The 1 Temptation Every Founder Needs to Resist

By Kevin J. Ryan

The idea of growing your company’s product line can be very tempting. But sometimes, you need to tap the brakes.

That’s the advice offered by Carey Smith, the founder of Big Ass Solutions, at the Inc. Founders House on Monday. Smith founded his company–initially called Big Ass Fans–in 1999 as a manufacturer of ceiling fans for industrial spaces. The startup later expanded into other products such as lights and residential fans, and revenue climbed, reaching $240 million in 2016. The following year, Smith sold the company to private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg for $500 million.

Despite that success, Smith advised resisting the common urge to quickly roll out new offerings. “Everybody has it, because you’re afraid you’re going to miss something,” he said. “I hate to say ‘slow down’–but you need to step back and take a look” at the market.

Smith was joined on stage by Chris Anderson, founder of pool furniture maker Ledge Lounger, whom he will be advising as part of the Inc. Founders Project, which pairs early-stage entrepreneurs with established mentors. Since founding his startup in 2009, Anderson has expanded from underwater chairs to products like deck furniture and cabanas.

“You have to be very careful at this juncture,” Smith told him. “It’s easy to overdo it.”

Smith admitted Big Ass Solutions looked at some markets way outside of its natural sphere, ranging from robotics to yogurt. The company never strayed that far, but it did release several products that failed to catch on with consumers.

A good way to avoid that problem, Smith said, is to do your homework. While proper market research could take several weeks and thousands of dollars, that’s less costly than creating something that bombs. “It could take you a year to develop a product,” he said. “We developed products that didn’t go anywhere, because it turned out people just didn’t understand them.”

And if you need help coming up with ideas in the first place, remember you have a valuable resource available: your own customers. It’s wise to talk to them about what kinds of products they crave.

“Not because you need to make everything they want,” Smith said, “but to get into their brains.

This article was first published at Inc

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5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding


By Dmitry Dragilev


The phrases “personal branding” and “networking skills” make a lot of people cringe. It’s often associated with being sleazy and ingenuine, with the main goal being wriggling your way into the “inner circle” for your own selfish reasons.

Leaving aside the nasty reputation, networking—if it’s based on building genuine relationships—is one of the most powerful tools for personal brands.

First of all, hanging out with the crowd in your industry is important for being able to learn from the best—knowledge sharing is one of the most powerful ways for everyone to succeed.

Networking is also a great way to get yourself associated and on the radar with other professionals—not just because, but for establishing useful partnerships and cooperation.

There is definitely a subtle art behind successful and authentic networking. Besides the work that goes into figuring out your motives, finding your approach, and creating compelling conversations, a lot of hard effort needs to go into maintaining the relationships you form too.

Today, we’re going to share five tips for polishing your public relationships skills, and maintaining your connections.

1. Figure Out Your “Why?”

Like we said in the intro, the word “networking” tends to have a bad reputation, so you need to make sure that your motives for wanting to network don’t align with that nasty label.

Before you start taking any other steps, you need to understand what networking really means—especially for you personally.

What’s your ultimate goal with trying to make connections with other people in your industry or area? Why are you doing it?

Are you mainly trying to initiate knowledge sharing and learning from others? Are you looking to maybe start cooperating or working with these people? Are you looking for business partners or investors?

You need to have a very clear understanding of why you want to start getting into networking, rather “just because” or “it’d be fun”. This will help you pick your strategies and make sure you have the right approach.

Even though, like we said, networking needs to be based on genuinely, there are still different initial “pitches” you need to make—even just to start a conversation. You don’t have to sell yourself by any means, but knowing what you’re after will help you set the right tone from the get go.

Just trying to make a light connection with someone whose work you admire is very different from starting a conversation with someone you hope will invest in your business.

So, before you jump into any action, figure out your “why” and think about how that would set the tone for your communication.

2. Do Your Research

Once you’ve figured out what your end goal or main interests are for getting into the networking world, it’s time to really do your homework about the people or companies you’d like to get in touch with.

You might think that you know a lot about them already, but there’s most likely things you haven’t discovered yet.

Take your time and make sure you’re really familiar with everything they’ve done. Go into detail too—the more specifics you know about them and their work, the easier it will be for you to connect.

You might even find things that you have in common that you didn’t know about. For example, check out their social media profiles. Maybe they tweet about cats as much as you do!

Even if there really isn’t a single thing you’ve missed in your previous knowledge about them, you can still refresh your memory. Read their content again, listen to their podcast, look at their designs—whatever area they’re in.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on them for a longer time, you’ll be looking at their work with a fresh set of eyes, and might even have a different attitude towards it.

Having intimate knowledge about the people who you’re going to attempt to connect with will give you a lot of topics to discuss, ask about, and connect over.

3. Be Human

There’s a good chance that the people you want to network with already have a crowd circling around them, trying to do the same.

This might not be the case, but even then, make sure to keep your human-ness in any contact.

Don’t put on a mask, or try to come across as something or someone you’re not. Even if you’re not dealing with people who have thousands of others trying to connect with them, most “regular” people can still tell when you’re being fake.

Try to not treat anyone like a business contact from the get go. It usually comes across as cold, impersonal, and rigid. Even worse, it sends an immediate signal that you’re up to no good and in it only for your own causes.

Networking shouldn’t be about using people, it should be about helping each other and sharing experiences and knowledge.

Rather than just handing off a business card, a much better way to go is to make a light, friend-like connection, literally. When you’re making your contact, think about how you would approach a potential friend!

Don’t start any of your conversations with “so how about that giant funding your company got yesterday?”, start with “I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you’re big on surfing—mind giving me some tips?”—you get the gist.

As your conversations go further, you’ll find the time to talk about work. Everything at its own, appropriate time!

And who knows, you might actually end up being best buddies.

4. Know Your Boundaries

This should go without saying, but know your limits.

Sometimes, connections just don’t happen, no matter how much you’ve worked on your skills or thought it’ll be the most amazing networking experience you’ll ever have.

If it’s not happening, it’s not happening, and you need to let it go. Nobody likes pushy people. If you find out your interests aren’t aligned, the conversation isn’t flowing, or the connection just isn’t there, don’t pursue it. Walk away. Don’t be rude about it, but just walk away.

Think of it kind of like dating, some dates just don’t work out. Not that anyone did anything wrong, but the alignment just isn’t there, and trying to push it isn’t beneficial to either side.

To avoid wasting your time as well as other people’s, it’s best to exit conversations that aren’t a good match sooner rather than later. This will give you the opportunity to go and connect with someone you’re a great fit with.

5. Keep In Touch

We all know how hard it is to keep in touch with people who aren’t immediate family or very close friends.

Time goes by, we’re all busy, past contact is forgotten; it happens.

The key to keeping relationships alive is keeping the conversation going. You’ve connected with people that you admire and want to learn from, right?

So, keep an eye on what they do, what they say, and what they’re up to. Start a conversation when they do something awesome—write a good post, launch a product, whatever it is that you’re excited about on their behalf.

Remind yourself every now and then. Reply to their tweet, leave a comment on their content, send them a postcard—whatever. Don’t be worried about being annoying.

Here’s what Alex Turnbull, CEO of Groove, has to say about following up in his article about how networking can help you succeed in life and business:[1]

“A lot of people are hesitant to follow up because they think they’re being annoying. But consider this: what if you’re not being annoying? What if you’re actually being helpful?”

So make sure you include your experiences as well, something that could help them. Work on making your relationships meaningful ones, with a lot of mutual learning involved.

Did they just announce they’re writing a book? Send an email telling them about the awesome editing tool you just found.

If you know you tend to be forgetful when it comes to keeping relationships, make a physical note to do so. Have a weekly planner? Jot down “shoot John an email” or “recommend this app to Susan.”

Mastering Personal Branding Is an Art and a Science

Even though it has the unfortunate reputation, building public relationships doesn’t have to be evil or ingenuine.

As long as you understand that successful networking is built on creating real, genuine, mutual relationships, it can be an incredible tool for learning, connecting, knowledge sharing, and business opportunities if you want them.

Take your time, figure out your end goal of why you want to start getting around more, make sure you’re connecting on the right foundations, and keep the conversation going—even if you have to teach yourself to do it.

Even if you don’t 100% get to your end goal, deliberate networking is still a surefire way to create great relationships that can be helpful when you least expect it!

More Resources About Networking & Work Communication


Featured photo credit: Antenna via unsplash.com


Reference
[1] ^ Groove: How to Use Networking to Succeed in Business and Life


This article was first published at Lifehack


5 Steps to Be Taken Seriously As a young Entrepreneur


By Joshua Davidson


I remember the days of walking door-to-door in my home town, asking small businesses the opportunity to allow me to create for them a website. The entire first month that I began Chop Dawg, I was turned down over 100 times. Yes that is right; I kept count. It wasn’t until the very last shopping center that I talked to in my town that our first closed contract would be signed — or even acknowledged.

Being a young entrepreneur was rough at the start. Let’s face it, I was an overly excited kid with way too much hair. I couldn’t dress professionally, even if the clothes were laid out in front of me, and had a little to no track record to back myself up. To make matters worse, having a sales pitch nailed down at the beginning wasn’t even my forte either.

So how did I overcome this and end up making Chop Dawg what it is today?

1) Build a Portfolio

This is the most critical of the five steps that I am sharing with you. You need a backing, a calling card, proof that you can deliver as a first time entrepreneur to potential clients. Validation is key. You need to have a portfolio, a case study, an example of what it is that you are trying to sell that you have delivered in the past.

When I started Chop Dawg, I honestly used the fake it until you make it mentality. I had created multiple websites for my own personal benefit, for my own skillset, and knowledge growth. This ended up making the first portfolio that I would share with potential clients at the time. The thing is, I had all the confidence in the world because I honestly believed (and knew) that my stuff blew away the competition in my town. The end result? Ability to sign my first (few) clients and begin growing my business from there.

2) Build a Reputation

When you begin working with others, focus on maintaining the highest quality of customer service possible, create (or provide) the best product possible, and make sure to really learn your clients. I am not just talking about their businesses, learn about them. What do they like? What are they into? What are their passions? What can you learn from them?

When you do this, you are now building the start of your reputation. They will pass this along to their colleagues, friends, neighbors, and family and word will travel. Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth. We still use this today to bring in many of our new clients, using our existing client relationships. Hell, even the ones that aren’t referring us, we use them as a reference. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. However, you can’t just count on this. You need to over deliver to establish this trust, this relationship, and this reputation. Always go above and beyond for your clients.

3) Use the Networks of Others

Circling back from above, use the networks of your first customers to your advantage. Odds are, most entrepreneurs know other entrepreneurs. Most executives know other executives. Most sales people know others in sales. We all talk and network with one another, especially in the same verticals, when it comes to our industries. Odds are, that means they know your exact target audience, since you’re already working with them. Again, merging your reputation, portfolio, and track record with an existing customer — use this all to your benefit. Don’t forget too, name dropping people you have worked with that others would know is a huge advantage to being taken seriously.

Another shot of a young me (Joshua Davidson) back when I started Chop Dawg in 2009.

4) Dress the Part

I am not suggesting that you should be showing up to new customer meetings in a tuxedo, but don’t dress as many young individuals do. I made this mistake personally, and trust me, I probably left thousands of dollars on the table at a young age due to this costly mistake.

It is proven that when you dress well, people take you seriously, no matter how young or old that you are. I make it a point every day to always wear a button up and, at least, presentable clothing around that. Do the same. Dress how you would want people to treat you and to think of you. Show that you care about yourself as much as you care about your new business venture and your customers. First impressions are key and again, tie into all of the factors listed above.

5) Leverage Your Young Age to Your Advantage

This is honestly the most underrated aspect of being a young entrepreneur (which I miss) — people eat up a great story. Nothing was better than the free publicity that I used to get from colleagues, clients, and even the media about being a 16–18 year old entrepreneur with a thriving and growing business. People love this, because it is that classic underdog story; it is the story of someone doing something most people dream about doing. And above all, it makes a great story. Leverage this to your advantage for free advertising, free word of mouth, and free traction, which you cannot leverage later on life. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for some — use it.

Starting my company at such a young age was the greatest decision that I ever made. I never envisioned Chop Dawg to be the company that it is today, helping everyday entrepreneurs with technical ideas, and turning them into reality. With that mentioned, it was a blessing to go through a lot of the learning curves early on in life. And for those who are young and on the fence about starting, my suggestion for you is just to start. You’ll learn as you go, you will make mistakes, but most importantly, if you are a real entrepreneur, you will learn over time exactly what problems need solutions and how to monetize those solutions to turn your startup into a thriving company.


This article was first published at www.medium.com


3 Crucial Marketing Tips For Young Entrepreneurs


By Nicolas Cole


We live in a day and age now where entrepreneurship is “cool.”

I remember being a teenager, obsessed with the World of Warcraft and online blogging, and being met with complete and total opposition when it came to building a career for myself on the Internet.

Today, digital entrepreneurship is exceedingly common.

In fact, more and more young people see the Internet as their greatest asset for turning what they love into a viable career path.

If you want to get into entrepreneurship at a young age, then here are 3 lessons that took me a while to learn—and will hopefully save you some valuable time.

1. What’s Your “Reason To Believe?”

This is a lesson I learned working at my first (and only) job out of college, a digital marketing agency in Chicago called Idea Booth.

If your product/service disappeared from the world tomorrow, what would the world be missing?

Would anyone care?

It’s a tough question, but it’s also the most important question.

Why should people pay attention to what you’re doing?

Why should people BELIEVE in you!

Successful marketing comes from having a clear vision free of rationalization. As a mentor of mine, Ron Gibori, used to tell me:

“The moment you start rationalizing with your customer, you’ve stopped selling them the dream and started selling them a product or service.”

You shouldn’t have to “convince” anyone.

People should hear your message and want what you have to offer.

Before you really start marketing what you do or whatever it is you’re selling, you have to come to some conclusion as to what you want them to BELIEVE about you.

2. Quality and then More Quality

There’s this common misconception in the digital age that what you share online should be good, but it shouldn’t be everything you know.

You shouldn’t reveal your secret recipe — that’s what people pay for!

FALSE.

The best blog posts and content pieces are the ones that walk any person through the tough questions.

They’re the ones that “bare all” and tell it exactly like it is.

Virality is not always about shock value or entertainment. It’s about REAL value.

It’s about educating a reader to the point where they feel as though you just gave them something of extreme value without them having to pay a cent for it.

This is what earns their trust and makes them willing to then become a customer or consumer in the future.

So, when marketing your product or service, over-deliver.

Give more than you should.

Share relentlessly and show people that you aren’t just selling something.

You are giving—and giving far more than is required.

3. If You Can’t Measure It, Don’t Do It.

Another saying my mentor, Ron, used to tell me all the time:

“If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.”
What this means is, you might think you have a great idea, you might love how it looks and feels and you think everyone is going to love it…

…but take a step back.

How are you going to measure its success?

And more importantly, is this effort continuing to drive the larger goal for your business?

Young entrepreneurs fall into the trap of wanting to do “everything.”

It’s a never-ending cycle of throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.

And rarely is this approach a good idea.

It’s far better to get clear on your end goal, find ways to work towards that goal, and then put specific metrics in place that will help give you feedback as to whether or not you are moving in the right direction — or if you’re moving too slow or too fast.

Without measurement, your efforts will leave you feeling like you’re doing A LOT without getting much DONE.


This article was first published at www.artplusmarketing.com


8 Wacky Entrepreneur Stories to Inspire Your Own Business Success


By Adam Heitzman


Many entrepreneurs are known for being colorful characters, here are 8 colorful stories to help inspire your own business success.

The business world might appear buttoned-down from the outside — but in reality, it’s a lot more interesting than you might realize. Many entrepreneurs are known for being colorful characters, both at work and in their personal lives. After all, following rules and staying inside the lines doesn’t often make for business success! From winning seed money in a poker game to attempting to clone dinosaurs, here are eight unexpected things that entrepreneurs have done.

1. John Paul DeJoria Bounced Back from Homelessness

You’ve probably heard of Paul Mitchell hair products and Patrón tequila, but did you know these brands have a common origin? John Paul DeJoria co-founded both legendary companies, becoming a billionaire along the way. The path to success wasn’t always easy for him, though. DeJoria spent time on the streets twice. The first time he was homeless, he was only 22 and had a two-year-old son to care for. He persisted in his entrepreneurial vision, though, eventually co-founding John Paul Mitchell Systems with $700 in startup cash. Today, DeJoria is a philanthropist who supports a number of social causes. Among other things, he helps to provide resources to people dealing with homelessness.

2. David Daneshgar Won Startup Money by Playing Poker

What’s the quickest way to come up with $30,000? If you’re a card shark like David Daneshgar, the answer might be to sign up for a poker tournament. Daneshgar and two friends wanted to start an online marketplace connecting florists with customers, but they didn’t have startup cash. So Daneshgar — who won the World Series of Poker in 2008 — spent $1000 to enter a poker tournament. The grand prize of $30,000 was, coincidentally, just the amount of money they needed. At the end of the tense final round, Daneshgar told his friends what they wanted to hear: “It’s flower time.” They launched their business, BloomNation, soon afterwards.

3. Seth Priebatsch Took Dedication to a New Level — While Barefoot

In 2011, SCVNGR — a social app similar to FourSquare — was a $100 million company with a rather non-traditional CEO. Founder Seth Priebatsch, the self-described “chief ninja” of the company, was 22 years old at the time, and he had a habit of eschewing footwear at the office. He also sported a bright orange shirt every day and rarely went home from work, preferring to sleep in his office. Priebatsch transformed SCVNGR into a mobile payments platform called LevelUp in 2012, but he kept his title of Chief Ninja and his signature orange shirt.

4. Nicholas Berggruen Decided Not to Bother Buying a House

For most billionaire businesspeople, having more than one home is par for the course. But for years, Nicholas Berggruen avoided ever buying a house at all. He opted to live exclusively in hotels while traveling the world instead, which earned him the curious nickname of “the homeless billionaire.” Recently, though, Berggruen decided to put down some roots. He finally bought a $40 million house in 2017, perhaps wishing to give his two young children a stable place to grow up.

5. Mark Zuckerberg Killed His Own Food

In 2011, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg undertook a personal challenge to only eat meat that he killed himself. He announced this challenge to the world with his now-infamous status update, “I just killed a pig and a goat,” on May 4, 2011. Zuckerberg soon clarified that he took on the challenge in an effort to learn about sustainable farming and to consume resources more responsibly. The change wasn’t permanent, though. After the year-long challenge was over, Zuckerberg went back to buying meat at the store.

6. Clive Palmer Tried to Clone a Dinosaur

What if Jurassic Park wasn’t just a movie? Eccentric Australian businessman Clive Palmer wanted to make dinosaurs a reality through cloning, and he went so far as to discuss the idea with scientists. This happened in 2012, and since cloning techniques still haven’t advanced enough to bring back extinct species, it doesn’t look like Palmer’s dreams will be coming to fruition anytime soon. However, his love for dinosaurs abides. In 2013, he opened a theme park called Palmersaurusthat features over 160 enormous dinosaur replicas.

7. Mark Benioff Staged a Protest to Steal a Competitor’s Spotlight

Mark Benioff, one of the founders of Salesforce, is notorious for coming up with over-the-top (and sometimes inflammatory) marketing gimmicks. Most famously, he once orchestrated a fake protest at a Siebel Systems conference, complete with picket signs, chanting, and even a fake TV crew. This drummed up a lot of attention for Salesforce at his rival’s expense. On another occasion, Benioff arranged to rent an airport’s entire taxi fleet right before another Siebel event was held nearby. He then had his employees pitch Salesforce on the way to the event, much to Siebel’s displeasure.

8. Robert Klark Graham Tried to Create a Genius Sperm Bank

Robert K. Graham was an entrepreneur who invented shatter-proof lenses for eyeglasses. Today, though, he’s probably better remembered for the controversial sperm bank he started. Called the Repository for Germinal Choice, this sperm bank only accepted donations from people who were considered extraordinary in some way. Some were Nobel prize winners, some were geniuses, and some were gifted athletes. Graham’s reason for starting the sperm bank? He wanted to create a better human gene pool — a mission that did not go over well with many people, who compared his ideas to Nazi eugenics programs. The sperm bank was closed in 1999, two years after Graham’s death. It claimed to have produced 229 children during its 19 years of operation.

Wrapping Up

Entrepreneurship tends to attract people with unique minds and strong personalities, and that can make for a lot of interesting stories. Do you have any wacky entrepreneur moments of your own to share? We’d love to read your stories, whether inspiring or just plain entertaining, below!


This article was first published at www.medium.com


10 Different Ways To Encourage Youth Entrepreneurship


By Robyn D. Shulman


Social Entrepreneurs


I cover the intersection of education and entrepreneurship.


In 2010, world-renowned education and innovation expert, Sir Ken Robinson released a short animated film, titled Changing Education Paradigms. In the video, Robinson argues that our current education system stifles and anesthetizes creativity while it lowers the capacity for divergent thinking.

Robinson states, “Divergent thinking is not the same thing as creative thinking, but that it is an essential capacity for creativity.” He also refers to a paper clip study in the book Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today, by George Land and Beth Jarman. The paper clip study followed 1,500 kindergarten students through elementary, middle and high school.

As the students moved up through grade levels, the authors asked the question: “How many uses can you think of for a paper clip?” When the authors first proposed the question in kindergarten, 98% of students scored at genius level in divergent thinking. By the age of 10 years old, only 32% of the same group scored as high, and by age 15, only 10% remained at genius level.

Rather than developing the natural gifts of curiosity and high-level thinking, the traditional teaching model we still use today can stifle creativity, innovation, and divergent thinking.

Unfortunately, for most, our current school system does not align with 21st-century student needs, or the rapid changes we see on an economic, social, and global level.

Many parents are not aware of the misalignment between education and the unknown jobs of tomorrow. The common belief about securing a job right out of college no longer holds true. In fact, for many, college is simply not the right path. According to Student Loan Hero, Americans owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, and the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt. Although unemployment rates have dropped, many Millennials work in low-paying, entry-level positions far away from their field of undergraduate studies.

Given these statistics, it is critical for all adults to pave a better road for the next generation and to encourage entrepreneurship.

If you have a young child or work with children, here are ten things you can do now to introduce entrepreneurship skills early.

Encourage divergent thinking:

Through informal discussions, ask open-ended questions, work on problem-solving, share ideas and build on learning experiences together. Teach children to question, research, and ask for further information. Ask them to take notice of things in their daily lives. For example, when they see a problem or feel frustrated about something, ask them how they would solve the issue, or make it better. Let your child guide, discover and make connections on their own. When the opportunity presents itself, practice divergent thinking at home.

Create a safe-space for ideas:

Divergent thinking is most likely to thrive in a safe environment that welcomes all types of ideas, encourages risk-taking and allows for fast failure. Kids who feel safe are more likely to share ideas, step outside of their comfort zones, and take on more challenges. You can support divergent thinking, encourage individual expression and foster creativity by building a safe space for youth.

Challenge ideas:

Encourage your children to ask why we do things in a certain way. Teach them to look at problems and find various solutions. When we make challenges, it forces us to begin thinking of alternatives.

Encourage leaders through ownership:

Praise kids for unique ideas to solving problems, and for having the confidence to share their solutions. You can also refer to their ideas with unique names such as “Stacy’s Solution” or “Anthony’s Answers.”

Build an Idea Box:

When I taught middle school, many parents asked me how to encourage innovation at home. In my classroom, I kept an empty box for students to drop idea notes. When they had an idea, figured out how to solve a problem, or noticed how to make an improvement, they wrote down their thoughts, and added them to the “Idea Box.” At the end of the week, we went through these various ideas together.

You can create an “Idea Box” at home while including the entire family. Using this strategy can encourage everyone to share new possible ventures, foster communication skills, and build confidence in a group setting.

After you’ve gone through some viable ideas, encourage kids to take action.

Provide experiences:

Take your kids to different places and let them explore. Pay attention to their natural curiosities and guide them toward those interests. As they grow, you can begin to see naturally born passions. Their creativity and innovation will come to the forefront when they participate in things they enjoy doing.

Let kids fail:

Let your children fail and teach them how to learn from their mistakes. Show them how to get back up, self-reflect on what they learned, and move on. Failure teaches kids how to be resilient in any situation, and it is critical for building self-confidence and a healthy mindset.

Financial literacy:

Schools do not teach financial literacy nearly as much as they should. Introduce money early on and give them goals and responsibilities for managing their finances. Show them the importance of saving and investing. Open a savings or checking account with them. If possible, give them an incentive to save money by offering a matching contribution.

Model positive relationships:

Entrepreneurs understand the importance of pursuing and building meaningful relationships. People like to work with and purchase goods from those they find likeable. Talk with your kids about their friendships, and focus on the importance of compassion, giving back and listening.

Communicate:

Many nights, my daughter and I chat about my work day and her school day. Through these casual conversations, she understands the power she has to go after her dreams while understanding reality at the same time. Make communication a priority as well as a safe place to talk about ideas, answer questions, and be a sounding board. Communication is key to divergent thinking, creativity, and successful entrepreneurship, and the model must start at home.

By cultivating continuous improvement in these areas, we can give children the confidence to move outside their comfort zones, provide mental tools for growth, encourage creativity and support future entrepreneurs.

Although some schools are embracing this new way of thinking, many are still far behind in the industrial age of teaching and learning. Don’t depend on a school to bring these critical skills and successful life strategies to the forefront.

Always keep the paper clip in mind. Encourage your kids to see their paper clips in many different ways throughout their school years. You may find your child is a natural born entrepreneur.

If you are interested in divergent thinking, education, creativity, and entrepreneurship, you will find tremendous value in the video below presented by RSA Animate and Sir Ken Robinson


I am honored to be named LinkedIn’s #1 Top Voice in Education, 2018. I am also the founder of EdNews Daily and the Managing Editor at Influencer Inc. In addition, I also…MORE
Honored to be named LinkedIn’s #1 Top Voice in Education, 2018. Certified K-9 and ESL teacher, Executive Editor, Influencer Inc and currently run all thought-leadership pieces for 51Talk, China.


This article was first published at www.forbes.com