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How to Nurture Your Child's Entrepreneurial Spirit

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Some parents hope to raise their kids to be sports stars, others want their kids to go to college, and some just hope their kids make it through high school. But once in a while, you'll come across stories of kids changing the world.

Entrepreneurial skills lead children in a business-oriented direction.

Sixteen-year-old Alexandra Wolf created Nannies by Noa, a childcare agency in the Hamptons and New York City. Mikaila Ulmer, at the ripe old age of 11, is the CEO of Me * the Bees Lemonade. Part of the proceeds from her company, which has products in Wegmans and Whole Foods, goes to help save honeybees.

Impressive, smart and driven, these children all had a spirit that their parents helped drive forward with the following techniques:

1. Brainstorm Ideas and Promote Creativity

The fastest way to break a child's creative side is to shoot down every idea that they have. Parents need to be creative and start helping nurture the entrepreneur in their child through brainstorming.

If your child wants to start their own business, ask them to sit down and:

  • Come up with ideas

  • Discuss how the businesses may work

Work to listen to your child and strengthen their ideas with positivity and encouragement. Kids should also enjoy the business that they're in.

2. Lead by Example and Show What Hard Work Is

Parents don't have to start their own business because it's what their child wants to do, but you can lead by example by letting your child see what you do first-hand. It's very important that you take the time to:

  • Show your child the work that you do

  • Take your child on business trips or conferences

Let your child know that business is hard work, so they will need to put time and effort into their business endeavors.

Don't make business seem like an activity that your child should fear, but let them know that it does take hard work and dedication to be an entrepreneur.

3. Teach Your Child How to Market

Marketing and selling is the foundation of business. If you know how to "sell," you can go far in business.

"The process of inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers through interactions and content that is both helpful and relevant," states Edkent Media, a company offering Internet marketing in Toronto.

Marketing can come in many flavors:

  • Offline marketing

  • Online marketing

  • Social media marketing

Teach kids about personal branding, social media and how to make a splash online. If you're just allowing your kids to use the family computer to play Minecraft, they're missing out on an entire world of learning opportunities.

4. Challenge Your Child

Children, like most adults, need to be challenged. This doesn’t mean punishing your child any time they do something bad. You should challenge your child to be better. You can do this by introducing them to successful people and other business owners.

You can bring your child to business-related events to meet entrepreneurs that have built successful businesses.

And on a scholastic level, you can have your child tutored by the smartest kids in the school. Challenge your child to come up with new business ideas and to work hard.

If you challenge your child, you'll find she naturally pushes herself to be better. But never take the fun out of business for your child – ever.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.