“I am concerned that too many people are focused too much on money and not on their greatest wealth, which is their education. If people are prepared to be flexible, keep an open mind and learn, they will grow richer and richer through the changes. If they think money will solve the problems, I am afraid those people will have a rough ride. Intelligence solves problems and produces money. Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone.” ― Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
- The question is: what’s financial intelligence?
In a nutshell, it is the ability to understand and build knowledge in the business world. It is a skill, and, as such, we all can learn it, yet it seems that only a few can master this financial intelligence. And why is that?
Because, from an early age, we are used to thinking that money does not make us happy, that money is evil and that we should focus on other things in life. As parents, we tend to replicate this pattern and say the same things to our children.
The result? We are all financially illiterate, and because of this, we actually become slaves to money: we work like crazy to gain as much money as possible, to feel safe, but then we are unable to keep it.
The more we earn, the more we spend, and in the end, we work more to get more. It’s a vicious circle. Also, we tell our children that money is the evil that plagues society.
How does this resonate with you?
Money does not fall from the sky. A good starting point is to explain to children how money does not grow on trees like apples; on the contrary, we need to earn it. The next question is: how?
Studying and acquiring solid academic knowledge is essential, whatever the children’s chosen field.
But the most common mistake is to think that this is the goal. In reality, it is only the beginning. School gives an excellent education, but unfortunately, it does NOT provide any financial education. Indeed, poor financial education is one of the ills afflicting humanity. So, I think it’s our responsibility, as parents (and especially parents in this fast-changing world), to teach kids how to be resourceful and ultimately financially intelligent (or literate).
Maybe our 5-year-old is already playing at selling pastries or fresh lemonade. Or, our 10-year-old is already thinking about inventing the video game of the year and becoming rich with this idea.
Well, I believe that we should not discourage them. On the contrary, we have to prepare kids to cultivate entrepreneurial ideas and launch small businesses (while continuing with their studies, of course).
Five Tips To Raise Young Entrepreneurs
1. Teach children to set and achieve goals
Goals guide us in our daily actions, and once achieved, they give us a great sense of achievement and self-confidence. This is true for everyone, children or not. There are short-term goals: for example, for your child, it might be to finish his or her homework, or to tidy up the room, or to build a Lego or to draw a nice drawing. Long-term goals are more elaborate and require planning and strategy.
When we encourage our child to become a kid entrepreneur, we are essentially allowing him/her to create an experience. Kids will have to use their creativity and analytical intelligence to develop an idea and implement it until they reach their goal.
Basically, we are teaching them to set and achieve both short- and long-term goals. It can be selling biscuits at school or in the neighbourhood, or whatever comes to mind. Children sometimes really surprise us with their ideas! We just have to help them get started and proceed systematically. Will they fail? Probably, but they will have learned many valuable lessons.
2. Teach children financial literacy
Through his or her entrepreneurial adventure, your child will learn money…is earned. They will also (and most importantly) learn that it takes money to make money. They will understand that you need to get the raw materials, produce that product in the best possible way, and reach out to potential customers, be they, friends or grandparents. They will soon understand that their “business” has to start with something small, leading them to realise their dreams. After a few days or weeks, you will already see a change in their relationship with money, and they will probably even be more grateful for everything they already have. And that is always good, with or without an entrepreneurial career. Isn’t it?
3. Teach children problem-solving skills
Children will quickly see that the road to starting a business is full of obstacles and problems. At this point, you have to intervene to encourage them and not let them give up because it is too difficult. Being a successful kid entrepreneur means overcoming obstacles and finding solutions. On this path, children will develop the ability to solve problems on their own. Let them make mistakes: mistakes will allow them to solve problems.
Besides, children will learn to manage all the emotions that accompany making mistakes. They will be angry, frustrated, impatient or disheartened. Be present and guide them to understand, embrace and overcome all these emotions. Maybe you can redefine the goals together or change the planning until the children are ready to try again. It’s a long process, and it takes patience, but it really is a great way to help them grow as people and as entrepreneurs.
4. Teach children to collaborate with others
Children have a limited view of the world and can, therefore, be selfish or self-centred. Learning to function as a team member is undoubtedly an excellent way to broaden their vision and understand how society works. They will learn to respect others and their different points of view; they will learn to recognise similarities and synergies. Eventually, they will be able to build a team, be part of it, or even lead it. This is a characteristic that will be very useful in professional and personal life forever.
5. Teach children to be self-confident and resilient
There is no better way to build self-confidence than to make your child successful at what they set out to do. Besides, this aspect of the process will help them open up more and more, communicate their ideas, and express their opinions. If they do something they are passionate about and enjoy talking about it with others, they will become more confident every day. As adults, they will not be terrified of speaking in public, and they will be able to disagree or express their view of things.
Finally, if they are self-confident, they will also accept failure without letting that experience kill them. We all make mistakes, and they will make mistakes too, but that’s OK. Failures and mistakes teach the child to be resilient, not to get discouraged but to look for another way to solve the problem until they find a solution. Resilience is a characteristic that will be beneficial for your child throughout his or her life.
“In school, we learn that mistakes are bad, and we are punished for making them. Yet, if you look at the way humans are designed to learn, we learn by making mistakes. We learn to walk by falling down. If we never fell down, we would never walk.” ― Robert T. Kiyosaki, (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
The world is there for our children. You have certainly seen how immense a child’s imagination is. It is amazing! And yet, as we grow up, we seem to lose all this creativity, and we even think it’s normal! I believe that the rigid patterns of our society induce this process of ‘losing’ creativity. We deprive ourselves and our children of so many opportunities. Isn’t that true?
Children’s minds are full of ideas and imagination. By providing them with the proper support, a solid financial education, they will naturally develop financial intelligence, and then they will see opportunities. And they will be able to see their dreams come true.
So, I say: don’t wait until they go to university to show them career possibilities. It is great to think that our children are capable of doing amazing things. Whatever path they choose, let’s encourage them to cultivate their ideas or entrepreneurial aspirations; to learn to be self-confident, resilient and have good self-esteem, and above all, to think positive. Because without these characteristics, they will have a hard time in this complicated world.
And if you believe that you too need to get entrepreneurial skills and build your financial intelligence, I invite you to watch these free workshops, which will guide you to discover many ways to create your own business.
I think this is a great opportunity not only for yourself but also for your children. If you are prepared, you can also guide them better. And help them build the future they want. Click here to get the workshops.