4 Tips to Teach Your Kids Entrepreneurship

As recent college graduates struggle for months to find jobs, teaching children entrepreneurship is an invaluable life skill. Whether you have a desire to pass on the family business or teach your kids how to create their own opportunities, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset helps children focus on solutions rather than the problem.

Black Enterprise caught up with Theo and D’Andra Ulmer, the parents of 10-year old Mikaila Ulmer, CEO of Bee Sweet Lemonade, for some advice on raising kid entrepreneurs.

Congratulations on Mikaila’s recent $60,000 investment from Shark Tank personality Daymond John. What advice can you give parents on raising a young entrepreneur?

I think the biggest advice we can share with parents is don’t be limited by the power of your own imagination.  Too often we, as parents, hesitate when our children come to us excited by a new idea.  We should focus more on their excitement than the idea and encourage to always passionately pursue their dreams.  Only after this period of encouragement should we begin to research the idea, helping them shape it into an achievable solution.

What are some ugly truths about preparing kids for entrepreneurship?

Children will learn very quickly that everyone will not support their ideas or passions.  Young children must be comfortable with hearing the word “no.”  Our kids know that we support and love them regardless of what others say or feel.

Additionally, you must work extra hard to make sure everyone (including all siblings ) in the family feel supported and loved.

What sacrifices do you think parents need to make when encouraging a young child to pursue a business venture?

Our experience is a little different. Although we signed Mikaila up for a youth entrepreneur event in 2009 (age four), since the event, we have been working hard to keep up with her dreams and passion.

It is hard work for everyone. It’s very similar to having a child playing on a Select Sports Team.  Everyone in the family has a job/responsibility.  Even Jacob, our 7-year-old son, works as the BeeSweet Lemonade Sales Representative. Our family time often revolves around BeeSweet Lemonade events/activities,  so we choose Mikaila’s events wisely. We find ourselves saying yes to events that are kid friendly, and fun for entire family.

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On Mikaila’s Instagram she pays tribute to her mom for marketing tips and encouraging her to be a brave entrepreneur? Can you share some of those gems?

Just like vegetables, I ask my kids to “try it at least once.’  If they do not like it, at least they can say they have tried it.  I do my very best to make sure that first experience is both great and memorable (the vegetables must taste good too).

Secondly, practice and be prepared. The easiest way to calm fears is to feel prepared and ready.  I teach Mikaila what is required to be prepared for a dance recital, school play or honeybee workshop.  Then we practice while having fun doing it.  Eventually, after years of being an entrepreneur and learning how to prepare for many different opportunities, she now gives me a list of what she needs from me to be prepared.

Do you have any tips on how to teach kids entrepreneurship? Share your tips with me in the comments section below.