So, I’m trying to teach my kids how to be entrepreneurs. I want them to understand the benefits and the mindset needed to be independently successful. That being said, I had to teach my daughter to not be nice. Yes, it seems like a direct contradiction to the title of this blog, but here’s why LIFE SKILLS trumped NICE the other day.
My daughter is always looking for ways to make more money. It’s great to see. Therefore, I’m always suggesting ways for her to make more money. Recently, she decided that she’s into jewelry making and would start making some to sell to her friends and peers. An awesome idea!
Her and her brother made a few beautiful pieces (more beautiful than I had expected, to be honest) and I began to see some potential and follow through. Because she had been working within some limitations in design as she had only two types of beads to work with, and being the zealous crafter that I am, I went out and bought her more materials. I brought back beautiful stones of various shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. A feast for the eyes.
So, a few days ago my friend came over with her daughters.
Because my daughter had already begun to ease off the enthusiasm she’d been riding high on (before I spent my money, of course) I wanted to reinvigorate her drive by making the activity a group one. A circle of friends will surely increase productivity.
My plan worked. Everyone gathered around the dining table and beads were scattered atop it. Everyone was talking and being creative.
Naturally, kids were starting to get attached to and fall in love with their creations. Keep in mind I say creations in the plural. So I had a decision to make. Do I keep this nice thing going, or do I teach my daughter a lesson in keeping a mind on her business?
I chose the latter. I declared to all the soon-to-be brokenhearted that everyone was allowed to keep only one creation. I let all of the kids know that my daughter had these materials set aside as part of her business, and that if she gives too much away she’ll lose money (and so would I).
See, of course I want my daughter to be nice, to be a lady and gracious. But I also don’t want her to make a distinction between being a lady and being a leader, or a business owner. The two are not mutually exclusive, right? Right.
Yes, I had to shut down some hearts in order to build another day. In the meantime, when they decide to wear their creations, they can let their friends know where they can get their own handmade jewelry.
Now just imagine if schools dedicated time and resources to teaching these skills. I think as parents we need to start pushing for entrepreneurial courses in schools. What are your thoughts?
In the meantime, here’s an article in Inc. magazine about raising kids to be entrepreneurs. Enjoy!