If you've founded a new and growing business, chances are you can't be a team of one forever. One important skill for entrepreneurs is finding the right people to work alongside you — whether those people are employees, contractors, or agencies. And making a poor choice in selecting people, can be quite costly for a company with limited resources.
When starting a new business, your time is your number one resource. You may find yourself taking meetings or calls and working at odd times, and it can take some adjusting.
One important way to make sure you adjust easily and are as healthy as ever is to focus on time management. Focusing on managing your time wisely can mean the difference between peace of mind or a very stressful start to your business journey.
If you’re ready to launch your entrepreneur journey, one of the best things to do is find a mentor. It’s been said having a mentor is the most important thing way to increase your success.
Fortunately, the internet makes finding a mentor easier than ever. There are communities and networks online to connect entrepreneurs with seasoned advice to share their journey and identify pitfalls.
Having an entrepreneurial mindset is beneficial in both a person's personal and work life. This is why Entrepreneur Pathways strongly believes in the mission of fostering entrepreneurial behaviors. And there’s no better time to start learning the traits and skills that come with entrepreneurship than when one is a child.
There are many reasons why entrepreneurship should be taught in school. However, that option might not be available for your kids. But that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage your kid’s entrepreneurial spirit in small ways everyday, overall leading them toward a better, more successful future.
Support their small businesses
Kids show interest in business ideas all the time, but you may not look at it that way. Elementary school kids love to run lemonade stands, selling drinks for 25 cents a cup. Lots of teenagers want to pursue different clients for babysitting, therefore having an easy way to make cash on the weekends.
Supporting these business ventures in any way possible is a great way to turn their business ideas into a reality, whether it means motivating them to take action or talking to them about the importance of networking. You can even network for them yourself by reaching out to friends who need babysitters or who would do the favor of stopping by for lemonade.
While your kids are still in school, you play a huge part in connecting them to the world outside. If you use your connections for their benefit, something great can come out of it.
Inspire them to create
Many arguments today say that kids lack creative hobbies, whether they’re sitting in front of a TV or on their phone. While we won’t take a stance on that debate here, it makes complete sense that kids who are inspired to be creative will take those skills and apply them to their lives as adults.
Cleverism discusses how creativity is a critical skill for successful entrepreneurs, as creativity is the backbone of experimenting with new ideas, formulating new niches, and receiving feedback. Whether your child dances, colors, or invents new games, they will develop and use these skills for years to come.
Teach them about money
Truth be told, it’s never too early to start teaching your kids about money. The financial examples and lessons parents show their kids will become habits that follow them into college and adulthood.
If your kid is running a business, whether a lemonade stand or babysitting service, they will get the chance to know what it means to earn, save, and spend money. Asking them about whether they’d like to save and increase from compound interest, or work their way toward buying something is a great first step.
Direct them toward failure
I know you might be thinking, "Did I read this right?” Yes, letting your kids fail is good for them in the long term.
The more we experience failure, the less afraid of it we become. This is good, because there is nothing worse than being afraid of failure. If you avoid failure, it means you never even try.
Help your kid out when they fail by empathizing with them, talking about resiliency, and encouraging them to try again. These experiences and support will give your kid the confidence to take big chances and find success as an adult.
Excite them about giving back
Successful entrepreneurs are not money-hungry scammers trying to pull a fast one. They are integrity-filled leaders who truly care about others. The best entrepreneurs today give back to society by creating products and services that help others, and by donating time and goods to organizations and people in need.
Talk to your kids about how their business ideas and spirit could help the community around them. Teach them that it is the circle of life to give to others as they receive. If kids learn about this mindset at an early age, it’s a step to a long, successful life as a caring individual in society.
This is one part of an ongoing series on www.entpathways.com. In this article, we're discussing the skill of networking.
Our program, Entrepreneur Journey, focuses on teaching high school students how to become entrepreneurs. Part of this is learning the skills of an entrepreneur, including networking. Networking is the ability to establish relationships with others, which can lead entrepreneurs to solutions or critical resources to build their business.
Think of the movie Six Degrees of Separation. It’s based on the sociological study where researchers wanted to know how closely individuals in the US were connected to each other. They created letters, placed them in envelopes, and addressed them to certain residents.
The researchers then asked other residents to “deliver” the envelope by sending it to someone they know, who, in turn, had to deliver the envelope to someone they know. They found it took about six exchanges before the envelope reached the final address.
The person sitting next to you now may not have much to offer for building a business. But in five years, they may be exactly who you need. Good entrepreneurs maintain a network of experts whom they can call to get specific answers or resources.
Everyone Has A Key To Your Future
With technology, we may be connected by less than six degrees today. Therefore anyone you run into today could have the next solution to your problem. If you focus on sharing your vision and selling your problem, this allows others to become a part of your network and help you.
Questions Are Free And Welcome
The best way to learn about someone is to ask them questions.
- What do they do over the weekend?
- Which sports team is their favorite?
- What are their interests?
This could lead to two different things: the person will provide clues about how they can help you, or you will still leave a positive impression from showing interest in this person and their life.
You Get What You Are
If you come across as unreliable, you will connect with unreliable people. If you come across as immature, you will connect with immature people.
Networking is more than just seeing what other people can offer. Networking is also about pursuing and maintaining real relationships. It’s important to be genuine and care about others, rather than simply taking from them.
Give as much as you take to build mutually beneficial relationships.
Think about your group of friends. What do you all have in common? What do you all want from life? People with similar approaches to life find each other.
If you want to connect with people who invest in companies, find out where they hang out. If you want to be an NFL football player, make friends with other students who aim to be NFL football players. If you want to be a criminal, hang out with successful criminals.
In order to develop a network to achieve your goals, understand and seek out the type of people who will shape the person you want to be.
Sometimes networking tools are mistaken for networking. Networking tools help entrepreneurs reach out to others and organize information and resources. However, these tools can’t take the place of networking.
For example, think of the business card. Your business card can look amazing and communicate clearly, but it won’t help you at all if 1,000 business cards stay in your desk drawer and never see the daylight. However, if you talk to people and hand your card out, the cards are a tool used to support your networking.
Conferences and workshops exist in many areas. These are usually great learning experiences and easy ways to network.
Identify the best place to build your network and your purpose for networking. Are you looking for others who are just starting their business? Or are you looking for experts in the field?
Conferences and workshops can be expensive or require travel, but if you do your research, they are great networking tools.