Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nurturing my budding entrepreneur

Last July, I went to a workshop about encouraging entrepreneurship in our kids. I was interested because one of my sons always has a bunch of ideas. So I figured this workshop would help me find a better way to respond to these ideas, rather than brushing them off.

One point that really stuck with me was that it was OK to fail. The speaker, Shirley Solis, shared her entrepreneurial endeavors before she and her husband became owners of Lifetime Books and Gifts. What I realized is that sometimes we can make mistakes along the way, but we can also take those experiences and learn what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. If anything, I realized how much my life had been consumed by trying to protect myself from failure or disappointment. Honestly, it wasn't working. In fact, it was flowing over into my parenting. I always had a reason for why my son's ideas would not work. Frankly, I was more concerned about whether it would affect his confidence if no one cared about his creations. But brushing his ideas off isn't much of a confidence builder either.

Just maybe this ambitious little guy is just like me. I too get carried away with a bunch of ideas. But most of them come and go without ever materializing, without affecting my confidence. Even when my ideas didn't become the next best thing, I really enjoyed the process. And so maybe it will be the same with him. Besides, I might miss out on some of the funniest moments in their lives.

How do you handle situations like this?