Looking back at our history, every generation has been more innovative, creative and inventive.
Now more than ever, our world needs entrepreneurs. And it’s never too early to start encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset with our kids.
The problem that a lot of adult entrepreneurs encounter stems from their mindset – things that they consciously or unconsciously learned growing up. Some of these things reinforce a fear of failure, which can be crippling for some entrepreneurs.
But most kids haven’t learned that yet.
They still see the world as an amazing, incredible place in which they discover new, astonishing things all the time.
And if we take the time and make the effort to reinforce the fact that they can achieve anything, it can have a lasting impact on a child’s life.
Here are three brilliant tips from Robert Herjavec on inspiring the next generation of young entrepreneurs:
1. Find programming that encourages creativity and innovation.
For parents who want to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in their children, exposing them to programming showing them how businesses start and how people take action in starting a business is important.
“Shark Tank is one of the top shows for families,” Herjavec said. “None of us [The Sharks] saw that happening. When we have kids on the show our ratings spike. And we realized it’s a good format to inspire kids to follow their dreams.”
2. Use positive, but not empty, encouragement.
“Try positive encouragement. Not just empty encouragement, but in a way where kids can see themselves reaching a goal.
One of the most important things is for kids to know that failure is not bad.
‘No’ is a very powerful word.
And negativity and rejection are learned responses. It’s important that kids can fail and know they have the ability to rise again, and that if they fail, or if something doesn’t go according to plan, that the family will still be there to love and support,” Herjavec said.
Encouraging the process, not the outcome, is important. Fear of failure or a negative outcome is a key factor that prohibits innovation and creation.
Set and achieve small goals together that build to a bigger outcome, and celebrate each step. Be specific in that positive reinforcement. Not just “good job, kiddo” but rather “great work on drawing your idea.”
3. Show your kids that entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes and industries.
For Herjavec, that curiosity and realization that there were people succeeding outside of “the mold” was the initial nudge that he needed to get started.
As a child, it’s easy to correlate entrepreneurship with coming up with a tangible product or creation. But parents can encourage their kids to think about running different types of businesses by asking questions as you go about your regular routine.
On the way to soccer practice? Ask your kids to think about how they could make the equipment better.
Eating at a restaurant? Ask your kids what type of restaurant they would like to have, and how they’d do it differently.
You can read more at Entrepreneur.