Entrepreneurship at a young age can help young people develop into confident, strong-willed, successful adults. It’s no wonder why so many parents are happy to encourage their children to start businesses. And there has never been a better time to do it. With the seemingly endless opportunities offered by the internet, kids have the kind of leverage they never did in the age of the lemonade stand. But it takes more than just wanting to start a business to be an entrepreneur. Here are some of the traits that can help young entrepreneurs move forward with their dreams.
Traits Every Young Entrepreneur Needs
1. Supportive parents
Young people are dependent on their parents for just about everything. Both children and parents are well aware of this fact – which is why it is so important for parents to be supportive of their children when they are pursuing their goals. Entrepreneurship is no exception. No matter how talented or driven the kid is, there needs to be support in the background so they can reach their full potential. If your child wants to be an entrepreneur, strive to maintain the kind of support only you can provide.
2. Understanding that failure is part of success
Most successful entrepreneurs start multiple businesses – and fail at those businesses – before they find the right combination of idea, talent, resources and market. Young people that want to be in business need a healthy relationship with failure. No one wants to fail, young or old. But kids that are taught how failure is part of the path to success are more likely to pick themselves up after they fail and try again, which is a necessity in business.
3. Passion for their business
Most kids are not wanting for passion for their favorite things. They love what they love and will tell you all about it. Kids who can apply that level of passion towards their business venture are more likely to succeed in what they do. In fact, over the long term it is better for them to try their hand at a business they love than it is for them to stick to the safe route. They are young and very little is at stake – which is the perfect time to learn how to chase their dreams. On down the line they can learn to find where passion and practicality meet.
4. Good communication and networking skills
Successful business people do not get where they are on their own – they are always part of a larger network of other business people that share their enthusiasm for business. Kids that want to be entrepreneurs need to have the ability to communicate with others and share their interests so that they can find and build their network. Kids that are more introverted can be taught how to come out of their shell more often and communicate with others, which should be encouraged if they want to become business owners.
No one has perfect self-control, and kids particularly should not be expected to have exceptional self-control. However, it is worthwhile to understand that successful entrepreneurs tend to have the ability to set a goal and see that goal through to its conclusion. To reach goals, it is often necessary to delay gratification – to say no to something good now so that you can get something better later. Kids that are going to be entrepreneurs need to develop some sense of self-control early on if they are going to be able to start a successful business. If they can do their homework now to play longer later, or practice piano every day to play better for their recital, they are already on the right path.
6. Develop consistent patterns
Many times establishing and growing a successful business requires performing the same tasks day after day, even if they are not always particularly rewarding in the short term. Many young people love the comfort that patterns provide – get up at the same time every day, go to school, come home and do homework, play, eat dinner, sleep, repeat. For young entrepreneurs, it is usually necessary to insert additional activities in their regular routine and to perform those activities again and again, even if they don’t yield an obvious benefit right away.
For example, if a young entrepreneur wants to learn a coding language to start a game development company, they will need to practice coding for some time before they get proficient enough to make games. They would need to add practicing coding to their list of daily activities, in addition to all the other things they have to do. Some kids won’t want to do this, but those that are likely to succeed as entrepreneurs will appreciate the need and implement the patterns they need to reach their goals.
7. Strong self-esteem
Part of what makes it possible to fail over and over again is having an understanding that your self-worth is not based on external factors like your failures. Young people that understand – either inherently or through being taught by adults – that they are good enough, valuable and loved regardless of whether they are successful entrepreneurs or not are going to have an easier time succeeding. They will not take failures so personally and therefore will be able to try again, which is the foundation for long-term success.
8. Creative thinking
Creative thinking or out-of-the-box thinking is often required to develop a successful business. If you only use the solutions and ideas developed by others, you are less likely to come up with something that is truly novel and adds immense value. Young people are well-equipped to think outside of the box because they have fewer preconceived notions and assumptions about how things should be done. However, it is possible to encourage more of this kind of thinking by supporting kids when they take a new path. They may run into more dead ends than they would playing it safe, but they are also more likely to discover something new.