The Importance of Sharing Your Business Story With Your Kids!By Mikaela Bevelander on Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Sharing your successes and failures with your kids can help them prepare for their own careers.
Many kids—including me, a fourteen-year-old girl—idolize their parents in the best ways. We look up to them in times of need, we ask them questions when we get confused, and we depend on them throughout life. Even in adulthood, many look to their parents in troubling times. Sharing your business story with the growing minds of the future can affect them in great ways: from your work ethic rubbing off on them to understanding how you got where you are, you can alter the way they think about the world.
Unsure where to begin? Sharing how you got to where you are is an excellent first step. Understanding the work, time, and effort you put in to achieve the level of success you have can be very motivating. As your child’s #1 real-world role model, seeing you give effort and time to pursue your passion persuades them to always work at their best. They can see, firsthand, that they need to put in the maximum amount of effort and work towards their personal goals to reach their dreams. Sharing your story will not only motivate them, it will push them farther than they ever thought imaginable.
A New Perspective on Your Daily Pursuits
Alongside your work ethic, young adults need to be fully aware of their parents’ daily pursuits. A youngster needs to understand that there is more to worry about in the world than themselves. Something as simple as a comment about a rough day or something you’ve stressed about will help them to consider others’ needs alongside their own.
Understanding What It Takes to Achieve Success
Alternatively, you could go into depth about the practical tools, resources, and plans of action needed to obtain career success. If someone else helped motivate you to be your best, consider sharing that story. Talk about the tools, training, mentorship, and resources you utilized to help you get to your current level. Telling them your path to success (ups and downs included) can help them discover and plan for their own career.
Sharing Your Struggles
Children should be conscious of both the fun and the struggles in reaching your goals. Although it may be difficult for them to grasp the reality of success and that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, they have to understand both the good and the bad to get the full picture. Conveying your biggest struggles and accomplishments will illustrate how everyone has ridden their own private career rollercoaster. By sharing your unique story, your kids can visualize how they might choose their own path, and remain resilient when obstacles arise.
Hard work pays off.
Thoughts of failure can be very daunting to young adults trying something new. Sharing your story can show them how hard work and relentlessness pays off. Children coast off of their parents’ success for the essentials: food, water, and shelter. From their perspective, it should be obvious that the work you have put in has paid off. It is unambiguous to them that you never quit or simply gave up on your path, but rather pushed through the hardships to get to the light at the end of the tunnel. This persistence of yours teaches them that they will be rewarded for their work.
Understanding your struggles can teach children virtues such as respect, mindfulness, generosity, and patience, all of which can considerably assist a budding entrepreneur. Respect and mindfulness will aid them greatly as they take stock of themselves and the people around them (a necessary skill to possess in order to build a business). In addition, knowing someone who has braved adversity could translate to them being more giving and compassionate towards others in times of need.
If you do not tell your story, your children can get lost with no plan, no idea of what to do, and no sense that it’s okay to have struggles. It is of the utmost importance you find a way to share your daily struggles, the fun parts of the business, and your path to success!
Of course, that begs another question; what’s the best way to share your story?
The Best Way to Share Your Business Story With Your Kids
Sometimes children find stories of the real world boring. To hyper kids with excited minds, a story about your workday may not chart. In addition, your kids may not even know where you go every day for hours on end, multiple days a week. Having a real conversation with your child might aid them in understanding some of your daily struggles.
My parents have been a huge help in setting me in the right direction for money management, work ethic, and truly understanding topics everyone will have to deal with at some point, such as taxes. Here are some ways they have relayed the vast and complicated matter of business to me:
Share a balance of pros and cons.
Although sharing the positives of running a business may excite kids, sharing a balance of the good and the bad can give them perspective on what they want to do in life. Without the bad, children could never get an accurate idea of what they should pursue and what their pursuits could get them into.
For example, my mom lets me know of the exciting events taking place in her work environment, but also some of the less envious pieces to her work. She explains the somewhat harsh and (I hate to say it) boring jobs she has undertaken. Both the positives and the negatives have helped me determine suitable potential career paths.
Display all the benefits of putting in the work.
After sharing a balance between the dark and the light, enumerate the perks of hard-work. Knowing what comes out of hard work and effort can push not just young minds, but just about anyone to work harder. Dangling a carrot at the end of the stick can increase work ethic and compel one to put real thought into the future.
Describe how you got started in the industry.
Hearing about the bravery and determination it took to get where you are is crucial. If you could do it, they can too. Setting a good example can work wonders.
Provide an opportunity to see a day in your life.
Now, it may not seem like that big of a deal, but for me one of the most exciting days in elementary school was “bring your kid to work day.” I loved observing the everyday lives of my parents (and, honestly, getting to skip school for a day). Seeing some of their daily tasks made me want to give their career a chance. It influenced me to set a standard for myself to make a living and live my life to the fullest.
Let them know they have options.
Your kids may not want to follow in your footsteps, but that’s okay. If they get stuck doing something they won’t enjoy, they’ll face a difficult road. For example, schoolwork has become one of the greatest sources of stress in my world, simply because I do not enjoy it. If I pursued a career as a professor or academic, I’d probably go crazy. While all work is work at some point, enjoying the basic elements of a career path will serve a budding entrepreneur well.