Why Kids Should be Taught Entrepreneurship Early
Let’s face it, the world needs more entrepreneurs. It begins with dreamers, leading to innovators, and finally, to the independent business owners of tomorrow.
But the world faces a few issues when it comes to this journey.
Schools are not currently teaching the necessary skills for children to become independent thinkers. Schools by and large essentially teach children how to become a part of the “system”. They do not teach them to step outside the box and create new frontiers in technology, communications, travel, etc.
And when it comes to the homefront, many parents teach their children about the safety of working within this system. Yes, parents worry for the future of their kids, but this ideology of safety by conformity often creates barriers in the minds of our youths, preventing them from realizing their true potential.
This way of thinking has slowed down innovation in the United States and the world.
According to Scientific American, “Since 1970 the only notable outlier has been the exponential increase in computing power, which has trickled down to consumers in the form of the Internet and our ever-present mobile devices. But in most other ways… the lives of people in developed nations look and feel the same in 2019 as they did in 1979 or 1989.”
What is the “system”?
The “system” is the passed-down belief that there is a specific formula one must follow to achieve stability and success in life. This formula typically consists of:
- Deciding what job you want when you’re older.
- Graduating school and going to college.
- Getting a degree in your chosen field.
- Get a job and working that job until retirement or work multiple jobs until you reach retirement.
Sure, maybe you get a 401K and a decent retirement plan. But this way of thinking is the epitome of self-neglect. People placing walls around forwarding progress in their own lives, as well as the progress of the world at large. We do not want to think of ourselves as part of the problem, but it’s true. If we are not part of the solution, then we are, in fact, part of the problem. If we are not the ones teaching them to break the mold, then we are the ones holding back our youth and preventing them from expressing their full potential as future entrepreneurs.
Remember, there is no financial safety in life when you are working for someone else, depending on them to provide you with what you need. We need to first realize this truth for ourselves if we are to teach our kids that the only financial safety in life is self-reliance: knowing you can provide for yourself. This is the foundation of entrepreneurship.
This can be seen in the statistics. For example, according to Inc., small businesses made up a whopping 27.9 million registered companies in the US, with only 18,500 registered companies employing over 500 people.
Additionally, approximately 49.2% of the entire private sector workforce in the United States is employed by a small business.
These statistics reveal a startling truth: Entrepreneurs are the wave of the future. Working for yourself is exactly what the American Dream was based upon; having the ability to rely on yourself to earn a living. A living that is not capped by the salary given to you by another, but the financial freedom you have given to yourself.
The statistics reveal the future of the American job market, as well as, what children should learn today so their tomorrow truly has no limitations.
What entrepreneurial skills should be taught at an early age?
For starters, with automation revving up in many industries such as automotive and food & beverage, innovation will need to drive the jobs market forward in the coming years. And let’s face it, your child’s business niche may not have even been invented yet. What they do and how they innovate will require the uncanny ability to acquire new skills while adapting to new markets driven by public need. Resilience and the ability to thoughtfully problem solve are entrepreneurial skills that should be taught at an early age.
The following are some of the most important entrepreneurial skills children should be taught at a young age.
1. Help your child gain a deeper understanding of how to make money
While many parents choose to teach this lesson by paying their children to do chores, this has little value. This is because you are essentially paying them to do what they should be doing already. Instead, show them alternative ways of making money such as:
- Rake lawns around the neighborhood
- Making crafts or treats and selling them
- Create something digital to sell online (yes, this is easier than you think)
You can also teach them the value of an internship, building valuable experience in a given market. This can include:
- Volunteering at a zoo or animal shelter
- Volunteering at a local farmers market to sell products
- Volunteering as an aid at school (this is especially valuable in classes with children with disabilities)
2. Teach your child the value of curiosity
Curiosity has driven innovation for thousands of years – since the dawn of man, to be exact. Curiosity should be a trait that is nurtured and encouraged. This is especially true when it comes to systems adopted by nations. Systems of economics, culture, and societal “truths” should all be questioned and deconstructed. This is how discoveries are made. And philosophical discoveries are just as important to entrepreneurship as anything else.
3. Nurture your child’s ability to empathize
Being empathetic is critical to success. This is because empathy helps us to better understand how our actions and behaviors affect the people around us. It allows us to become better listeners and communicators, which ultimately will dictate how far we go in life.
4. Help your child to become a realist
Pessimism should never be nurtured. It should be taught that pessimism, in all its forms, should be done away with. And while optimism is believed to be the better, it oftentimes can lead to depression and frustration due to unmet expectancies caused by unrealistic expectations.
Realism, on the other hand, is the better of the three. It allows us to set realistic goals and create achievable milestones. It does not set the bar too low or too high. It provides a reconciliation of the world around us, inviting us to challenge it while refusing to wear rose-colored glasses.
Realism does not limit an individual. It simply tempers unrealistic fantasies.
5. Teach your children about “grit”
Grit is a word that has been misconstrued as of late, even being referred to as a “dirty” word, according to Harvard. Grit is not a bad word. It’s quite the contrary. Grit is the ability to persevere in the face of adversity and has little to do with motivation or opportunity. Contrary to what some have said, success has nothing to do with luck. But success has everything to do with steadfastness.
What are some of the best ways to teach kids entrepreneurship?
In a world that often teaches the wrong lessons about success, what it means, and how to achieve it, encouraging entrepreneurship in today’s youth can also be a missed opportunity. But how can we rectify this? What programs are out there that can provide children with the education they need while offering them something they can be passionate about?
Welcome to the world of Gamification
What is Gamification? According to Yu-Kai-Chou,
“Gamification is a design that places the most emphasis on human motivation in the process. In essence, it is Human-Focused Design (as opposed to “function-focused design”).”
This learning experience can be extremely valuable for kids because it combines something they are passionate about, gaming, with something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Yu-Kai-Chou also explained,
“Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and engaging elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities.”
Why Gamification is right for children.
The primary benefit of Gamification when it comes to learning entrepreneurship is the fact that most learning programs are designed as function-focused. This presumes that the student will learn based on their obligation to learn. Gamification is human-focused, as per Yu-Kai-Chou’s mission, to bring back the human element in learning. This essentially means that Gamification learning programs are designed to account for a child’s feelings and why they don’t want to do something, why they do, and bridges those gaps through fun, willing engagement, and real-world learning.
Gamification can introduce entrepreneurship to children in a meaningful way that results in deep understanding while providing them with the tools they need to succeed in life.
Imagine if you and your child become focused on creating new things and learning how to make ideas a reality in a way that you both are excited to advance to the next lesson! Well, that is exactly what URLYstart is about, and we are chomping at the bit to bring the project to life.
We turn ideas into a learning experience with benefits. The ULRYkids program is geared for students from ages 8-12. It is a 1-3 hour project for instant online success and is ideal for anyone wanting to do something new and fun, a homeschooling project, or a class group project.
The URLYstart program, for students from ages 13-16
We want to swing open the doors to the world of entrepreneurship for as many children as possible with the goal of them to graduate school making more money than their teacher with an online business build around their passions.
A Real Game, Builds Real Skills, And Real Wealth.