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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 October 22, 2019

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

4. Get up and Move

We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

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Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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