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7 Entrepreneurial Skills Kids Can Learn To Lead A Successful Life

7 Entrepreneurial Skills Kids Can Learn To Lead A Successful Life

As a parent, I want to give my kid an edge, help him learn important skills to lead a successful life. I think he will enjoy more success if he develops a solid entrepreneurial mindset at a young age. People with an entrepreneurial way of thinking see challenges as opportunities and confront them with confidence to innovate and create value in the world.

Kids can develop these key skills and behaviors to lead a successful life. In fact, they are more capable of learning them than adults because they have fewer mental barriers to tear down in order to develop them. Here are seven entrepreneurial skills you can teach your kids to help them lead a successful life:

1. Self Confidence

Self-confidence is a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities and judgment. Developing it is the cornerstone of a successful life. According to psychological studies, confidence comes from where we derive our self-worth, so both internal and external sources.

External sources include appearance, the approval of others, and academic performance. Internal sources include being a good person and staying true to moral standards. Kids with a strong sense of self derived through internal sources – those who are ethical and principled – are less likely to engage in dangerous activities as adolescents and are more likely to have life experiences that lead to a successful life.

Entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with one’s own internal motivation. It is a belief in ones ideas and ability to overcome obstacles that builds strong relationships in both business and life.

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So how do you instil confidence in your child? Be a good role model, show empathy and encourage their opinions. You need to let kids make decisions and support them as they make choices. Even when you think it may not be the right decision, let your kids think up their own ideas and try them. Learning something from experience as opposed to instruction is key in developing problem solving skills and confidence in oneself.

2. Durability and Resilience

Developing a thick skin when it comes to adversity is paramount in an entrepreneur. We all know pain, failure, and disappointment are part of life. No matter how much you want to shield your kids from these things you can’t totally do so.

An important part of entrepreneurship is learning about failure and not fearing it. Prepare your kids develop a resilient spirit and handle challenges life sends their way. You will feel better and more confident in them while helping them avoid anxiety and self-doubt.

How can you help your kids be more durable? Allow them to express emotion and avoid minimizing their feelings. When children perceive their emotions are understood, charged emotions dissipate and allow them to focus their energy on feeling better.

3. Problem solving

Entrepreneurs are critical thinkers. They hone the ability to focus and tackle a problem using analysis and evaluation to form judgments. Learning to think critically is a key component to being a problem solver. It is how people make clear, reasoned decisions leading to a success in business and beyond.

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Teaching critical thinking is, in part, questioning your kids. Ask them how they think they should handle a situation that is troubling them. They may need help coming up with ideas but avoid the urge to handle the problem for them. Give some options for solutions if needed but offer your thoughts in the form of questions like “Do you think this could work?”

Leading kids in this way helps them define the problem aloud, which is affirming. This is a way to get perspective and to find answers independently. Supporting kids in this way helps them feel secure in their ability to find solutions to problems on their own.

4. Creativity and Innovative Thinking

Entrepreneurs need to be creative. Solving complex problems can be tricky. Creative thinking is how new ideas are developed to solve such problems.

Make time for creativity and thinking up ideas with your kids. Questions spark inspiration, like: “What could be done differently to make this better?” or “How many ways can you solve this?”

Ask lots of questions and come up with answers together. Creative thinking is the key to innovation, and the world is changing so quickly that people need to be innovative to stay ahead of the curve and be successful.

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5. Goal Setting

Entrepreneurs know that what gets measured, gets done. All great accomplishments have a timeline, working from a starting point to the goal. Goals keep us moving toward things we really want in life. Having the ability to formulate effective goals and see them through to fruition is important for a successful life.

Teach your kids about goals by sharing your own. Talk about your ideas and your game plan for implementing them. Help them devise short term and longer-term goals by learning what’s important to them, what it is they want to learn, change or have.

Work with them to create steps to achieving goals and talk about progress and challenges over the timeline to achieve the goal. A person needs to know where the finish line is to complete the race and the same is true for life goals. Learning this skill early helps kids accomplish things faster but more importantly helps them gain an understanding that they are capable of controlling their destiny. A pretty powerful feeling when you’re a kid (and later in life too!).

6. Initiative

Entrepreneurs all have initiative. Initiative is a catalyst for creating innovative ideas. It is the motivation to look at what is or what is around you and take action to complete something or make something better. Developing a keen sense for identifying opportunities is one thing but without the initiative to take action nothing gets done.

Teach your kids initiative by modeling it yourself. Children model behaviours of those they look up to so verbally point out instances where you take initiative. This will show them when something needs doing it gets done without hesitation.

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7. Empathy

The ability to empathize is part of being an effective leader. Successful entrepreneurs know that by trying to see others’ views and feelings they can gain acceptance from their colleagues more wholly. Empathy isn’t something you either have or don’t; there are degrees of it and it can be developed and understood by kids as well as adults.

You can help your kids develop empathy by treating them as individuals, people with a mind of their own. Respecting their feelings and emotions and talking about the connections between their feelings and how they behave will help them understand others motivations. This will help your kids recognize things they have in common with people and to relate to them naturally. This ability creates relationships that are more meaningful and is vitally important for success in leading people and as well as in overall happiness in life.

All of these skills are developed through two-way communication. Yes, we need to give direction but kids need the opportunity to express themselves freely and be understood and accepted. As parents, we are the leaders, and we need to be supportive by allowing kids to make decisions and trying different ideas to fix problems. Entrepreneurs know experience is the best teacher and young kids benefit from it most as they develop skills for a successful life.

Featured photo credit: Boy in a park with a plane via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

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    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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