.
Some family business owners pride themselves on the fact that they never bring their business home with them. What message does this send to children? How can you ever expect them to know and understand the significance of a family business if you never discuss it with them?
It is fine to work it into conversation, just as you do other activities and interests, but the business should not be the focal point of meals or else meals will be associated with business talk and children will want to avoid them.
Give your children the opportunity to come and do little jobs at work. Make the task age appropriate. However, don’t give them the jobs nobody else wants, like emptying the trash. Earning a few dollars and enjoying the experience can go a long way toward forming a positive attitude about your business.
If you carefully market your business to your children, you might be pleased to learn they want to follow you in your footsteps and take over the business. You cannot force your children to want to come into the business, but you do have a large impact on how they view the business.
Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility. – Oprah Winfrey
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