Do you remember being a child and what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I remember wanting to be “on the stage,” a paleontologist, and a truck driver (no lie!).
Entrepreneur was never on my list, although I am often “on the stage.” 🙂
What is fascinating to me is how we as parents influence our children, just by the type of work we pursue. I grew up in a home with parents who worked traditional jobs just like all my friends’ parents. My dad worked in construction and my mom worked in a doctor’s office once my sister and I were both in school. So growing up, I remember playing “college” and putting on performances on our back deck.
My children on the other hand, have grown up with an entrepreneur for a Mama. My nearly 7 y.o. son for years has insisted that he is NOT going to college because he is going to start a business instead. Two years ago he was going to open his own karate school and call it the School of the Laughing Dragon. For the past year, he has decided he wants to own a mall that has an indoor water park in it. He also wants to design and invent different contraptions and sell them.
My 5 y.o. daughter also plans to start her own business. She is currently going back and forth between opening a dance academy or a day spa. While some children play doctor or teacher, my kids walk around pretending they are on the phone or their laptops with their clients trying to close contracts. (Trust me, they also spend lots of time chasing each other around pretending they’re dogs or horses.)
When I think back to being 16 and trying to decide what I wanted to do when I grew up, it seemed the options were very narrow. I loved playing the piano and performing on stage but I was also very good at at science and math. So the logic went something like this… it’s very difficult to make a living in the performing arts and I can always have that in my life so I’ll pursue science. I like solving problems, so I guess that means I’ll be an engineer. Case closed. No thought into what my strengths or weaknesses were – I actually don’t like details. No thought into what I was passionate about or what type of environment would be best for me. Working in a cube was stifling for me.
Now I see the world differently and it seems that has opened so many more options for my children. We talk about things like what they are gifted at doing, logos, and the difference between cost and profit. Not only do they hear it from me, but they are around our friends who are business owners.
Do they understand all of this – no, I’m sure not. But, I believe it is sinking in.
Does this mean they are definitely going to be entrepreneurs? Not at all, and that’s okay. My hope is that they grow up having a much clearer understanding of how God has gifted them and the unique role they have in His plan. Which would put them much further ahead than I was.
What did you want to do when you grew up and how are you trying to guide your children?