A kid or teen thinking about starting a business may see the venture as a way to earn some extra cash. He or she may even see more long-term benefits, such as something that will look great on a college application.

But there are some even bigger picture benefits that only an adult can fully appreciate – so if you are a parent of a budding entrepreneur, read on.

Becoming an entrepreneur is not just about becoming wealthy (although, of course, that might happen). More importantly, it is about creating a mindset for success.

Many an observer has pointed out the importance of nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit among Americans. Larry C. Farrell, a prolific author and founder of one of the world’s leading firms for researching and teaching entrepreneurship, argues that learning such skills are not only wise but essential. “Getting entrepreneurial is the best weapon you’ll ever have to survive and prosper in a downsized and uncertain world,” he wrote in his book, “The New Entrepreneurial Age.”

The history of the United States is littered with corporate giants that either no longer exist or have lost their commanding position due to a bureaucratic rather than an entrepreneurial mentality, Farrell argues. Especially with the costs of becoming an entrepreneur extremely manageable in many cases, this country has seen an entrepreneurial boom that equates with the Industrial Revolution, he says.

Become an entrepreneur or risk missing the boom, Farrell exhorts: “Entrepreneurship has become the last, best option for millions of smart, hard-working Americans who in years past would have gone to work for a big company.”

Entrepreneurs can change the world – think of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg – but your child’s business does not have to blossom into a giant corporation for it to be successful. By developing an entrepreneurial mindset, they will be better positioned in whatever company or organization they end up, whether it’s their own or an existing one. As a recent article in Forbes magazine put it, an entrepreneurial mindset is “a corporate necessity and a mandatory part of an employee’s job description” at any successful company.

So give your child whatever help he or she needs – it will pay off sooner or later, in one way or another.


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