Think back to what what you learned in school 10 (or 20) years ago. How much of it still directly applies to what you’re doing now?
Most of the skills required for my present-day job weren’t taught in school. They’re either tactical skills I learned on my own by surfing the internet or characteristics that I adapted from my parents’ own approaches.
I wish I could say all the projects and courses I completed throughout my many years of school had a direct correlation to my current career path. The truth is, systematized education played only a small role in determining who I’ve become and what I’m doing today.
Most educators don’t teach the skills or emphasize the qualities needed to grow into an entrepreneurial role. As a parent, though, you have an opportunity to shape your child into a person who can face any challenge.
Here are eight skills you should teach your children to prepare them for the future they’ll one day create for themselves.
Many entrepreneurs face rejection on a daily basis. Resilience and the ability to push past setbacks is an important part of shaping many leaders. Help your children understand failure isn’t the end of the world. Encourage them to share their feelings and teach them the value of perseverance.
2. Innovation and creativity.
Society and technology continue to evolve and progress. It’s more crucial now than ever to teach children how to be creative and innovative. Help your children think outside the normal parameters by giving them room to play and explore. In fact, allowing them the freedom to create their own stories and narratives can help them become better communicators overall.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs work in the trenches at their companies. They aren’t afraid to do the grunt work because they understand it’s necessary for their businesses to take off. Help your children understand the value of hard work. Give them important responsibilities that do more than simply keep them busy.
Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Jonah Peretti all have one thing in common: curiosity. Each was trying to find a better alternative to the status quo or figure out how to improve systems already in place. Encourage your children to explore new hobbies, and show them how enjoyable reading can be.
5. Self confidence.
Entrepreneurship requires confidence in your ability to make it on your own. To feel comfortable taking calculated risks later in life, children need to believe in themselves from a young age. Motivate your children and supply them with plenty of assurance instead of making them feel guilty when they fail.
Nobody wants to work for someone who is entirely selfish. Developing empathy toward others will empower your children to positively affect those with whom they collaborate. Teach your children to look for the best in people at every opportunity.
An optimistic outlook gives many entrepreneurs hope that their visions will become reality. Inspire optimism in your children by sharing uplifting stories with them. When possible (and developmentally appropriate), bring them with you to seminars or other events that highlight individuals who have overcome adversity.
8. Giving back.
Understanding the value of giving back will help form your children into socially conscious individuals and entrepreneurs. Set a good example by volunteering for charitable organizations. Encourage your children to help those in need.
These eight skills foster a lifelong desire to continue learning and connect with others in pursuit of a larger purpose. They’re among the most important skills humans can develop at any age. It’s your responsibility to teach your children to work toward continuous self-improvement and envision ways they can be a positive influence in the world. Give them a good foundation, and they’ll be able to accomplish anything — even in a rapidly changing market.
The handy infographic below provides additional ideas to discover new ways of teaching these eight crucial skills.