Raising kids to be entrepreneurs

I guess it should come as no surprise that in the three years I spent blogging for the New York Times my most popular post had almost nothing to do with small business. In a post titled How to Raise a Business Owner I pondered the question of how you instill qualities in your children that will prepare them to become entrepreneurs later in life.

Some of the characteristics I mentioned in the post were:

  • Ability to solve problems creatively.
  • Desire to learn and expand knowledge.
  • Ability to analyze a situation and make good decisions.
  • Self-motivation and belief in your own abilities.
  • Persistence, tenacity and resilience.

Here are a few more thoughts I would add today:

  • Understand that success doesn’t come without failure.
  • Be willing to take acceptable risks.
  • Find inspiration in unexpected places.
  • Receive constructive feedback and ignore the rest of the peanut gallery.
  • Seek out and surround yourself with great people.

That New York Times post got over 60 fascinating comments. I’ve since seen other blog posts on the same topic that continue what I think is a fascinating discussion. In fact, someone just made a documentary about raising entrepreneurs.

In the end, I want to instill in my kids the confidence to know that they can stand on their own two feet. And if they decide to take on the world of entrepreneurship, I hope mommy and daddy have shown them that it helps to go through life – and business – with a great partner by your side.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing women who raise children and run businesses every day! I am proud to be in your company.

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