Do you have a teen entrepreneur?

Welcome everyone, I am so excited to share this guest post from my friend Jennifer Cook DeRosa from Homeschooling for College Credit. She and I share a sense of urgency to prepare our teens for the next chapter of their lives. We also share the mission to help parents make wise financial choices that will save their students money on a college degree.

Entrepreneur: The person a person who organizes, manages, or owns an enterprise, especially a business.

Entrepreneurship as a philosophy

My 4 sons (currently ages 12, 16, 18, 22), have all run simple businesses and shown strong entrepreneurial drive from a very early age- with no prompting from me AT ALL. I have, however, done my best to encourage this behavior because my husband and I support the idea of self-employment. I think most parents are led to believe that they should always encourage entrepreneurship in kids and teens, however, the idea of "working for yourself" is really a philosophical position, and may not mesh well with the principles you've chosen to emphasize in your children. So, before we continue, it's a good idea to think about how your family really views entrepreneurship. Is it something to be discouraged or encouraged? Do you support the idea of your son or daughter building a business, or would you rather they worked for someone else's business? Does the insecurity of starting a business bring out your own passion? Or fear?

The fact is, that if everyone were an entrepreneur, we'd have no real economy. We'd

have no small, medium, or large companies of any kind. Think about the two

entrepreneurs who founded Google: Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Though two men started the company, Google employs 72,000 people! These employees earn a nice living, are highly educated, and are part of a global company that changed the world. So clearly, we need entrepreneurs AND we need employees! As we go forward, know that neither path is "better" than the other. If your teen doesn't have an entrepreneurial drive- so what?! That's fine! In today's post, we'll look at ways to encourage the teens that DO have that drive, and I'll provide you with some high quality (free) resources you can use at home. At this point in your teen's life, you may already have a feeling about whether or not they desire to become an entrepreneur. If you're not sure, here are some clues:

Traits of entrepreneurial teens

  • Wants autonomy over their saving and spending of money.

  • Takes pride in earning their own money.

  • Likes to find the best deal on something they want to buy.

  • Makes deals and trades from a young age with siblings or friends.

  • Looks for ways to profit from deals and trades.

  • Finds their own solution to problems so they can get what they want or need. (movies, car, phone, sneakers, etc.)

  • Has their own ideas for running a small business (walking dogs, mowing, babysitting).

  • Follows through on their ideas for businesses or earning money.

  • Doesn't require pushing or encouragement to earn money.

  • Doesn't require pushing or encouragement to start a business.

  • Strategizes and sets goals to get the things they want.

  • Views themselves as capable of starting a small business.

Learning business through play