As homeschool parents we are always looking for creative ways to teach our children. I am sure you probably know that the lessons stick so much better when your students are knee-deep in them with hands-on experiences, as compared to just reading out of a textbook.
Your teen can read all they want about driving a car but until they actually get behind the wheel they won’t really learn. They have to feel the resistance of the gas pedal and the pull of the engine.
The same holds true for learning about money and business. I think we all agree it is critical for our children to understand literature, math, and history.
It is every bit as critical for your child to learn about money and business before they actually get into the ‘real world’.
One of the best ways for your child to learn about money and business is for them to start their own business. Even if they never make a dime, they will learn so many valuable life lessons by going through the process of business building.
Wondering why your child should start a business?
They’ll Learn About Money
Have you heard the story about the college student who racks up credit card debt, or the young family living paycheck to paycheck? There is no better way to help your child avoid years of financial mistakes than to teach them about money now.
Starting a business can help a teen learn how to manage money and helps prepare them to make good money decisions as an adult. As money comes into their business, they’ll need to learn what to save, what to reinvest into the business, how to pay their bills, how to pay taxes, the joy of donating to worthwhile causes, and just how far a dollar goes
\As they learn how to allocate their money, they’ll learn to understand the true value of that dollar. They’ll be less entitled as adults after experiencing the work that goes into each and every dollar they make. One hundred dollars they earn will be treated a lot differently than a hundred dollars they are given.
They’ll Have a Stronger Work Ethic
We all want to raise our kids to have a strong work ethic- that is why we remind them to do their chores, and push them to complete their school work and don’t let them quit the team when they decide that soccer just isn’t for them. A strong work ethic can ensure our kids can someday provide for themselves and their future family.
Starting a business takes guts, drive, and determination. If your child is starting a business they can feel passionate about they’ll also learn work can be enjoyable. Work doesn’t have to be boring. As they start their business, doors will open for them. They’ll feel empowered. Once they see their hard work pay off in their business, they will be more confident to work towards their other goals- like college applications or applying for their dream job, or working towards a promotion.
They’ll Learn Independence and Decision Making Skills
I know, I know, homeschoolers are unsocialized and need to be in groups of other kids to succeed (joking!). There is a time and place for teens to work in groups- they need to develop the art and skill of working well with others.
But, how often are you as an adult called upon to think and work independently? Homeschoolers are already ahead of the curve when it comes to working on their own, but we also want them to have a ton of practice thinking through and solving complicated problems. They need to be able to think on their own and solve their own problems.
When your child starts their own business, they’ll need to make many critical decisions right out of the gate. What kind of business will they have? Will they run it online? If so, what kinds of tech solutions should they use? The list of decisions just goes on and on. A child who is running a business will learn to evaluate options, make a decision, and learn to live with the results of their decisions.
If the decisions they make turn out to be good decisions, they can feel a sense of pride. If they make a decision which turns out to be the wrong choice, they’ll quickly learn consequences (perhaps they didn’t do enough research before deciding?) and make a better choice the next time.
They’’ll be able to Sell Themselves and Their Product with Confidence
The art of selling is something everyone needs to learn. The selling begins before graduation. They have to sell themselves to a college in order to be accepted, and they have to sell themselves to a potential employer in order to get a job.
By starting a business, teens can learn to listen to feedback and the needs of their customers. They’ll learn to improve their sales pitch, to offer their customer something of value, and ultimately, to solve their customers’ needs.
As their business grows, their sense of accomplishment and confidence will grow as well. They’ll know that they are capable of great things, and that confidence will shine through them to employers, colleges, recruiters, mentors and their peers. This confidence will serve them well for years to come.
How do I get my child started?
If you would like your teen to experience the ins and outs of starting a business while still living at home, My First Small Business Plan has put together a step-by-step program which will guide you and your teen through the necessary steps. User-friendly and affordable, the program includes a 10-Step Guide as a Business Plan Workbook. Click here to learn more about this program and help your child start their own business!