I believe a child is like wet clay. These are the best formative years of their lives; whatever you feed them will become their value system for life. Most of the times, we try to forcibly educate them in certain bookish language, just to pass an exam. This saturates their minds, and they have nothing more to take. So let’s stop that and start encouraging young kids to understand entrepreneurship.
The very first step of entrepreneurship is taking risk. We Indian parents don’t even allow our 25-year-olds to take a risk. I am talking about allowing our kids to run a little longer, jump a little higher, swim a little farther, and play with that ferocious looking dog once in a while. And most importantly when they score low or fail in an exam or when they are unconventional in a classroom, don’t reprimand them, but rather appreciate them for making an attempt and for being different. You make an entrepreneur by giving them the seed of hope, because an entrepreneur without hope or the ability to take risk is useless.
I am not great in monetary terms because we never speak about money with kids. But I believe it’s the right age for the kids to understand the value of money. However rich or privileged you are, you’ll always see the world’s biggest entrepreneurs come from the lowest strata of society where they did not have enough money to even buy a meal. I believe poverty, being unprivileged is a degree. I am not asking your children to deal with poverty, I am just telling them to earn what they want, through the games that you want to do, and through the talks that you want to say. Do not create a false picture of who you are before your own kids. The branding that you do, showing the world that you are living in the best flat, driving the best car, and wearing the best branded underwear, it’s for the world the see. But your child needs to know the truth. Don’t let them be the victim of the EMI. Don’t let them fall in this new age of EMI payers. A child needs to be exposed to risks. A child has to be allowed to have hope. A child should be allowed to fail. A child should understand the value of money, where it comes from, and how they should spend it.
Another important thing about entrepreneurship is if a child wants to work, let them do it. Let them face the challenges of the world, let them have the doors shut on their faces, let them be on the counters of McDonald’s, let them go to houses trying to sell things, let them write articles for a newspaper, let them be the last dancers in a Broadway show. Let them do all of that because while we want our children to be most important people in whatever they do, they need the experience of being the least important people too. There can’t be a better learning than that.
Yes, I totally am for teaching children entrepreneurship from a very young age. And it’s a great idea because entrepreneurship is synonymous with survival. An entrepreneur for me is a person who doesn’t know where his next meal is going to come from, or which is the next city he or she is going to travel. For me, an entrepreneur is like a mountain climber who is halfway there, he can’t come down, he has to go up or tumble down. And I believe if we can put a survival instinct in every kid using entrepreneurship and its learning, we will have a responsible child.
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