Accidental Entrepreneur: 5 Things to Consider While Raising Young Children With Entrepreneur Mindset
Welcome to my 35th weekly article as this week is called “5 Things to Consider While Raising Young Children With Entrepreneur Mindset.”
When I reflect on my life, the various experiences and my I had in my life from childhood allowed me to become a succesful entrepreneur.
In this article I go over what are some of the key traits to empower and enable your children to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures.
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“கற்க கசடறக் கற்பவை கற்றபின்
நிற்க அதற்குத் தக”. — திருக்குறள் (391)
“Let a person learn thoroughly whatever he may learn,
and let his conduct be worthy of his learning” — Thirukkural (391)
Lately I have been asked about how to raise children with an entrepreneur mindset from a very young age. Looking back at my life, I feel that I have been trained throughout my life to become an entrepreneur and accomplish great results. This success didn’t happen overnight. Just like how I would execute on a complex project or building companies and products, I am going to start from the end goal and work backwards toward building a foundation to be a successful entrepreneur.
To be a successful entrepreneur, following four items (4Ps) are critical for achieving end goals:
- P1: People: I continue to believe that if one surrounds oneself with the right people they can overcome any real world challenges. This is why I believe that it’s important that all the founding team members have diverse relevant backgrounds and that early hirers bring the necessary knowledge as well as experience. Last but not least having seasoned mentors and experts to surround the team with to provide support along the journey is extremely critical.
- P2: Product: It’s Important to find a problem that has good market needs and potential for expanding in the future. Without a good business case and viable earning potential one won’t become a successful entrepreneur. Products with market fit will reduce the challenges after building the products.
- P3: Process: Once the right people and problems are identified, it is the job of the team to solve the problem creatively and execute in a coherent way to build scalable products. This is where subject matter knowledge, education and experience matters.
- P4: Partnership: Finally the most important P which is Partnership. Partnership can be customers, sales partners, advisors, etc. Building an efficient partnership with shared interest in the success will help achieve the ultimate goals faster and with less friction.
Let’s get back to the main point of today’s article. How to develop the mindset and foundation at a very young age.
Below are 5 points which I consider critical for raising children with future entrepreneurship in mind:
- Inquisitive Mind (P2): It is all about how one approaches the world, understanding the problems and needs of the larger community. Observing the surrounding environment and asking appropriate questions is the first step in forming an idea for a company. Make them feel all the questions are important, and coach them to ask the questions in such a way to be able to obtain answers to define the problem statement clearly.
- Encourage them to think for themselves (P3): Each problem in the world has multiple solutions. Solutions may vary person to person based on their education and experiences. Encouraging them to think for themselves to come up with solutions builds confidence in themselves as well as it is easier to navigate around changes as they come up with their own solutions.
- Passion, Emotion and Empathy (P1): At the end of the day, it is about one’s commitment and ownership. These need to come from within themselves. I categorize this as emotional intelligence (EQ). People need to show passion; They need to feel they are emotionally attached to the venture; finally build empathy to navigate through people’s problems. I learnt this from my father and mother as well as my siblings. This simple behavior of empathy can take one from a simple individual contributor to a visionary leader.
- Early Exposure to Business and Money (P4): Once you have people, product ideas and ways to build the product, the final aspect of being an entrepreneur is building a business which will make money for all the stakeholders. Having business knowledge and early dealing with money will teach people to think about the end to end aspect of building a business. I was lucky enough to come from a family of both paternal and maternal grandparents who had business and taught me the ups and downs of business at a very young age.
- Extracurricular Involvement (P1 & P4): During early stages in life, our brains are forming and evolving to learn and adjust depending on the situations. By getting involved in Sports and community cultural activities, I learned to deal with a diverse set of people and ideas. In addition, it gives the opportunity to convince others to follow your idea, basically sell your idea to elders and execute the plan as you promised. Being cricket captain for my local community and youth leader for our community functions, I learned to be a leader who can take criticisms from others and lead the team to success.
Entrepreneurship is a very long process which involves observing, learning, iterating and finally executing one’s dreams. I have seen some analysis of successful entrepreneurs and how long it takes to become successful, nearly 15 years of real experiences. I could connect to this research as I started working at my family business and working with the community in my early teens. Finally when I started the first company, I was 28 years old. My advice to budding entrepreneurs and their parents is to provide an environment for the children to learn and thrive. Give them space to learn and adjust to the situation with real world situations. Go out there and enjoy the youth while using every opportunity to learn new things and learn to deal with people. That will become very handy when one starts their startups.