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When you love being an entrepreneur, it's only natural that you want your kids to be able to experience that same freedom – here's how I raised my kids to be entrepreneurs…

Did you (or are you) raising your kids to be entrepreneurs? Did your parents raise you to be an entrepreneur?

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58 Replies to “Raising Your Kids to Be Entrepreneurs”

  1. Hi Jeff! I’ve watched all your videos, thanks for all that wonderful info! This last one, wonderful also, just a note that I feel is important. You talk about some parents who are entrepreneurs and WHO WOULD ALSO LIKE THEIR KIDS FOLLOW THEIR FOOTSTEPS… Well Jeff, very important here, one the main roles of parents is (besides preparing their kids to not only survive but also strive in their lives) to help them find what they came here to do. And that is something that may lead them to become entrepreneurs, or maybe not. It is crucial that parents respect that. As a mind therapist and personal coach, one of the biggest problems I see in our society is people living the lives that others expected of them. This creates a live that will never bring personal satisfaction to the individual, besides the negative energy that the individual will “radiate” because of that inner frustration. Just to point that out… great video, as all your other ones! Hope to meet you soon!!

    • @Peter: I absolutely agree, we shouldn’t push our passions/interests on our kids. That’s something I very carefully avoided. That being said, I think that any kids growing up today would be served to have an “entrepreneurial mindset”… in other words, they need to take ownership of their path and their results. And I believe that will serve them no matter where they go in life.

      • out of all the things that you shared with us during the plf live, the thing that stood out to me was the way you are with your son, and the way you give him room to develop as a man, and the way you allow him to come up with solutions. thanks for the tips, I never thought to pay my kid to read a book, but if it’s what going to motivate them, then why not cause in the end, we are here to help our kids flourish.
        cheers

        • @Greg: thank you. I’m blessed to have amazing kids, and I’m really proud of both of them. It’s a joy to see Daniel shine on stage.

    • I have to agree with you totally! While Jeff’s video is fantastic I do believe it needs to be said that you must be certain that that’s exactly what your kid(s) want… To be entrepreneurs.

      While being a “successful” entrepreneur can bring freedom, true freedom comes about by being one’s authentic self and living with integrity. Integrity in fact means being whole and complete and being and doing what you authentically want to do. Not what your parents (or society) suggest, recommend or tell you to do.

      I feel, as a parent, my job is to carefully watch what truly excites my kids, what skills come naturally to them and then have them see and acknowledge these as they grow and mature into adult life so they can choose a life/work that is based upon these areas and that is thus purposeful to them.

      Now I have to say, I would love them to be entrepreneurs. But it must be their choice and hopefully if I’ve done my job well, it’ll be based around what truly excites them and provides them with a huge sense of fulfillment while allowing them to be a bigger contribution to the world.

    • You may have missed the heart of Jeff’s message… Love what you do, Love your family, and they will want to jump on board! Of course there are some nutters who force their personal bent, but Jeff is right, real entrepreneurship is about taking ownership of your path and your results. And all humans need to take ownership of their path, responsibility for their future, and action on the present.

    • Peter, I totally agree with you about parents respecting the child’s choice regarding their life’s path and interest. I’ve been a personal growth facilitator for 27 years and the one issue that I see day after day is people stuck in careers that they absolutely hate because they were steered towards a degree that their parent’s wanted for them. Jeff, how honorable of you to observe that your son has a gift with words and to offering him additional options for him to explore. I agree that our kids would be served to have an “entrepreneurial mindset”. GREAT video, Jeff. I always enjoy watching. Thank you!

  2. I am raising a five year old boy and a three-year-old girl and I am convinced that they somehow inherently know all of Cialdini’s weapons of influence (and how to use them)! Those kids know it all. Dan Miller has mentioned that whenever his kids would get trouble that they would be sent to their room to listen to Zig Ziglar tapes.

    I love how your book goes through Cialdini’s weapons of influence in relation to launches. I need to keep up on the latest and greatest applications of the psychology of influence not only to increase my marketing and business knowledge, but to prevent my children from being able to easily manipulate me!

    I hope my children become entrepreneurs and I think they will be awesome at it.

    P.S. They’re good kids.

  3. My kids is still a little young, but thanks for the tips. Looking forward to do my part and help them with their education in entrepreneurship. Thanks Jeff.

  4. Thank you Jeff!! I’m not married yet but thank you for bringing this issue! I always thought I need to emlininate the whole traditional education system all together… But I like how you mixed them both xx

    Love and support,
    Hadeel – Kuwait.

  5. Hi, Jeff! Great video! I hope that my son will be able to do the same cool things as his mom too ) That’s would be a great opportunites for him to realize himself 🙂

  6. Stephanie L. Jones

    Reply

    Great, great tips!!!

    My husband and I are already preparing the path for our son and he’s only 3 years old. We save articles about other ‘kidpreneurs’ and buy entrepreneurial books for future reading, such as The Richest Kids in America by Mark V. Hansen.

    As always, thank you for sharing!

  7. Hi , I just so loved your video today. You have inspired me to really look at my 7 years gift and abilities. We just made a big life change to move to the other side of the UK. Thus allowing me a single mum to set up my business, but also be mortgage free. I really want us to have a great lifestyle and to bless others in the community, with a freedom they have never experienced before. Thanks for sharing it’s made my day.

  8. Wow! Thank-you Jeff. I was just struggling with these very issues with my 17 year old son. God bless you and thank-you for sharing this with us. I’m going to start the “interactive book review” with my son this week.

  9. I was raised to “go to school, get a job, and retire.” But the entrepreneur in me surfaced early in life. I just couldn’t resist its calling. So I would say that we all come to this world with a message to share and if we allow ourselves to share that message, we’ll be authentically fulfilled and happy. A life lived without regrets is priceless. Thank you, Jeff!

  10. Kylie smiley

    Reply

    I love these conversations about our children. How do we grow them to be strong conscious loving grateful happy loving inspiring leaders. With freedom and financial abundance to share with others. I am grateful for all positive guidance in this area. Much love kylie smiley

  11. Jeff,

    Thank you for making this video! It was an inspiration. Building a life and lifestyle for my wife and son is the primary motivator for me as I pursue a future in entrepreneurship. So, this video really hit home. I’m still working a full time job and your videos every week are a great motivator for me to keep pushing through all the hard work and challenges of developing a business.

    Regards,
    Aaron

  12. Nanci Adair

    Reply

    Jeff Thank you so much for your video on raising our kids to be entrepreneurs. My son is 19 and a Sophmore in college. He built his own computer when he was 15 and is now studying computer engineering. I remember when I was preparing for an interview with Dave Buck on my GoalModel coaching method. My son came in the room and asked why I was surrounded by notecards. I told him these were reminders so I wouldn’t forget. He said Mom you wrote the book you can’t forget what’s yours. He was 10 at the time.
    I agree with your immersion techniques. Being a successful entrepreneur involves living by principles and taking big risks. Whether our kids are in business for themselves or not they learn about identifying passions, confronting fears and living life to the fullest.

  13. I am just starting out getting a business going. Next year I am putting my son in a startup program for 12 years olds and up. My son has a hard time reading but really smart otherwise. We are going to start a smartphone game company together. Thanks

  14. Couldn’t agree more Jeff. Even if our kids aren’t going to be entrepreneurs they are going to need something of an entrepreneur mindset. The job for life has gone, they’re going to have to be creative, resilient, hard working and positive. I know you said you don’t want to knock education and to some extent I agree, our teachers here in the UK are absolutely doing the best they can BUT none of them agree with what they’re being asked to do…. here our kids are increasingly being put into straight jackets when they need to learn to fly; test after hopeless test and usually testing small minded thinking. So much more could be done in schools. That said, we, as parents have to take responsibility for modelling great behaviour and teaching our kids …. as I write this, my 8yr old and 11yr old are busy making posters for their latest enterprise. I’m so proud of them….. and I’m proud of myself too for helping them find the entrepreneur bug 😉

  15. That was a great video. Thank you for sharing. I was raised to think like a “poor dad.” Both of my parent’s lived below the poverty line their entire lives and I am really the first person in my family that was willing to get an education in business and strike out taking the risks to quit my job and become an entrepreneur. The first year had its ups and its downs. My first product launch had micro success but I just finished a new product and I am launching it on April 7th.

    We have set 3 goals to reach by June 30th:

    – minimum 50 sales
    – target 150 sales
    – outrageous 400 sales

    I enjoyed the video and I appreciate the advice on the copywriting books. I will purchase them both on Amazon and read them.

    Please keep sharing because I need more rich dad advice in my life about things that helped you become great as an online marketer.

    Thanks Jeff.
    Anthony Franck

  16. Thank you VERY MUCH for you advice, Jeff.
    It help me so much in this moment in my life with my 3 teenager

  17. My 24 year old is a highly successful entrepreneur who has raised millions of dollars for a healthcare startup. He has surpassed his Dad which makes me proud. This is great to share Jeff and yes giving your kids the option of entrepreneurship is a brilliant idea. I suggest parents NOT force their kids to fit into the mold of traditional models such as working for a company for security which no longer exists. I see parents all around me who shut down options for their kids by not letting them be creative and explore the option of entrepreneurship. I have a business associate in Australia who mentors kids in groups about the world of entrepreneurship and he has shared with me how their view of the world changes with a sparkle in their ideas:)

  18. Thanks so much, Jeff. You are always an inspiration to me. My children – and my grandchildren – also thank you!

  19. Since my husband and I are empty nesters, our children are out of the house right now, so this article would have been an “after the fact” article for us to read.

    As parents, we never raised our children to be entrepreneurs, nor did we encourage them to be entrepreneurs. Instead, we urged them to follow their passion and always reminded them that the only time “success” comes before “work” is in the dictionary. We made sure that they knew that no career path was ever a “final” choice.

  20. Great item Jeff!

    You have always a nice smile when you are talking, but talking about your kids give you a nice ‘extra smile’ 🙂

    The item is important and my kids are small, but I hope that they want to learn the skills to work with freedom and joy! I will remember your advice! THANKS and all the best, also for your family 🙂
    Kindest regards, Bram

  21. Hi Jeff,
    Dare I say, this has been the BEST video yet! Thank you for taking the time to share 🙂

  22. Love this! While I don’t have kids, I totally agree that an entrepreneurial mindset is an extremely important skill to learn- whether they grow up to become an entrepreneur or not. And the younger someone learns that, the better!

  23. Joe Loiacano

    Reply

    Jeff this was really good advice. I don’t have kids yet but when I do I am going to follow this plan. I’m going to pass this video on to my brothers who both have kids. God bless!
    Joe Loiacano

  24. This video talked about my 3 passions- children, education and business! Loved it! I have been homeschooling my children for 16 years now. Three are in college and 3 still at home. Teaching children to have an entrepreurial mindset gets children to think “outside the box” even in a job, so it serves them well that we would share what we learn as we build or run our business. Two of my sons joined me in creating an info product called The Youngpreneur Program to help inspire 7-16 year olds to develop character and financial literacy through their small biz. It was a total hit and they even had an online mastermind! Wish you could see an 8 year old girl talking about how to sell water at her brother’s games or a 12 year old diagnosed ADD boy thinking about the way to name and market his necklaces on Etsy!! Children are the future of tomorrow and it starts with the work we do at home! Thank you Jeff for bringing this topic to the table. Your outstanding parenting shows that your children learned from you, because you won their heart and loves them unconditionally.

  25. Stephen G Ruby

    Reply

    Jeff,
    Great post that resonated with me. I am the VERY PROUD father of two entrepreneurial kids…both with their own successful businesses.
    My secret?
    1. Advice. I gave them two consistent pieces of advice:
    A. Have your OWN business. Don’t rely on others for your success.
    B. Give people what they WANT, not what they NEED.

    People will PAY for what they WANT, but EXPECT what they NEED for cheap or free.

    2. Be a role model.
    Fortunately, I have the entrepreneurial bug and they have seen me run several businesses (in medical). They have seen the effort, the rewards and the heartache. And they have learned from all of these.

    3. Provide them with great education.
    I have provided them with a great gift…(and I know that not everyone can do this, but do the best that you can). I helped them get a great college education and leave without debt. Nothing worse than having the weight of college loans from keeping them from following their passions.

    4. Let them follow their own paths…
    My daughter was first in this path…and has a successful event / wedding floral business in Indianapolis.
    My son was next with a successful brew-pub in Indianapolis.
    Neither is in the area that they received educational degrees in, but both highly successful.

    5. Celebrate their success. (No explanation needed).

    Seeing them be independently successful is one of my greatest rewards.

    Thanks Jeff for your great post.

  26. Great stuff! Very inspirational. I think you forgot to credit David O. McKay for the quote about no business success makes up for failure in the home. I really liked you video on teaching entrepreneurship to your kids. Wish I’d heard that stuff 10 years ago. Thanks!

  27. Jeff, this is such an important message and a real gift a parent can give to a child. Giving them the awareness and the space to develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset will give them an advantage throughout their lives, whether they operate their own business, become a community leader, a great parent or work a job.

    I grew up in an entrepreneurial home, but was not raised to be an entrepreneur. At least that’s what my parents thought. Even without them teaching me this way of living had a profound impact on me. And it wasn’t until I lost my Dad at the age of 83 that I realized how much of an impact it had on me. It was then that I truly began to realize the difference how being entrepreneurial affects one’s life. He had an advantage that I rarely saw in others – he was genuinely a happy, productive human being that spread joy with everyone he came in contact with.

    Being an entrepreneur was always something I had ‘secretly’ desired and was searching for most of my adult life. I tried doing life by other means and it didn’t work for me. On that path, my life crumbled giving me the chance to begin again. Today, I get to help others become aligned with success. Having an entrepreneurial mindset is a big part of that. Being an entrepreneur is in my bones and I have my parents to thank for that.

    Your kids are watching. You can advance their ability by exposing them to teachings they will never get in the educational system like you did with your kids Jeff. I love your examples. And from my perspective, the greatest way to teach them is to model it. The greatest impact you can make is to become that you wish to teach.

  28. Mark Gregory

    Reply

    Jeff I absolutely agee. I have raised my 4 kids to have just this mindset and it’s proving to serve them well. My eldest daughter of 26, coaches online, works form home does the hours she wants whilst raising her own two year old. Has a successful business and allows her husband to be a stay at home dad to manage the household etc to give them the freedom they want. My eldest son of 22 took up selling bike parts when he was at school at 14 and now has a successful online business in his field of passion, mountain biking. He spotted a niche market opportunity and has two businesses that allow him to work and play in his sport, ti-springs.com and themountainbikeking.com. He left school at 17, didn’t finish his final year and has never looked back.

    My youngest daughter 16 (next month) started blogging at 12 and is now recognized as one of the UK’s top young fashion bloggers. She wants to be a fashion designer and blogging has opened so many doors for her, interviews on the Radio, national press, working with brands and her own range of socks for teen girls that she designed and partnered with a brand. She has webinars with a school in the US sharing her blogging experience with classes. She’s at tollydollyposhfashion.com

    They’ve all had a great education but having an entrepreneurial mindset is what sets them apart and will give them their freedom. They learn so many skills that are relevant for their future that education at school will never do.

  29. this is really great video and a guidance to us (parents)

    I would love to hear in more details about the entire book list of your son and then your daughter as well.

  30. Thank you for sharing. My father was a very successful entrepreneur. He left us multiple business unfortunately, we didn’t have the privilege to learn how to be entrepreneurs and it is sad to say the business he left behind died in short time.
    Lesson I learned was I know how much being a child of entrepreneurs doesn’t guarantee the child will be one. And my mission now is how to become one and pass it to my kids. That will be the best inheritance I could leave them.
    Thank you for reminding us what matters the most when it comes to our kids.

  31. This has become my all time favourite Jeff Walker video.

    I love the idea of taking responsiblity for your childen’s education.. and that education is more than just what they learn in school. My boys can expect a few changes soon. I can see how paying them to read and discuss the right books could be good motivation in the beginning.

    Another related idea worth sharing (I think) is the importance of monitoring (but NOT controlling) the friends your chidren have. Many years ago, someone told me that the biggest influence on my children will be their friends. The kids they hang out will shape their future. It is important obviouslly not to get too carried away with this concept (don’t choose their friends for them) but we can try and put them in environments where they are more likely to come in contact with good friends.

    This is also why it is important to join good mastermind groups where we as adults also get shaped by our friends.

  32. Super video, Jeff. As a parent I can appreciate the points you’re making. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset and the specific skills to master will help them in any path in life: publishing/writing, marketing & persuasion, blogging/online communications, adding-value mindset & leadership are important in most professions…. resistance is futile, we will conquer the world, lol. I really liked this video; thanks.

    -Ken

  33. Love it Jeff.
    I realised something the other day. One of the things I did not realise that I really love to do (sounds weird) is to give our kids and experience of hanging out with amazing people.
    I love that they see these people, come to our place for fun, either to stay or visit and see that the worlds best achievers are just everyday people doing extraordinary things.
    You and Mary have done an amazing job with the relationships you have built with the kids! So much respect for each other!!!
    Huge hugs Jeff!!!!

  34. Hi Jeff. I really love your video. it is beautiful what you transmit to your kids. Is so important to transmit to our kids our knowledge, because some day they will use them. My dad is an expert and PHd. in project management, but he never had the time to teach us his knowledge, I had to learn everything from scratch. I admire him a lot and I would like to know at least 50% of what he knows about projects.
    Your tips makes me really happy, because I teach my daughter, she is 7 years old and already know what is freedom, how to buy , add profits and sale the product 🙂 . she is really adorable. she enjoy looking at what I do and how I do it. she give me her ideas and we work on them, and she is always saying ..mami i will be a super entrepreneur someday…. . So one day when she choice her pasion I am pretty sure that she will be successfull.
    Jeff, it would be nice if you make a conference or long video on “how to raise our kids to be entrepreneurs”, you have so much experience in this subject that for sure you have many tips to teach us 🙂 .
    the truth is that parents are and should be the best and most important teacher in the life of our children
    thank you Jeff to share this video with us. Many Blessings.

  35. Hi Jeff & PLF Community,

    I am watching this video mostly due to positive influence from my dad!

    When I was a teenager he implemented some of the techniques mentioned in this video. His effort was enough to guide me along my path and led to my discovery of personal development materials from Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, and many others.

    I wholeheartedly support the advice given in this video. It has had a gigantic impact on my life and now I, in turn, am having a positive influence in the world through my work mentoring youth and fundraising for non-profit organizations.

    Llllllllaunch!

    Ben

  36. Kids will watch what we do. they will see happiness, misery, success, failure. They will see us fall, and watch as we pick ourselves up. Dealing with the vicissitudes of life, persevering, breaking through obstacles, and keeping out heads about us. These will be the valuable lessons.

  37. Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for taking the time to film this video on teaching young entrepreneurs! As the chief cultivator of e-seedling I truly believe that teaching entrepreneurship at young age will help kids realize their natural gifts, find their passions and create an empowered, happier world. Even if kids don’t become entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship skills will give them life skills that they can use no matter what they choose as a career. Entrepreneurship also helps those who might not realize the possibilities in their environment or economic situation. Thanks for sharing!

  38. My 16 year old is excited to get up at 6 a.m. now and it’s all because of people like Jeff and Dan Miller and Dave Ramsey. He gets up every week to attend One Million Cups, he has actually presented there already, and our weekly Morning Mingle of local business owners to talk about his web development business. I am not an Entrepreneur but we are trying to raise our kids with the mindset of being responsible for their own direction in life. Homeschooling our kids has definitely made this much easier. Maybe one day in the near future I’ll be able to join him and do my own thing.

  39. I was not raised to be an entrepreneur in name. However I was taught to have a strong work ethic. I took it to the next level when it comes to that. My mom calls me “Okey” for “Overkill”, lol. I am always trying to teach my kids to be entrepreneurs so they have the tools to make their own path. But I just never know quite how to go about it. I love that you suggested some reading – getting those for sure! This video definitely helped to steer me in the right direction to get them on the path of thinking beyond the box that schools can sometimes put them in. Thanks!!

  40. Isabella Carter

    Reply

    HI Jeff, I really enjoyed your clip on raising children to be entrepreneurial thinkers. I will be sharing your clip with the parents of the children I am teaching the entrepreneurial journey to at my kids school. I was homeschooling my children because of the shortcomings of our system here in Australia (not unlike America) yet nothing is perfect and I agree with your sentiment that the education system alone is not enough to equip our children with the tools and mindset to be the predominant forces behind creating the life they want for themselves. I have been passionate about real world learning since my teaching days where in Pre-school the children were taught through the Reggio Emilia process. All based on teaching children to follow their curiosity and interests and showing them the tools to research, learn what they wanted to learn and then implement for creative output. And they hadn’t yet developed the limited thinking of ‘I can’t do this.’ They are still my teachers now as I embark on my new personal journey of coming back from being a homeschooling mum to actively teaching entrepreneurial thinking and processes in a school environment. I would like to introduce the Jeff Walker Product Launch Formula at some point for the older kids to try as they launch their business. Real world learning. 21st C skills. Thanks for sharing. PS My new neighbour is a good friend of yours.

  41. Hello Jeff! I’m watching this from Japan and this is my very first time leaving a comment.
    Although I’m not even married now, I’m sure to remember what you said in the video today.
    My parents were typical “go to good school, get a good job” kind, and there were always financial issues so I want something different for my kids when i have one someday.
    But what I wanted to tell you especially today was how you made me feel hopeful.
    I was losing confident and getting tired in my process of becoming an entrepreneur, (taking my baby steps) but I just love the look on your face and how positive energy surrounds you.
    You made me think that life can be fun.
    So I wanted to say thank you. It meant a lot to me:)

  42. Hey Jeff!! LOVE this video, LOVE this topic. No, I wasn’t raised as an entrepreneur, but yes, I am one and YES, I am raising my daughter to be one. In fact, she had her first “name tag” when she was just five, I put her in charge of PR (I’m a journalist / media coach). She has since completed interviews, where I have been her assistant producer; and I continue to foster her entrepreneurial skill set.

  43. Great reminder Jeff. I was just thinking how your video is an example of what your’re talking about. When preparing a topic, you could have assumed that “of course everyone knows you have to explain your offer. Why would I make a video about that?” You’d be wrong. Love this stuff.

  44. Jeff – Cevin Ormond and I are writing a book about teaching youth how to be entrepreneurs. What you said is spot on. In fact, I would love to talk to you to get some other collaboration on this book. Would you work with me?
    The original quote from the previous video blog is “No other success can compensate for failure in the home” by David O. McKay 1968.
    You do a great job with these blogs. I really enjoy them. They are more than just talking, they are teaching. Thank you.

  45. Hey Jeff,
    I cannot thank you enough for all of your videos. But maybe your most special video to me is the one about football. The one about Peyton Manning? Actually I strongly dislike Peyton Manning because I grew up in Auburn fan living in Tennessee. But that’s about me and not him.

    I love football. And so does my son. We have a long drive to his school every morning and sometimes it’s hard to talk. When I saw your weekly video was about football I knew it was time to introduce him to you. So we watched it on the way to school. Actually had also seen the blog video you recorded at PLF live 2015.

    Anyway. By that night he was asking me questions about you, questions about how often you recorded videos and when we were going to watch our next one. Now it’s a regular habit on our way to school in the morning. Thanks Jeff

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