Not so long ago, I would roll my eyes when my children begged to have tag sales or a lemonade stand. They wanted to raise money to buy new toys, cheats for Minecraft or, better yet, a trip to the candy store. I would offer to buy them what they wanted or tell them to use their allowance. Anything to avoid the hassle of one of these projects.
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to hear Gary Vaynerchuk speak at an event hosted by 500 Startups. Since then, I’ve been following him on Twitter (@garyvee), and I have a new perspective on the kids and their desire to be entrepreneurial and raise money to fund their own hobbies. If you don’t know Gary’s books or blog, I suggest you check them out. He’s a terrific storyteller.
So what have I realized since hearing Gary speak? Children and adults alike are empowered by their ability to earn their own way. Whether it is selling gently used toys or baseball cards, opening a lemonade stand or braving it with your own new business or scaleable startup – there is something to be said about people who are willing to put themselves out there that way.
Entrepreneurship entails a great deal of rejection and, most times, failure. Learning to be resilient to those factors at a young age is an amazing opportunity. And it is terrific chance to learn how to set prices, negotiate and market a business.
So let them build those lemonade stands and help them with their ventures. Entrepreneurship is a most often a family business, so why not start young.