Children of entrepreneurs may become entrepreneurs themselves. They watch their parents' growing business and inherently understand that a different path is possible.
My journey to entrepreneurship started because of my son. After he was born, I was no longer satisfied with working long, hard hours away from my family in a role that didn't always align with my personal values.
It quickly became apparent what limited options are available for working parents, especially mothers. I turned to entrepreneurship because I wanted more purpose and flexibility. As a result, my husband and I built Tote + Pears, a female-focused branding and marketing agency that helps businesses and brands connect more meaningfully with women. We also founded MORE, a space for working parents to advance their careers and spend time with their families.
My son has grown up alongside our growing businesses, watching us carve out space for ourselves and our family. At 5 years old, he is confident he can do the same.
If you're looking for ways to involve your children in your growing business, chances are, they've already picked up a thing or two. It's up to you to engage them; the following tips may help.
1. Share what you're doing.
Entrepreneurship is a form of education. You pick up wisdom as you go, constantly implementing changes to make your product or service better.
If you want your children working in the family business, start teaching early. A more traditional parenting model may separate professional and personal life, but for entrepreneurs, the lines are blurred, and often intentionally so.
Share what you are doing while you grow your business so they can learn. Take time to talk about your projects with your kids. Create an environment where you bounce ideas off of each other at the dinner table or while driving to school. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much your experiences inspire them to get involved.
2. Include them in the process.
In my family, we set quarterly personal and professional goals and then sit down for check-ins along the way. These are our board meetings—every family member is included. We have a growing business, a growing marriage and a growing child to tend to, each with different-but-connected needs, so everyone's voice is valuable.
When it came time to decide on schooling for our son, we approached the topic in the same fashion. We chose a homeschooling cooperative because he learns best in creative environments and we want to keep him close. Like entrepreneurship, this option allows us to create a space where he can be his best self and in turn, he feels involved in the process.
At the ripe age of 5, one of his first initiatives was to launch a car-washing service. In order to support his growing business, he used the same tools he's grown up watching us use to develop his business plan, marketing materials and website.
Including your children in the process helps them understand the ins and outs of your growing business, and makes entrepreneurship approachable.
3. Hire them.
There are all kinds of incentives for hiring your children in your business, but, most importantly, doing so can help sharpen their skills.
Bring them onboard to take ownership of a piece of the business that appeals to them, such as managing social media accounts, taking part in a marketing campaign or learning administrative duties.
Involving your children in your growing business—letting them see that spark that grows into a product, service or experience—can become an invaluable part of their upbringing.
Employing a child in the family business can help them with accountability, give them real-world experience to put on their resume and can be an integral part of their financial education. Receiving a steady paycheck gives them the freedom to take on their own personal expenses and learn to invest.
Money management is a critical part of life, especially as an entrepreneur. Why not give them a head start by hiring your children to be a part of your growing business?
4. Bring them along.
If you're not ready to hire your children yet, you can always bring them along to business events. Sometimes the best way to get children engaged with your growing business is for them to see your projects come to life, first hand.
At MORE, we host family-friendly business events and help organizations build family-friendly work spaces and environments. At MORE's networking events and retreats, our son is often in attendance. While we are socializing and building our brand, he is playing at the heels of colleagues and friends, soaking in the atmosphere for himself.
Involving your children in your growing business—letting them see that spark that grows into a product, service or experience—can become an invaluable part of their upbringing. Doing so will hopefully give them the confidence and the tools they need to build the spaces they want for themselves as they grow.
Read more articles on work-life balance.
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