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7 Entrepreneurial Skills Kids Can Learn To Lead A Successful Life

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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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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

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