“The Entrepreneurial Lifestyle” is NOT just learning to run a family business but . . . .
- It’s learning eternal concepts that apply to business as well as every part of a successful life.
- It’s learning to work together as a team which includes viewing each other’s talents as resources instead of differences that divide.
- It’s learning to recognize opportunity and understanding how to put it to work.
- It’s learning to serve others with your God-given talents as your work and worship.
- Its looking at failure as a learning experience that unites and strengthens your family and life direction.
So…How DO You Get Started?
As you can guess, this is a question that has more than one answer. It’s like asking “How do you learn to ride a bike?”
Well, it would depend on the age of who is learning to ride the bike, what kind of bike and a host of other variables.
Step One: Start With Your Family’s Vision
Every family is different in many ways, but as homeschooling parents we have one thing in common: We want the best for our children. However, the tricky part becomes the mechanics of how exactly to accomplish this. Because it varies so much with the age and stage of your particular family, only you – with the valued input of each family member – can write this vision. Read more about how to do this in Writing Your Family Vision Statement>>
Make A List Of Needs Your Family Sees
Once again, as a family, make a list of all the needs your family recognizes in their day-to-day life. One family posted a piece of paper on the refrigerator and had each member write down one need they saw daily for one week. At the end of the week they reviewed the list together and discussed how they could meet any one of the listed needs together as a family business.
Starting The Family Business
This is where it can get a little more complicated, especially with the busy schedules most families endure. Prioritizing is the key. If you have made the decision that meeting needs with the talents given to your family is important, you will find or make the time!
This does not mean that each family member is required to contribute equally. One of your children may be more enthusiastic and/or has more time available to start a new project. Let them take the lead, but each family member should commit to helping on a regular basis in some manner, however small.
Unless your family has had a dream business in mind for years, there is a good chance that your first idea may not be what sticks or works for your current family situation. Especially with new or first generation entrepreneurs, it’s not uncommon to run into a large roadblock with your first idea that will find you questioning your choice of business.
This can work out to be an excellent lesson in decision making that every entrepreneur must learn. Together you can discuss solutions to the roadblock, alternate routes or even changing your destination entirely. Don’t consider this failure, but a learning experience and a way that God often redirects our course. In our family we call it “good pain”.
Who Is The Most Valuable Member Of Your Family?
Hopefully you answered this correctly….EVERYONE is the most valuable! The body is a good example of discerning what is more valuable. Every body part has a distinct purpose and is valuable in its own way. The healthiest bodies are found when all parts are running as designed. A lesson that may need to be repeated regularly!
What makes you an outstanding parent is not your ability or even your willingness to help your family be all they can be. Many parents are willing and able, but it is your determination to follow through with what you believe is best for your family that sets outstanding parents apart.
Last, But Not Least…Who’s The Boss?
One rule that you will want to make clear at the very beginning is that you are the boss and have the final authority in all decisions. Explain that this is not meant to be dictatorial, but is the way the world works. If there is not a predetermined means of resolving difference of opinions, that nothing but chaos will reign.
You might also look for ways to illustrate that your job of CEO isn’t always glorious, and ask for lots of advice from everyone. Try to stay positive about all advice given, but there’s a valuable lesson in realizing their advice may be valuable, but not always useful for the task at hand.
Alternatives For Teaching The Entrepreneurial Mindset
We try to list all the entrepreneurial resources we find that families, whether homeschooling or not, can use to teach young entrepreneurs. Your job as a parent, of course, is not just your involvement, but being there to help solve the inevitable situations that cannot be answered (ethically) by any online or offline materials! See HSE Curriculum>> (we are currently updating all our resources, check back regularly for additions!)