It can be hard for children to understand what it means to function in the real world. As parents, we often want to protect them from failure and struggle. Yet, it is often only by overcoming obstacles and challenges that children gain the confidence they need to live successfully as adults. Starting a small business is one way that children can gain important skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Children have many lessons to learn when it comes to money. They often lack the knowledge to make wise financial decisions. Many college students get confused about the difference between spending through a bank account and spending on credit. A small business can teach children about creating a budget and sticking to it. It can also help them understand why self-restraint and saving are important for the future.
A successful business needs to be well-organized. Children who start a business will learn what they need to do to stay ahead of demand. They will have to develop excellent time management skills to balance the needs of the business with regular school work. At the same time, they will experience the consequences of procrastination. They will learn how to organize a workspace so that supplies are accessible, and they will also learn how much time can be lost when things are disorganized. If they are working with a group of friends, they will also receive experience with delegating, learning how to use the gifts of many individuals for the best outcome.
One of the great challenges of starting a business is dealing with unexpected problems. A necessary supply may be unavailable. The car that they were depending on for delivery may break down. Entrepreneurs need to think quickly on their feet. Young business owners will have many lessons in adaptability. Instead of freezing at the first sign of trouble, they will figure out how to break a problem into pieces, turning a large issue into manageable parts. They will also learn to step back and look at a problem from a different perspective rather than a place of anxiety.
Part of running a business is dealing with people. Especially in these days of social media, critics can be harsh, even when talking about a child’s business. Part of being able to manage your online reputation is knowing how to calmly and correctly respond to negative opinions and criticism from others. It is important to know the difference between reacting emotionally and responding rationally. Your children can also learn the importance of apologizing quickly and correcting mistakes. Another skill to develop is how to deal with difficult people with tact and grace.
Recovery from Failure
Entering into the business world can mean moments of great satisfaction. It can also be a wakeup call about the nature of failure. Even the best businesses will struggle, and a large number of businesses will fail. Your children can learn resiliency out of such failures. They can learn to examine their mistakes so that they will not repeat them the next time around. It is frustrating to fail, but it is this frustration that leads to the next opportunity and the next idea. It is important at a young age to realize that not every idea will be a winner and not every risk leads to success. Just as importantly, children must realize that failure is not the end of the world.
Starting a business is a great opportunity to learn practical life skills. The ability to plan, problem-solve and even fail with grace will benefit children for years to come. It is life skills like these that lead to a successful entrance into adulthood.
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