Have you ever noticed how the many answers to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” all tend to be roles that fall under the category of “employee.” So, other than it not being the easiest word to say, it’s worth questioning why “When I grow up, I want to be an entrepreneur!” isn’t a more common answer. If you believe entrepreneurs are born, it’s in your interest to look out for and foster the innate visionary and leadership talents in your daughter. But, on the other hand, if you think entrepreneurs are made, then all the more reason to teach her the skills required to powerfully run her own show. Here are ideas on how to help your girl entrepreneur unlock her powers.
“The act of setting up a business and taking financial risks in the hope of profit.” This dictionary definition of an entrepreneur is unenticing. It also doesn’t consider the potential for freedom, purpose, and self-agency in a world of imbalanced and oppressive systems.
As a reframe, speak to any entrepreneur of their experience. They will likely tell you of intense trials, the friends and foes they’ve met along the way, and having to face their inner turmoil every single day. If you know anything about the archetypal heroine’s journey, you may be beginning to see how entrepreneurship is just that. It’s a path that will force you to work through every fear and doubt your mind possesses. It’s an external business but a profound inner journey. Dare we say, a spiritual path or calling.
With this new definition in mind, it’s easy to see how certain character traits are equally or more important for entrepreneurs than business acumen. You can hire strategists and accountants. But, you can’t hire or outsource grit and passion.
Crib Notes For Raising A Girl Entrepreneur
In his book Entrepreneurial Leap, Gino Wickman identifies six essential traits of entrepreneurial success. Great entrepreneurs are:
Taking action on fostering these traits in your daughter is wise and recommended. Here’s how to get started:
Lemonade Stands Aren’t For Everyone
Lemonade stands teach kids how to make and handle their own money and talk with customers. But, through a more discerning entrepreneurial lens, unless your child is passionate about sales or hydrating people, there are more powerful ways for her to spend her time.
Consider the entrepreneurial traits of vision and passion. What is your daughter’s current obsession? How does she spend her free time, and what information does she often want to share? If she’s a tween, her first answer might be the name of the latest boy band or online game. Yet you know there’s more to her. It may require a bit of creative engagement on your part, but we all have deep desires and dreams. Knowing hers is an excellent place to start when brainstorming potential fun business ideas.
Any idea that aligns with her values and passions will feel natural for her to pursue, especially when eagerly supported by you. For example, if she cares about animals and loves cooking, she might develop healthy doggie treats to sell at the park. The more niche and inclusive of her passions and dreams, the better. For her and her business.
Good Employee Vs. Great Boss
There’s a good chance that the money skills and life guidance being imparted to your daughter will make her an excellent employee. And this happening might not be intentional on your part. We just happen to live in a culture that praises diligence, fitting in, and being good. However, entrepreneurship requires risk and drive, both of which call for confidence, grit, and deep self-knowledge.
What’s your family’s relationship to risk? What risks do you encourage your daughter to take at the moment? Do you notice her pushing herself in a particular sport? Are there certain situations that bring out the warrior in her?
If there are healthy examples of where she naturally leans into the unknown or leans on her inner resources, these are good places to focus on and encourage.
If this area could use a little work, depending on her disposition and appetite, family outings to the rock climbing gym or skate park could go far. Or the challenge of reading a thick and challenging book on a subject she loves.
Money Smarts Are Not Business Smarts
Money is often first learned about as an end-product. You did your chores; here’s your pocket money. Maybe you’re leveling up the education by requesting one dollar back for tax. That’s all great. Just don’t confuse financial education with business smarts.
Start small and keep it fun. First, make sure there’s an understanding of the difference between employers and employees. Then, the next time you’re in a neighborhood restaurant, point out the owner. Explain the journey from her having an idea to the existence of the place you’re sitting in. Explain how the staff gets paid. Explore the owner’s responsibilities and discuss any problems she may experience. You get the idea. You can do the same at a garage, in a boutique, at an art gallery.
The Alternative MBA
Whether your daughter becomes an entrepreneur or not, helping her connect to passions, get comfortable taking risks, and know how to discern when it’s time to dig deep will set her up for successful life moments. A life in which she knows who she is, what she wants, and how incredibly far she can go. After all, “There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.” – Unknown
Written by Roxana Bouwer
Top photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
Help Your Girl Entrepreneur Unlock Her Powers is part of the Girls That Create series Talking With Girls About Finances