360° Coverage : Parents, We Need More Entrepreneurs

2 Updates
Parents, We Need More Entrepreneurs
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Parents, We Need More Entrepreneurs

Apr 5 2014, 9:44am CDT | by

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

21 weeks ago

Parents, We Need More Entrepreneurs

Apr 5 2014, 9:44am CDT | by

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. –Steve Jobs

The world needs more entrepreneurs. Today’s problems are really hard and we need a higher dose of entrepreneurial spirit to tackle them. I’m hoping parents can help.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember. Always trying to bring business ideas or inventions to life. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how I got hooked on entrepreneurship and business. What instilled that entrepreneurial spirit in me and prepared me for all the exciting, exhilarating, and disappointing realities? Surely I wasn’t born with it; instead a variety of experiences helped light the entrepreneurial flame inside me.

Not surprisingly, it was my parents who first introduced me to business and entrepreneurship. Facing circumstances that they couldn’t solve in traditional ways, they sought to open their own businesses to provide for our family. This required a certain fearlessness and persistence that has stuck with me ever since. I consider myself lucky to have had these opportunities in the first place and I know not everyone gets that chance growing up.

My goal here isn’t to suggest that everyone should start companies or become entrepreneurs. Rather, parents can foster a valuable entrepreneurial spirit in their kids no matter what path their kids decide to take later in life. (Disclaimer: I’m not a parent or a expert in child development. Rather, I hope that sharing my personal story can start a conversation and maybe even inspire others.)

Variety sparks curiosity and comfort with new challenges

From a very young age, my mother encouraged me to try doing a variety of things I would have otherwise never done; unlike many other parents, this was not for the sake of resume building but because they thought it would teach me something. It turned out this made me endlessly curious about the world and extremely comfortable with new challenges.

She encouraged me to do karate, where I ended up fighting competitively for many years. She got me into acting (once even auditioning for a main role in Home Alone). She encouraged me to play basketball even though I was often the shortest player on my team. I did gymnastics, I played tennis, I started two companies before I was 18… among other things. Adapting quickly became my new normal and continues to be today as an entrepreneur. I was even voted “most likely to succeed” – not because I excelled academically like my peers, but because they could sense my ambition and willingness to try anything.

Not surprisingly, I failed more often than I succeeded at these new activities, which taught me to move past disappointment, figure out another approach to succeed, and keep going. Naturally, children get disappointed easily, so it’s important for them to seek out and experience failure early and then keep at it with a desire to do better next time around. For example, my height should have been a disadvantage for me in basketball. But then I learned I could make up for that – and then some – with speed. Later, as an entrepreneur, these experiences helped me become just a little more adaptable than the next guy when it came time to tackle new projects. While specialization seems to be a popular career move these days, being comfortable with unknowns and new challenges is also a powerful characteristic.

Competition supports a winning spirit and collaborative attitude

Being involved in competitive sports drives you to improve and win. While sports are a way to foster a healthy competitive and winning spirit, there are other options as well. For me, there was the Model United Nations program, which provided a platform beyond sports. We were required to do research in order to represent international delegations (like the actual UN) on important issues then go out and publicly defend those policies at conferences around the world. These events rewarded top delegates and the competition was cutthroat. Even though we competed individually most of the time, in order to win we had to collaborate with others. I quickly learned how to work with others toward a common goal and how to influence people with differing perspectives. I learned that winning while collaborating with a team was much more satisfying

As an entrepreneur, your immediate and extended teams (customers, advisors, investors, etc) are the real keys to success. Winning without the help of others is simply not possible.

Traveling fosters self-reliance and creative thinking

Home is a comfortable place, but it can make you complacent and overly reliant on what’s readily available to you. Traveling as a child (and later as a young adult), you come to realize that the world can function in totally different ways. There is not necessarily a “right” or “normal” way to do anything. That is, cars don’t always have to drive on the right side of the road, gas doesn’t always need to be calculated in gallons, food can be made of things you never imagined eating and could be prepared in many ways, and cars don’t all have to look the same. The business world, just like a foreign country you’ve never traveled to, requires that you are comfortable while navigating alone without a map.

The earlier you realize there is more than one way to do things, the sooner you’ll break the psychological barriers that keep you from taking on new challenges. If there were a single formula to success, everyone would be successful.

These lessons, ingrained in me as a child, have had important implications for my adult self and for my business. I’m now the CEO of a company called ReadyForZero, where we’re building resources to help people pay off debt faster. In this role I’m tested every day, and the lessons help me know how to respond. Not being a parent myself, I know it’s tough to make time or provide the means for making all this possible. However, I hope my personal experience can nevertheless inspire parents to try and foster a healthy entrepreneurial spirit in their children at an early age. Because we really do need more entrepreneurs!

 
Update
2

3 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the w ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

4 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17" hits home ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Reviving appetite for healthy food possible: Study
New York, Sep 2 (IANS) With measures such as behaviour change education it is possible to reverse the addictive power of unhealthy food while also increasing preference for healthy foods, says a new study.
 
 
No work permit in Saudi Arabia for Ebola-hit country nationals
Riyadh, Sep 2 (IANS) Saudi Arabia has decided to stop issuing work permits to workers from Ebola-hit countries, including Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, an official said Tuesday.
 
 
Return as India's envoys, Modi to India-bound Japanese youth
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday kicked-off a new initiative on training for Japanese youth started by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) at its various facilities in India, asking them to return to Japan as India's ambassadors.
 
 
OPEC daily basket price closes higher
Vienna, Sep 2 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stood at $100.08 a barrel Monday, compared to $99.99 last Friday, according to the OPEC Secretariat.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Japan cannot counterbalance India's ties with China: Chinese daily
Beijing, Sep 2 (IANS) Contending that China was not interested in "geopolitical competition" and had "plenty of interests" in common with India, a leading Chinese daily known for its sharp views on India Tuesday hit...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Reviving appetite for healthy food possible: Study
New York, Sep 2 (IANS) With measures such as behaviour change education it is possible to reverse the addictive power of unhealthy food while also increasing preference for healthy foods, says a new study. Scientists...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Despite Modi's comments, India-China ties stable: Chinese daily
Beijing, Sep 2 (IANS) Though Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment in Tokyo Monday about there being an 18th century expansionist mindset in the world today has made international media hype as an allusion to...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
No work permit in Saudi Arabia for Ebola-hit country nationals
Riyadh, Sep 2 (IANS) Saudi Arabia has decided to stop issuing work permits to workers from Ebola-hit countries, including Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, an official said Tuesday. The precautionary measure is part...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Return as India's envoys, Modi to India-bound Japanese youth
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday kicked-off a new initiative on training for Japanese youth started by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) at its various facilities in India, asking them to return...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price closes higher
Vienna, Sep 2 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stood at $100.08 a barrel Monday, compared to $99.99 last Friday, according to the OPEC Secretariat. The...
Read more on Business Balla
 
11 killed in China landslides
Beijing, Sep 2 (IANS) At least 11 people were killed and 27 others were missing Tuesday after heavy rains caused landslides in China's Chongqing province. According to officials, about 898,000 people in 16 counties in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
India elect to field against England in 4th ODI
Birmingham, Sep 2 (IANS) India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl against England in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) of the five-match series being played at Edgbaston here Tuesday....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
India, Japan working as strategic partners: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) India and Japan are now working as "special strategic and global" partners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday. "We are now working as special strategic and global partners," Modi told...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Choose low-carb diet for weight loss, better heart
New York, Sep 2 (IANS) A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective for weight loss and reducing cardio-vascular risk factors than a low-fat diet, according to a new study. To compare the effects, researchers randomly...
Read more on Celebrity Balla