Raising my two young men as a solo parent with tight finances was a challenge at times. Regardless, I wanted to create beautiful memories with fun experiences as much as possible.
I remember a time in the school holidays whereby my youngest son, Jay, and I were sharing, saying that it would be nice to go away for the night, somewhere for an adventure. As we talked through the idea, discussing the finances available, brainstorming our options, what we would need, food, how far we would drive, locations and accommodation, we made a plan and turned it into our reality.
As a result, we had a brilliant night, creating funny memories of our adventure that we still laugh about to this day. This triggered a desire to do this more regularly. Again, taking the same process, we explored the finances, what we were currently spending and wasn’t a necessity and how we could save specifically for our holidays. A few months earlier, the kids had been asking to have Austar installed (as that’s what families did back then). I finally succumbed to the idea. This became a no brainer as we sat down to look at what we needed to sacrifice. Both boys were very happy to let go of having the luxury of Austar, they could see the value of the adventure we would have in our school holidays instead.
As I raised my children in this manner, I hadn’t realised the entrepreneurial skills I was instilling in them. They were learning the value of money and financial literacy, problem solving and decision making, healthy risk taking, goal setting and planning.
Knowing what I know today, I may have been even more intentional with this. However, they have both turned out to be incredible young men, whom I am so proud of. My eldest son Nathan has that entrepreneurial drive, currently in sales while also trying and starting different initiatives and clearly isn’t afraid to do so. My youngest, Jay, achieved Queensland Shop Fitting Apprentice of the Year two years running and is achieving incredible things within the business he works for, working on high end projects with absolutely stunning finishes and is proud of what he creates (and so is mum if you can’t tell).
The things I would intentionally do to nurture an entrepreneur mindset would be:
1. Teach the value of money; from earning pocket money, to exploring other avenues to generate income to how to spend and save
2. Nurture curiosity, encouraging questioning; prompting them to not just accept things but to challenge the status quo in a diplomatic respectful manner
3. Creating a vision of what is wanted, goal set (using SMART Goals; Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic & Time related) and make a plan to accomplish
4. Model and encourage effective problem solving and decision making; empowering them to brainstorm options, exploring the pros and cons and decide
5. Resiliently learning from failure or mistakes; helping them to critically reflect and explore what worked, what didn’t work so well, what can I improve
Wow... I can’t wait for Grandchildren! They are going to be Amazing!
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