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Entrepreneurial life can be difficult and lonely. There can be a feast or famine quality to it not just in terms of money earned but also when it comes to personal satisfaction. Why would you choose to encourage your child or another young person that you are close to in becoming an entrepreneur?
The reason is that while the challenges can be great, the rewards can be as well. This is true on both an individual and a societal level. Society moves forward because great people with great ideas implement them. At the same time, not everyone is cut out for the entrepreneurial lifestyle and mindset, so how do you decide who to encourage and how?
Look for Potential
If every single person wanted to be an entrepreneur, nobody would get to be one because no one would ever want to work for another individual. This alone is reason enough to avoid trying to make sure that all the young people you know are on track to running their own company, but another reason is that it’s simply not a position that suits everyone. Some people are happier working for someone else. They may not understand the benefits and risks of innovation and might not have an appetite for risk, or their passions may simply reside elsewhere.
They may want to focus more on a hobby or their family than on a career. They might be very good at supporting others but less inclined to strike out on their own. They have their own valuable contributions to make, and trying to mold them into something they are not hinders them from making those contributions. At the same time, true entrepreneurs who go into the workforce can feel as though they are the proverbial round peg trying to fit into a square hole. If you’re hoping to encourage your child or other young people to pursue an entrepreneurial career, look for such qualities as restlessness, inquisitiveness, and inventiveness.
Getting an Education
Entrepreneurs are often iconoclasts, but that doesn’t mean that getting a good education won’t help them succeed. A solid grounding in business can help them avoid making common mistakes. Going to college also gives them the opportunity to work on soft skills, such as communication, and gives them networking opportunities. Some schools even offer courses in entrepreneurship. However, many young people may face a significant barrier to higher education, and that’s college costs. Even student loans may be off limits to them if, like most young adults, they do not have a credit history.
A cosigner often makes it possible to get these loans approved, and if you’ve been asked to cosign, you may be tempted to do so just to ensure that they are able to pursue their educational dreams. But there’s a lot you need to understand about cosigning on student loans, including what happens if they default on their payments. You may also wonder how does cosigning a student loan affect my credit? You can read more about this and other potential issues online.
For some, the biggest barrier to successfully starting a business may be practical. For many, this will mean needing more money. You can help them locate sources of funding, which might include loans, grants, or connecting them to investors. Others may need help in developing their idea or writing a business plan. Find out what it is that they need and try to help them fill that need.
One of the most important tools you can give someone who is interested in entrepreneurship is a perspective on failure. Failure might mean that they aren’t cut out to be an entrepreneur in the first place, and there is nothing wrong with that. There are many other meaningful things that they can do once they have established that this is not something they truly want. However, failure can also mean that the approach or something else was wrong. It can also simply be a case of bad luck. In any of these scenarios, failure is a gift, imparting wisdom and clearing the way for further good work to be done. The most important lesson to take away from it is that it gives you the chance to hone the ability to get up again and keep trying.