When our first and only child Ava was born nearly 7 years ago now…everything changed. You’ll know exactly what I mean if you’re a parent.
All of a sudden your priorities, where you want to spend your time and the direction of your life changes, at least it did for me.
Questions such as “what example am I setting?” and “who do I truly want to be?” (deep I know) suddenly popped into my head, after-all children do what you do not what you say, studies prove it.
As the profession your child chooses will be what they spend most time doing in their life, as parents, how can we help them to make the best choice?
Let me share our experience as parents, to be clear I’m not qualified in any child related topics etc, this is simply my advice and experience as a fellow parent, hopefully you read something useful/interesting.
Our brick and mortar business was going under from the weight of the recession here in the UK and from me trusting someone I shouldn’t have in business…my mistake and my decision.
We’d gone from a business that was hitting 5 figures per month to driving our car back into the dealership and 50k in debt, this was not supposed to happen!
So, when Ava came along I decided this wouldn’t be our story, the old cliché “don’t do what your father does” full of regret and wasted time…I mean I was 30 not 90 years old, plenty of time to step up and set an example.
Here in is my first question to you, are you qualified to be teaching your child about entrepreneurial pursuits in the first place?
Plans change but decisions don’t.
If you truly want your child to have options in terms of an alternative to the 9-5, then you must show them the way just as you would how to talk and walk, you show, they do.
At the very least find an example of someone else that is pursuing their dreams in order to lead by example.
What life do you want to build for your family?
Doing what you’re doing now, when, if ever, will you ever get there?
Are you all talk or are you actually going to do something about it?
I hadn’t seen my father for 17 years up until last year and growing up he was hardly around until he eventually left. So I wanted to be there for my child to have her or him never feel that sinking feeling of the only one without their dad around. So it was time to set some serious goals once I became a father.
We wanted to show Ava the World first hand, not just in books, we wanted to raise her ourselves as opposed to have to rely on daily nursery care, we wanted enough money to show her charity to those in more need and buy the nicer things in life should we wish for them…no financial stress.
Those were a few of our main goals that you may or may not relate to, but that’s exactly what we’ve done over the last 5 years by making a decision.
We’re back to five figures per month but this time as opposed to being in a time sucking business, we’ve been able to travel to over 30 places in the process and full-time working from home.
But that’s us, what about our child?
What Do THEY Want?
Children are young adults…obviously.
Becoming a father helped me realize why we’re the dominant species on the planet, we’re so smart, so young!
If you’re a parent you don’t need me to tell you the surprise at how much young children can do and decide from almost day one, personality is pretty much instant!
I personally feel that being an entrepreneur is far more secure than a 9-5 job and offers more choices BUT, it’s not my life or profession we’re talking about, it’s yours and my child’s.
Ask your child what they want and support that dream!
No one’s saying that’s eventually what they’ll become (I wanted to be a Fire Engine, yes engine not fighter)
…but the fact that you respect and support their choice will do far more for their confidence and growth than being a pushy parent that forces a path on their child simply because it’s the one you wish you’d taken and now want to live it through a child…that’s selfish.
Igniting Entrepreneurial Fire
From personal experience, I’ve found the same rules apply with your child as they do with prospects…
…the more you push, the more they resist. If you lead with passion and curiosity and let the choice be their’s, magic happens!
So (at the moment) our daughter wants to be an author.
AVA (not us) came to that decision by herself…well sort of.
I read somewhere that more young girls aspired to be glamour models than scientists, the study was probably made up as most media is (don’t get me started) but the thought that young girls think the best they have to offer is taking off their clothes over their intelligence or personal contribution via their mind wasn’t what I wanted for my daughter.
So, we made a point of showing her positive female role models, females that have achieved the top of their respected fields. One was J K Rowling…our daughters eye’s lit up.
“You can make a living writing stories! I love writing stories and would love other children to read them” she said.
Here’s where being an entrepreneur myself helped. We did what I’d teach anyone to do, create a list of people you aspire to be like and respect in the field and ask for their advice.
So far Ava already has a list of tips to becoming an author and a special note pad to write her first stories in thanks to a kind author who replied to Ava’s letter.
First hand we’ve shown that you can get help, it’s good to ask for it when you need it and you make your own opportunities through action, great lessons.
(we’ve also built her first sales funnel whilst on car journeys but that’s just the online marketing geek in me lol)
It’s Up To You
At the end of the day only you know what kind of lifestyle you want to set as the example for your children.
From personal experience I’d consider that whatever you want your child to pursue, you firstly teach through your own actions and showing the successful actions of others.
Then regardless of their choice, be supportive so that they share their passion with you as opposed to hiding it.
We may not always agree with our children’s choices but so long as it isn’t something that will harm them or others, is it really smart to control their decisions that may lead to a lack of self confidence and esteem?
I’d suggest it’s far better to have a family that communicates, loves and supports each others choices and might have a child who has a less than perfect (in your eyes) job.
Than a closed, tense and frustrated family with a child that does the job you insisted for them.
Again, just my personal opinion.
What I’d love to hear from you:
If you have children, what are you thoughts on parenting in relation to your child(ren) becoming an entrepreneur or entering the 9-5?
Leave a comment.
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