Raising an entrepreneur: 10 rules for nurturing risk takers, problem solvers, and change makers by Margot Bisnow.
Parents have long searched for how to prepare their children for success. Tiger moms prescribed that strict rules are the secret to producing a future leader. But will that lead to success today? And even if it does, if there’s no happiness and creativity… is it really success?
The Big Idea
The big idea in the book is that your kids can be happy AND successful, IF they find and follow their passion. That’s great advice you’ve probably heard before… but HOW does someone find their passion?
This is where the author breaks new ground with insights from interviews with 60 successful entrepreneurs and their moms… from companies like UnderArmour, Youtube, WordPress, and TOMS shoes.
Bisnow noted that when kids are working on something that interests them, lazy and distracted kids became laser focused and hard-working; kids that seemed lost and whose teachers assumed they’d have a mediocre future surprised everyone… once they found their passion.
How it works
As a parent, your natural tendency will be to guide your child toward activities that you believe will lead to success. And this is the key here: DON’T! You have to resist this impulse, which is easier said than done, of course.
You don’t want to “make” your children entrepreneurs. You want them to develop naturally, into who they really are. Don’t force your kids to start little businesses if they don’t want to. Don’t worry if they don’t seem to be natural leaders, or if they’re more excited by an outside activity than by their classes.
So what should you do? Start by listening to them. Figure out what they love—playing sports, writing music, drawing, acting, filming, playing chess, singing, dancing, running for student government, organizing protests, playing computer games.
When something seems to ‘click’, focus all your energy on supporting and encouraging them to pursue it with all they’ve got. Your kids will work hard at their passion because they love it. And because they’re good at it, they’ll work even harder. That leads to developing confidence because they’re becoming good at something they love, that they chose, and not something that somebody thinks they ought to pursue to get into the “right” school or the “right” career. Also, knowing they won’t be judged for inevitable setbacks will give them the courage to dream big dreams.
Something great is so much likelier to happen when kids really care about what they’re doing and are excited to jump out of bed every day. Isn’t that true of all of us?
The author says that kids “will never be great at something if they don’t work nonstop at it, and they will never work nonstop if they don’t love it.”
If your kids love what they’re doing, they’ll develop drive, determination, focus, and grit, which are all essential tools to becoming an entrepreneur. If they get good enough at something, they’ll figure out ways to improve upon or expand it or, even, reinvent it. And that’s how world-changing companies and non-profits get started.