We hear stories of super talented kids such as those which are great at sports and are destined to be the next Tiger Woods or Serena Williams. We also see videos of young kids showing off their amazing singing or dancing talents on social media and expect them to go on to be big names in the entertainment industry. Lastly, we read about super smart kids sitting their GCSE’s at the age of 10. They are all truly inspiring and capture a blend of raw talent, hard work and of course commitment from parents to support their kids’ talents. However, there is another talent out there which doesn’t get much attention. It is a talent that if harnessed could lead to us seeing some amazing new inventions or ways of doing things. It could lead to a whole new group of kids finding their calling.
The Entrepreneurial Talent The Entrepreneurial talent is the ability to see an opportunity and make something of it. I believe entrepreneurial talent is just like other talents in that some people will be born with it and others will have to work really hard at it. There are examples of adults who have become ‘super stars’ due to their entrepreneurial talent. For example Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson and Warren Buffett. It is great that these people are starting to get more of the spotlight as it can create a new set of role models for kids. What is interesting when reading stories of these ‘super star’ entrepreneurs is that they had talent and passion from a young age. Here are some examples of what they did for fun as kids:
Elon Musk - Created and sold a computer game at the age of 12
Gary Vaynerchuk - Traded Baseball cards
Richard Branson - Tried to sell Christmas Trees and budgerigars and then launched a magazine (‘Student’ in 1966)
Warren Buffett - Rented a pinball machine to barber shops.
Why do we not hear about Entrepreneurial Talent in kids? One of the main reasons we don’t hear as much about this talent is that unlike sport, arts and academia, entrepreneurship isn’t talked about in schools. There aren’t many ‘entrepreneurial clubs’, we don’t have ‘business competitions’, we don’t have many kids’ TV shows about it. In addition, some parents might feel business is for adults and not fun for kids. This may be true for some kids but for others it could be the most fun thing they can think of. All kids are different so it’s about giving them the opportunity to try different things and see what they determine as fun. In this blog series I will discuss some real life examples of kids I’ve met or heard of which have this entrepreneurial passion and talent. I hope parents read these stories and talk about them with their kids and see what reaction they get back. It might be that their kids get really excited and open their eyes to a new possibility, Entrepreneurship. Real life stories of entrepreneurial kids - issue 1 I’m going to start with my old neighbour - Harry. It started with lemonade I remember getting off the bus on a boiling hot day and walking the 50m to where I lived. As I was about half way up the road, there was Harry, his brothers and friends offering me a nice cup of cold, sweet lemonade. Now, we’ve all heard of kids setting up lemonade stands for fun. However, this was different. This was being run like a mini-business. It wasn’t just two kids sitting there quietly and hoping people would come and buy a cup. Harry had some friends running around to get more lemonade, others were pouring the lemonade and his brother was taking the money. This was all very impressive but it wasn’t until the following weekend that I got really amazed by Harry. He was in the garden and I asked him “What are you going to do with the money you made from the lemonade store?” He said the words that I believe only those that really love what they do say “I’m going to buy more lemons!”. His response completely shocked me. Never have I heard a kid talk like this. He was truly loving it. He had grasped the concept of investing and business before the age of 10. He wasn’t taught about business in school or led down this path by his parents. He just got it and loved it. Whilst the lemonade stand was a success, Harry wanted to try something else. This is when he started his next venture. Then it was drones For Harry’s next venture he borrowed money from his supportive parents to buy some drones from a discount store. He got some big and small ones. You can imagine the fun a kid could have playing with drones, however, Harry had little interest in playing with them. He was super excited about selling them! Harry took the drones to his school summer fair to sell. He ended up selling them and making himself a nice little profit after he had given his parents their loan money back. Then it was Popcorn, candy floss and shaved ice With most of the people where we lived who would buy a drone now having a drone, Harry knew he needed to try something else. He also liked trying new things. He then used his money to buy a candy floss machine, then a popcorn machine and lastly a shaved ice machine. He would take this to the public events in the area to sell (with the required permission and support from his parents). He has more recently been using these machines as part of the catering at kids’ parties.
It’s not all business, business, business for Harry. He recently bought a standup paddle board - It cost him over £300, all of which he has earned himself!
I can’t wait to hear about what Harry will get up to next! What can kids learn from trying their own ventures? Those that try their own ventures when they are young get to learn so many different skills which are not taught in most schools. They learn about managing money. They learn about selling. They learn about working as a team. They also learn a key trait which is ‘failure’. Not every venture they try will be a success or enjoyable. However, those that try will learn first hand that failure provides lessons to learn from and helps improve the next venture. If you read about a lot of the top entrepreneurs they had lots of failures in their lives. For example, Richard Branson tried to sell Christmas trees and budgerigars but both failed before he started a successful magazine ‘Student’. In a world where so many people are scared of failure, having the experience to see that failure is part of the journey to success will give these kids a massive advantage in life. Could your kid have this talent and just not know it? Why not see? When you get the chance, why not let your kids know about Harry and see what their reaction is. If they get excited why not help them set up their own stand or business idea. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Just something which allows them to create something to sell. It won’t be for every kid out there.
As parents we try to nurture our kids’ talents in terms of academia and sports but could your kid also have Entrepreneurial Talent? Why not find out?
There is a great book to help them called ‘Kidpreneurs’ by brothers Adam and Matthew Toren which I would recommend. It provides ideas and different steps for kids to take to set up their own mini-business.
Thanks for reading!
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