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12 Ways To Instill Your Kid With An Entrepreneurial Mindset

12 Ways To Instill Your Kid With An Entrepreneurial Mindset

Misfit, oddball, geek, nerd, outcast, and misunderstood rebel, these are some of the terms used to describe future entrepreneurs. So parents, I wouldn’t be too worried if your child isn’t popular and hanging with the cool kids…yet.

Chances are they’re already in line to be the next Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder) or Do Won Chang (Forever 21 founder). Both of these entrepreneurs started from very unpopular beginnings. Zuckerberg still doesn’t let being perceived negatively get in the way of his success:

“This is a perverse thing, personally, but I would rather be in the cycle where people are underestimating us. It gives us latitude to go out and make big bets that excite and amaze people.” – Mark Zuckerberg

You’ll find that it takes only simple tweaks in everyday behavior to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in your kids.

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1. Never say: “Do as I say, don’t do as I do”

It is far better to lead by example. As a child, I heard, “Do as I say, don’t do as I do” with my mother’s index finger wagging in my face countless times. In theory, it sounds like it might work and encourage your child to listen to your recommendations and do better. But it’s an illogical approach when the laws of nurture come into play. Children are far more likely to imitate your actions rather than your noble speech. My 3-year-old daughter asked me for her own desk in my home office. It isn’t because desks are cool among 3-year-old’s; you know what is cool? Being like mommy.

2. Create An Environment Of Play

When did life get so serious? When did we stop playing in puddles, laughing at randomness, being silly because the mood struck us? Don’t take that away from your kids. Let them build a fort in the Ikea-chic living room. Let them imagine the pencil has magic powers and can turn you into a parrot. (Be the freakin’ parrot!) Part of being an entrepreneur is about creating, questioning, exploring, and playing. That’s how ideas are born and life becomes a majestic board of possibilities. Never let them stop playing with possibilities. Ever.

3. Manage What They Consume

Create more, consume less. In our savvy technology world, anything you can imagine is available on an iPad. Utilize the parent-protected feature to only provide them with access to content that will teach them, develop their thinking, and inspire them to be their best self. Focus on games that represent leadership and critical thinking, and promote kindness and being responsible. Visuals that encourage positive self-image and self-regard are also important. If your child is anything like my kid, they’re probably on some type of device a lot. Create a bubble and regulate their media consumption. Safeguard what filters in, and you’ll always be proud of what filters out.

4. Interrupt Negative Self-Talk

The thing we usually cannot manage is what our children hear outside of the home and away from our guidance. This is where they can pick up foreign habits that stray from the path we would most prefer them to be on. Not everyone around us will or wants to be an entrepreneur. And the journey of entrepreneurship requires a person who has thick skin, even when faced with their own self-talk.(Don’t we tend to be our own worst enemy?) The “I am dumb”, “I always mess up” and “I suck at this” self-talk will creep into your child’s vocabulary. Don’t let too much time pass before you interrupt their negative self-talk. Interject with “Remember the time you hit that home run?” Or “You did awesome when you got a B+ on your spelling test.” Replace the negative statements with positive wins they recently had. This reminds them of how phenomenal they really are and re-frames their outlook on the current situation. It reminds them that their situation is only temporary. Their awesomeness isn’t.

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5. Actively Remind them to be Grateful

Our mental space often gets crowded with all the things we think that we want. “I want…I want…I want…” How many times you’ve heard your kids say this over and over? Think of when they were asking for the brand new toy that came out last week or asking to watch the movie Frozen another 101 times. Always wanting without being thankful for what they already have sets our children up to expect immediate gratification. You and I both know that there is no such thing as getting instant results when running a business. It takes time, months…even years to see any positive results sometimes. A simple reminder of all we have to be thankful for in this present moment creates a conscious child and one who is open to receiving more in time.

6. Make Rigid Routine Days Mandatory

You may be thinking how does this create an entrepreneurial mindset? Don’t entrepreneurs purposefully avoid routine? That’s why entrepreneurs don’t have jobs, right? Not true. Part of being an entrepreneur is learning to do the boring stuff…repeatedly. That’s how great minds are built, like Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, and Oprah. Nobody ever talks about all the times they had to re-write their business plan, set up mundane systems and master a skill before they began to see success. There’s one simple reason for is: there’s nothing sexy about routine. But a routine must be mastered. This creates discipline and yield results. As time passes, due to our purposefully scheduled days focused on mastering a craft, we are eventually able to live free from such a rigid routine.

7. Encouraging Curiosity and Asking Questions

In this case, lack of curiosity…killed dreams. To ask why and question the status quo is what entrepreneurship is built on. The greatest entrepreneurs have asked “Why not?” when facing risks or unconventional choices. Have your children explore places, sights and sounds. Encourage them to try new foods, and to meet different and interesting people. When dancing with the idea of doing something out of their comfort zone, allow them the freedom to ask “how”, “what”, “who”, “where”, “when”- and most importantly…”why not?”

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” – Pablo Picasso

8. Encourage Independence From Diaper Years

If you’re reading this and you’re one of those parents who love to coddle their child. You’re not going to like this one…not one bit. Here goes: coddling sets them up for dependency and there is nothing entrepreneurial about that. Allow them to get their own utensils before dinner, set the table even. It teaches them responsibility. Let them correct their misbehavior before you tell them that they’re wrong. It teaches them accountability. Don’t rush to kiss their boo-boos after a fall. It teaches them how to get back up…on their own. We as parents won’t always be there and they will have to learn how to conquer the jungle of life independently eventually. Be there to support them, the whole way- just from a distance.

9. Never Teach Them Ugly Ideas About Money

The rich are evil”, “The rich do whatever it takes to get what they want”, “The rich profit off of the poor”. These ugly lessons are false and will block your child from making money from any future business ventures. They’ll get as far as that belief will take them- just enough to satisfy their basic needs. Entrepreneurship is about being in a position to help others. If you’re not in a happy financial situation, chances are you cannot help anyone else but yourself. Sure, there are a few bad apples that reach financial success but it doesn’t outweigh the countless others who don’t fit that description.They continue to support communities and the creation of positive technological advances because they are in a financial position to do so.

10. Let Them Have A J.O.B.

This goes against everything an entrepreneur stands for. A job! Yuck. But we all start somewhere. How will our children learn how to do things differently, without first knowing how it’s done? Then they have the chance to realize they can do it better…much better. Give them small tasks to do each day around the house. Let them pick up a paper route. Have them learn the fundamentals of hard work! This only prepares them for the incredible work involved when running your own business.

11. Answer Their Questions With A Question

Don’t give up answers so easily.

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Why do I have to go to school?” Your response: “You tell me, why?

How do stars stay up in the sky? Your response: “You tell me, how?”

What makes the TV work?” Your response: “I’m not sure…you tell me, what makes it work?

This allows them to THINK about their question and allow critical thoughts to flow. When we easily hand over the answers, what opportunity do they have to be resourceful? This doesn’t encourage them to formulate their own reasoning around why things happen, how things work, and what things are. It also doesn’t offer them the chance to come up with their own conclusions. Having a discussion around their findings is one of the best gifts you can give them.

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12. Pour On The Hugs and Kisses

This is probably the most important tool in your arsenal. An emotionally stable child is going to take failure a lot better, get back up a lot faster, and have higher self-confidence. They will know without a shadow of a doubt, they can be and do whatever they’ve set their mind to. It just takes one person to believe in them…just one. After that, not even the sky’s the limit.

Soar my little eagle, soar.

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Published on April 3, 2020

How to Strengthen Family Bonds When You’re Staying at Home

How to Strengthen Family Bonds When You’re Staying at Home

Now is a perfect time to work on making some memories with your closest family members. When situations call for social distancing outside of our home, we need to do the opposite within home.

Now, more than ever, we need to engage with those living in our home. We may be together for a while, but look at it is way, it is a wonderful opportunity to create some good family memories and positive interactions together.

Staying home can be isolating, especially when we hole ourselves up in different rooms than our other family members. Make an effort to spend quality time together. Sitting in the same room on different electronic devices is not quality family time. Put down the elections, join together in one room, and do activities together.

Your family bonding becomes stronger when you spend time doing activities together. Below are 10 ideas you can do with your family and loved ones.

1. Create Photo Albums

If you are like most of the population, you probably have lots of photos and very few physical albums. My parents generation always had photo albums. I can go to my parents’ home in Florida and find at least 20 albums from the lives of my parents and my childhood that I can flip through and reminisce. Physical, tangible photo albums are always cherished.

Look back at the past five years of your life. Were there meaningful trips that you took as a family or major life events such as a Baptism, marriage, or birth of a child that happened in the past few years? Do you have photos of the event stored somewhere digitally such as social media, on your phone, or on a computer? If you do and you want to savor those memories for years to come, then you may want to think about creating some photo albums.

This is a great activity for family of all ages. You can approach the project in one of several ways. You can print the photos and put them in your own physical photo album (the kind our parents used and you can still buy), you can scrapbook, or you can create an online photo album.

Whichever choice you make, the family can be involved in the process. I like the tangible photos and traditional albums or basic (no frills) scrap-booking, as do my kids. We have albums in all three formats. Whichever method you decide to do you can involve the whole family in the creation process.

Scrap booking as a family can be fun too. It does not have to be over the top either. We do it with scrap booking paper (12 by 12 inches), photos, and bits of paper to write captions for the photos. The family uses photo safe glue to secure the photos to paper that each person selected and then we slide the pages into the clear page holders of the album. Albums are easy to create using this method and this method still allows for personalization of each page.

    To do a photo album project, I simply print out the photos that I want to use for the album. Many albums will ship printed photos directly to your home. For example, we did a National Park trip this past summer and visited seven of them in the United States over a three-week span.

    I printed all of the photos from the trip that I thought we could use for the album. Then I cut strips of colored paper. I use these strips to write a sentence of two. I usually put a strip with details on each page, but not every photo because that becomes more tedious.

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    Having everyone select and do a page or two and write the details about what the photos they selected makes it even more meaningful. For example, my son Charlie writing “This is Glacier National Park where we camped and Max got bit by gobs of ants at the dog run and we had to find a vet to help him” makes it memorable. His handwriting and the thing that captured his memory about that particular day are special. It adds his touch to the memories from the trip. Having every family member participate in putting the photos into the book and writing a few sentences for the photos that they are putting into the book helps to make it a shared family experience.

    It is also a wonderful time for revisiting the occasion that you are creating the album about. For example, doing an album as a family for a trip you all took together provides us with plenty to talk about as we go through the photos. My kids always get excited and say “look mom, remember when….” about a hundred times anytime we do an album together. The photo album activity is a bonding activity, as is the reminiscing over special time you spent together in the past.

    2. Indoor Camping with Sheet Forts

    What kid doesn’t love a good sheet fort? Sheet forts are the kind of memories that make a childhood great. If your kids don’t have any sheet fort memories, then now is the time to start making them!

    All you need are some sheets. The bigger, the better. Flat and fitted work just fine. Fitted sheets can be helpful to secure under legs of tables since they have elastic corners and are gathered. We like to use tables, chairs, and sometimes couch cushions too. You create a space using the furniture and then cover the furniture with sheets. You are essentially making indoor tents.

    My kids like to play inside their forts for hours once they are created. I help with the creation, to ensure that things don’t fall over and hurt anyone, but once that is done, I let them play. They will take books, little action figures, and their stuffed animals into their fort to play. Feel free to climb into their fort with them too! They will think you are the best parent ever!

      3. Bake or Cook Together

      Staying at home is a great opportunity to cook or bake together as a family. If you have special recipes that you would like to teach your children, now is a great time to do that.

      If you have grandma’s apple pie recipe that has been passed down for generations, it would be a nice time to make it with your children. You can use the time to talk about your grandparents, the heritage of your family, and perhaps the meaning of the recipe to you.

      After you make the special dessert or dish with your children, it will then have special meaning to them too. They will be able to recall the time that they made that special concoction with you and the memories you made from that day.

      Here’re also some ideas for you: 15 Easy Recipes for Kids That Don’t Require an Oven

      4. Play Board Games Together

      I come from a family that plays games together. Even as adults, we love to play Boggle, Scrabble, Rummikub, and a variety of card games.

      My kids have caught the game bug too. When we go camping or are home over the weekend, we will play Uno, Connect Four, Dominoes, and Memory. These board and card games are inexpensive and provide hours of entertainment. It is also a great way to bond as a family and create memories.

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      Some of my favorite memories from childhood are sitting at the kitchen table playing games with my siblings and parents.

      For very young children, you can start with games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. From there, you can move onto slightly more challenging games for their minds such as Uno, Monopoly Junior, Memory, War (basic card game), and Connect Four.

      My kids started playing Candy Land at the ages of three and four. From there, they have been hooked on family game time ever since. They ask often to play together and now is a great time to teach them to play even more games. The entertainment, laughs, and memories are priceless!

      5. Put on a Show or Play

      Family talent shows, putting on a play, and putting on a musical show do not require an audience. Your family can do the show and record on your phone or other electronic device. It doesn’t need an audience other than you all to make it memorable. It is the experience of collaborating, planning, and executing the show together that make it special.

      My kids began making their own hat creations out of our various art supplies. I have been helping them in the process. We have art class daily as part of our new home school curriculum (I am one of those moms who never wanted to home school, yet I am doing it because our schools are closed indefinitely).

      Art class daily has become hat making time. Once they have made enough hats for a fashion show, I said we would put on a show and record it. It has spurred on their motivation to create elaborate works of art. They are excited about each hat and the show that is to come to fruition.

      You can find free plays and scripts on Free Drama. You can act them out as a family and record just for fun. You can also use a script from the website to create a puppet show. Each family member can then play multiple roles and it opens the door to more characters.

      If you don’t have puppets, then make some! You probably have a basket of mismatched socks like we do. It is a great way to use them at this point. Go to Pinterest for ideas on how to make sock puppets. Creating the puppets together is also a great bonding activity. Once you have your characters made, then you can act it out.

      Don’t forget to video it, because I can guarantee that your kids are going to be interested in seeing their own performance. Such a great way to make family memories and it doesn’t cost much, if anything at all!

      6. Reading Aloud

      Reading a book aloud is a great way to create some bonding time and memories. It is a much better alternative than everyone isolating themselves doing their own activities. Being pulled into the same imaginative world through a book creates a shared experiences.

      I remember reading The Old Man and the Sea to my mom when we were on a car trip when I was a kid. I recall talking about the premise of the book and our opinions about it. It obviously left an impression on me, as I remember this over 25 years later.

      I have read aloud books to my kids too. The first chapter book we read aloud together was Charlotte’s Web. After we read the book together, we then watched the movie. It is sweet how my kids will still point on the book or movie if we see it somewhere in public. They will say “remember when we read the book together and watched the movie?” They say it with such sweetness and innocent pleasure, it is a good reminder that the simple things in life are sometimes the best.

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      Some other good books that we have read aloud together that my kids personally enjoyed were The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Secret Garden, and Little Women. I know several friends that have read the Harry Potter series with their children who are slightly older than my six and eight year old children.

      Medium shares a list of 20 great books to read aloud with your kids. Their list is helpful because it has descriptions along with recommended ages for each book.

      If you can’t get out of the house to go to the library, you should look into the digital software that your library utilizes. Visit your local library’s website to find out what apps you will need for you to borrow from their digital library.

      Our library offers a multitude of free e-book downloads. You borrow the materials much like you would a physical book. Usually, the downloads can be kept for 2-3 weeks at a time, depending on your library rules. They also have audible books available for download from many libraries as well. For example, our local library subscribes to Cloud Library. To use it, I simply downloaded the app and entered my library card information requested from the app. I was instantly given access to thousands of audible books free!

      7. Plant a Garden

      This tip only applies if you have a yard, however there are options for creating patio gardens and indoor gardens too. Planting a garden and teaching your child how to tend to vegetables is a wonderful bonding opportunity. You are teaching them real life skills, you will have real food to eat from your own garden, and you are creating memories that will last a lifetime.

      If you ask a person if they had a garden when they were a kid, everyone knows the answer. It is not something you have to think to hard about. Why? Because gardening is an experience. Why not experience it with your family too?

      If you don’t know much about gardening, then you can learn with your child as you go through the process. Here is an article from Bonnie Plants on how to plant a garden.

      If you don’t want to leave your home, then you can order gardening supplies online like I did. Lowe’s dropped off our raised garden bed kit on my doorstep and I ordered a variety of seeds from Amazon. Just look online at the garden stores that are closest to you and see what they ship to doorstep if you don’t want to leave the house.

      8. Host Your Own Family Party

      Just because you are home and can’t have a big party with lots of friends doesn’t mean you can’t still have a party. A party with your family is fun if you decide to make it fun.

      Pick a theme to really make it an event. An 80’s themed dance party is sure to get the whole family laughing and smiling. Pull out your best 80’s looking clothing, rat your hair to get that special 80’s look, put on some 1980’s tunes, and teach your kids some dance moves from the 80’s.

      Having a dance party doesn’t require many people. A party of two is still a party! Make some memories and perhaps show your kids what things were like when you were a kid. They will certainly remember an 80’s themed dance party for many years to come.

      Weekends spent at home don’t mean that they can’t be fun. Make the weekend special even if you have to be home. For example, Friday can be family movie night or family game night. Then Saturday night can be your 80’s dance party. Let your creativity go to work and if you need a few ideas check out this blog article that has 32 Party Theme Ideas .

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      9. Learn an Instrument Together

      No time better than the present to start learning to play that instrument you have always wanted to play.

      Have you always wanted to play the guitar? Then, look online for a basic learning guitar that isn’t expensive, yet has good reviews. We did that for my daughter and purchased a decent quality ukulele from Amazon that was intended for beginners while still having a quality sound (it wasn’t some trinket from a tourist destination that wouldn’t hold a tune.)

      We found lessons online from an instructor who would conduct lessons one on one using Skype. Many instructors use this technology or other free software that allows quality video communications from their home to yours.

      The website we happened to use to find an instructor was TakeLessons.com. You can find instructors that will teach anything from drums to cello to saxophone. Prices vary too. You pick your instructor from their pool of instructors available. This website is basically a service that connects people with talent (some with really good music education too) who can teach to students who are looking to learn.

      Learning to play an instrument together and you are creating memories together! You are also learning a new skill that you can enjoy for years to come. Playing music together is good for the mind and soul!

      The TakeLessons.com website also has language lessons. You can learn a new language as a family. All from the comfort of your own home. I am sure there are many different website that offer lessons on learning another language. Do your research and compare prices before committing to anything.

      10. Plan Future Travels

      While you are learning a new language you can begin planning future vacations. You can do a family meeting and discuss where you would like to go and why.

      It would be even better to have each child research where they would like to take a trip. Each child and/or family member can present a pitch on why your family should travel to that location in the future. They can use their research to tell about the area such as its historical value, recreational features, and the learning experiences that can be had from such travels.

      This doesn’t mean you need to book any travels. It more about learning and finding hope in the future. If we can’t plan for the future, then there is no hope. Make mental plans now, as a family, for what you want to do and where you want to travel someday.

      Make Memories Today!

      There is no time better than the present to start making memories together and bonding as a family. In these times when many people are having to stay home for extended periods of time, it is a great opportunity to bond and connect as a family.

      You have a captive audience with your children at home. Don’t miss out on this time by holing up in separate rooms doing your own activities. Make it a point to chose group activities and engage your family during this time at home.

      Every day alive is a blessing. Every day having your family is blessing. Don’t take your blessings for granted. Love on them and create great memories in spite of the circumstances.

      Featured photo credit: Marisa Howenstine via unsplash.com

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