You’ve probably heard the phrase “Kids say the darndest things!”. Well, they also tend to accomplish the darndest things as well.
Take, for example, young entrepreneur Kenan Pala, who helped to organize programs to fund education around homelessness. Parker Krex, another kidpreneur, created a monthly Lego subscription box called Brick Loot and said ““I encourage kids to never give up. If you like your idea, someone else in the world likes it, too!”
Young kids have invented medical equipment and technology that has benefited people from all walks of life. They’ve launched businesses from unboxing packages on YouTube and have traveled the world helping better the lives of those who are less fortunate. They’ve rubbed elbows with celebrities, presidents, and the most influential experts in their industry.
In fact, a recent survey of entrepreneurs revealed that 8 percent of business owners started their businesses by the time they were 10 years old.
But how do young children and teenagers actually manage to accomplish these remarkable feats of entrepreneurship?
It turns out, sometimes kids can be better than adults at many things, including business. Here are just a few ways that kids rock the world of business.
They’ve Got Grit
If you’ve ever watched a kid get knocked down on the playground or the sports field, chances are you’ve also witnessed them get back up, dust themselves off, and hop right back to it. This is grit and it’s something that children are adept at harnessing. Grit includes the ability to be persistent in action and relentless in optimism even in the face of adversity.
Maybe it’s because young kids haven’t quite been hardened by the challenges of adult life. Perhaps it’s because they have inordinate amounts of mental and physical energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand. Either way, young entrepreneurs often have the ability to be tenacious when it comes to achieving goals, removing roadblocks, and overcoming mistakes. While some may struggle with the concept of failure, many kidpreneurs have a support system in place to be able to see the opportunities that failure provides. They forge on with impressive creative force.
When sisters Isabel and Caroline Bercaw were unimpressed with bath bombs they had been using, they didn’t just complain. They turned their disappointment into profit by launching what became a multi-million dollar bath bomb business.
Innovation is Their Secret Weapon
Have you ever noticed how kids tend to always think of a “better” way to do something? While their improvements may not always lead to the most efficient outcome, they never stop seeing ways to enhance a product or a service.
This is because kids don’t think in a way that we adults have come to know as a conventional thought pattern. Their pliable and maturing brain has the ability to see things in both a concrete and abstract way, whereas many adults struggle in this arena. To children, a situation often doesn’t always have to be black or white. They allow space for the gray area, which is the capacity to see ways of creating multiple options and experiences.
Kids are natural innovators, coming up with ideas about products, services, or methods that we tend to have taken for granted. To top it off, tell a kid they “can’t” do something and what is often the result? This ability to challenge the status quo and disrupt the accepted system is actually incredibly potent in the business world.
When provided with encouragement and valuable resources, such as Adam and Matthew Toren’s award-winning book “Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas”, kids are empowered to cultivate a productive growth mindset.
Less Stressing, More Success-ing
Let’s face it: one of the buzzkills for entrepreneurs is often overwhelm and stress. The inability to handle the everyday pressures of even the most successful business can lead to a general sense of burnout in entrepreneurs.
Because adults have a number of responsibilities – such as supporting a family, focusing on relationships, and maintaining their overall health – a business can often crumble under the weight of these responsibilities.
Children, on the other hand, often demonstrate an amazing ability to handle the stress of a business, partly because they don’t have the additional life responsibilities of an adult.
Kids also have additional outlets for relaxing, de-stressing, and having fun. Activities such as sport, hobbies, and family time allows kids to unplug for a bit, reconnect to what matters, and gives them renewed energy to come back to the task of their business. Kids are also really good at laughing and not taking themselves too seriously and we all know that’s the best medicine.
Less stress means kids can capitalize on the effort and time that they put into their entrepreneurial venture. They have more mental and emotional space to devote to creative ideas, marketing, and managing a business without undue anxiety.
Allowing kids to be kids, while balancing the journey of entrepreneurship, is one of the best things that parents can do to support their kidpreneurs.
We have much to learn from young entrepreneurs. Their endless enthusiasm and ability to question the way things have always been done make them a perfect match for a dynamic world of entrepreneurship. It’s in everyone’s best interest to continue to empower them to take charge of their own future!