Teach kids business lessons early in life.

As any parent knows, their children depend on them to teach them the skills and lessons they’ll need to succeed in life. In fact, many parents have been called on to go above and beyond this year, filling in as surrogate teachers as their kids finished out the school year at home.

Many of us get the basics right. We teach our children to tie their shoes, tell time on an analog clock, read a calendar to see what day it is, and look at the expiration date on items in the fridge to make sure they haven’t passed their prime. But many of us don’t think about teaching our kids the lessons they may one day need to start their own business – the skills that we had to learn the hard way, through the school of hard knocks.

Wouldn’t it be great if we gave them a head start? They might as well benefit from our experiences.

Business Skills for Kids

Here are a few entrepreneurial skills that parents can teach kids while they’re still young. These skills will help them in many areas of their lives, whether they become the next Bill Gates or not.

Industriousness. Children who learn the importance of working hard to accomplish a goal go farther in life. Completing a job and doing it well provides a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that’s hard to come by in any other way. One of the best ways to instill a good work ethic in your kids is by example. Work along with them on projects around the house. Young people often learn better from what you do, not what you say. 

Self-confidence. Fostering a sense of self-confidence in your children is critically important. Confident kids are less likely to be bullied or to become victims of a crime. They’re more successful in school and extracurricular activities like sports and music. They make better choices in life because they’ve learned to trust themselves. This is critically important for future success.

Curiosity. Teach your children to ask questions. Take them places and provide them with new experiences. Encourage a new hobby. Fostering a sense of curiosity in children will encourage them to become lifelong learners. Continuous learning helps your mind stay fresh and sharp – important traits for budding young entrepreneurs.

Creativity. Encourage your children’s creativity. Help them learn how to think outside the box. Teach them new ways of looking at issues and finding solutions. Fresh ideas and ways of thinking are essential in the workplace. They’re often what give a company the edge over its competition.

Resilience. Participation in group activities is a great way to foster a sense of resiliency in kids. It’s good for them to learn that they won’t always win the prize. Resiliency will help them bounce back faster from negative experiences. The important lesson here is to not give up. Keep trying, keep pushing toward the goal, and success will come. 

Empathy. Teach your kids to imagine how others feel and be sensitive to it. Leaders who operate with empathy in the workplace have happier, more productive teams – teams that reach goals and break sales records. Model empathy for your kids whenever you can. It’s sometimes easier to demonstrate than to explain.

Optimism. Teach your children the importance of approaching each day with a good attitude. Help them learn to expect good things and be grateful for the things they have. A person filled with optimism is hard to keep down, no matter what comes their way.

Philanthropy. Last but not least, teach your children the importance of giving back. Help them learn and experience the law of reciprocity. Take them to a food pantry or animal shelter to volunteer for a day. Giving back to others is a great way to stay grounded and grateful for what you have. Many of the wealthiest people in the world are known for their philanthropic tendencies. Coincidence? Probably not.

Young children are malleable and learn quickly. Teaching them these eight lessons as early as possible will help them grow into successful, confident, happy, contributing members of society, adults who know what they want and aren’t afraid to go out and make it happen.

And isn’t that what most parents want?