India needs more of job creators rather than job seekers, hence one of the best things one can possibly do is to instill the spark of entrepreneurship in young children, early in their life. They can be your own kids, your nephews or nieces, your neighbours or your friend’s wards. There’s nothing really like entrepreneurship, is there?
The sense of creating something new, proceeding on an unknown path, paving the way for others to follow, creating jobs for others, the sense of achievement and fulfillment that one gets being an entrepreneur is undoubtedly unparalleled and hence one should always make an effort to give such exposure to youngsters.
One of the first lessons in instilling entrepreneurship in children is teaching the skill of ‘opportunity spotting’. Opportunities almost always are disguised by problems which most of us overlook. A successful entrepreneur would always smell out opportunities amidst chaos or any problem. The same skill can be taught to youngsters from early on. Infact, I believe it should be made into a habit so that they by practice look for opportunities wherever possible.
Allowance for the Right Thing
Never give your children allowance for the daily chores. Most parents do that and it is not a healthy thing since daily chores are a part of family life and should be done by everyone together for harmonious living. One should not be paid anything for doing that. However, giving some reward or allowance for other things such as saving their money, managing finances better etc. are a different matter altogether. These should be done so as to reinforce effective entrepreneurial behavior in children.
The Buying Question
Children always want to buy something or the other. They ask for things and many of these need money to be saved and requires one to wait. This is a good opportunity to explain to them that all around them there exists lots of opportunities to earn money. Give them real yet simple examples of problems, the solutions to which someone thought of intelligently and created businesses out of it. For example, talk about the recent radio taxi companies. There was a problem of getting transport depending on location, timings as well as moods of taxi drivers, etc. The solution to this problem has been thought of by way of online and app based taxi services of recent times. Make sure you do not force them to hear a lecture on this and force these down their throat. Just tell them as if like in a discussion, something that really interested you or marveled you kind of a way.
One of the ideas is to play a game where if your children happen to notice a mess or some problem inside or outside the house they should come to you to discuss it, offer a solution and make a deal. These might be very small tasks involving very small amounts of money but nevertheless it would most definitely excite youngsters and more importantly instill the habit of ‘opportunity spotting’ all the time.
Another bonus that your children get from playing this game is that you can go ahead with a little bit of negotiation which gives them a hands-on practical lesson on negotiation skills as well. Currently they will get a kick out of negotiating but later on you will realize that they have been placed far ahead in the entrepreneurial learning curve just for these little techniques.
To conclude it can be said that with such techniques, youngsters earn their pocket money on their own putting in a worthwhile effort and when they go on to buy their favourite stuff with this earned money it gives them an immense sense of elation and pride. This goes a long way in making them self-sufficient and self-reliant for life. What gets instilled in the process is the belief that they can create something from nothing – exactly what entrepreneurship is all about.