3 Ways to Teach Your Kid Entrepreneurship (No Lemonade Stand Required)

Teach Your Kid to Be an Entrepreneur

PT's Note: I have three kids and teaching them to have the confidence to run their own business one day is definitely one of my life's goals. Here's my friend Amanda L. Grossman from MoneyProdigy.com to share some excellent advice for us on this subject…

I grew up on a dairy farm, in the middle of Amish country. There were cows. There was a heck of a lot of manure. And the work was relentless – small family dairy farms have that special combination of both working people into the ground and simultaneously paying them very little for it.

But there was also a lot of opportunity as a child to learn about the highs and downright-lows of running your own business.

It was probably inevitable, then, that I charted my own course in early 2013 when I decided it was time to quit my 9-5 job and take my blog full-time.

Being able to do this opened my life up in so many ways, like being able to work my own hours (yes, now I can work my own self into the ground), and becoming a work-at-home-Mom when our son was born.

This lifestyle is one choice that I want for my own son to have on his plate of options, as well as your kiddo.

But I’ve noticed that most of the advice for how to turn your children into child entrepreneurs says to let them open a lemonade stand (which, for the record, has gotten some kids in trouble with permit and food regulation laws).

It’s a huge cliché at this point – the ol’ lemonade stand.

Since we need alternatives to lemonade stands, and since most kids do not grow up on dairy farms – we’re a dying breed, I tell you – I’m here to give you other methods to build on your child’s innate interest in entrepreneurship.

Kidpreneur Builder #1: Encourage them to Negotiate Allowance

Whatever type of allowance system your child is on – there's a whole Kid Money System Landscape out there, ranging from chore commissions to educational pay – you can build in the ability for your child to negotiate their pay.

I know, I know. That might sound like heresy, or at the very least, an invitation for a whine-fest, in your household. But hear me out.

The lessons your child entrepreneurs will learn by being allowed to negotiate allowance money from you has direct correlations with what entrepreneurs need to know how to do:

  • Entrepreneurs Need to Sell Themselves: Let’s face it – as entrepreneurs ourselves, we realize that selling involves a whole lot more than hocking a product or service. We actually have to sell people on ourselves. A child who is comfortable pitching themselves to adults is a child who will be more comfortable selling themselves to anyone when they get older.
  • Entrepreneurs Need to Know How to Price: Underpricing or overpricing our products and services, especially for those of us who mistakenly associate our money with our self-worth (that can’t just be me, right?), is an easy thing to do. And it can cost untold amounts of missed opportunities. Your child will start to get feedback on their pricing from you at an early age by going through the allowance negotiation process.
  • Entrepreneurs Need Incredible Self-Confidence and Resiliency: Look – it’s rough out there. I don’t need to tell you how difficult handling rejection can be. By being the person your child practices their negotiations on first, you get to show them how to handle rejection well, plus how to not take it personally. These are key in getting them back to the batter’s box again, and again, which is terribly important for an entrepreneur.

Kidpreneur Builder #2: Involve them in Your Business

Have you ever stopped your side hustlin' long enough to think about who is going to take over your business one day?

Most likely, it’s going to be one of your kids!

You’ve got an incredible opportunity to not only pass down a form of income to your child but to also use what you’ve built to teach them basic entrepreneur skills from an early age.

I highly encourage you to create your own Take Your Child to Work Day – from the comfort of your own home office, Starbucks sweet spot, couch, or wherever else you conduct business.

This is an amazing opportunity to:

  • Show your child what the heck Mommy/Daddy does on the laptop, such as who you serve, what you offer, and why.
  • Give your child a task to help you with – who knows, they might take over as your VA one day!
  • Help your child come up with their own business plan.

Bonus: You can get a free Take Your Child to Work Day Kit to make building your own day a snap, complete with a schedule, list of activities to choose from, and kid prep-work.

Kidpreneur Builder #3: Hire Your Child as a Consultant

Businesses exist for the purpose of finding needs they can fulfill, and fulfilling them.

Yeah, there’s more involved than that. But you get the idea.

What better way to introduce your budding kidpreneur to the business world than hiring them as a consultant for your next event?

Choose an upcoming holiday or big event that you’re willing to work with your child on. Call a family meeting, and tell your child that they get to be your event consultant.

In kid-language, this means that in exchange for their time, energy, and work, they get to earn a little money.

Here’s the basics for setting this one up:

  • List out the tasks you want your event consultant to head up.
  • Hold a few meetings where you coach them, while also allow them to ask you questions and share their own ideas.
  • Hand them a budget to work with for the tasks you’ve handed over, such as a budget for decorations, and a budget for children’s games.
  • Allow them to negotiate a price for their services. You can pay them through the FamZoo App (read this to figure out if they’ll need to pay taxes on their earnings).

Child entrepreneurs aren't just born, they're made. Even if your child isn’t destined to become the next Shark Tank Kid, they'll still learn valuable money lessons by going through the steps above. It’s a win-win.

Which idea from above do you think would make your child call you “cool”?

Bio: Hey-ooo! I’m Amanda L. Grossman from MoneyProdigy.com, where I teach kids aged 8-13 how to manage their money through Money Educational Adventures (like the Mt. Everest Money Simulation). I’m a Certified Financial Education Instructor and won a 2017 Plutus Foundation grant to bring my creations alive.

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  1. Thanks for sharing these ideas. I will have to keep them in mind with my own children.

  2. James Heidebrecht says:

    My 6-year-old son has asked me twice in the last week about making money and trying to sell something ( lemonade) on our street. This has given me some good ideas, I want to encourage this kind of Behavior. Thanks for the post!

  3. Interesting ideas. My kids are still pretty young (5 and 3) but we do try to teach them about money and our 5 year old daughter has responded pretty well. I think I might try your first tip.

    Are you from Pennsylvania? I live in York, about 45 minutes from Amish country.