Nurse, Teacher, Fireman
Those are all noble professions and we don’t want to take anything from them. However, they are also typical answers to the age-old question that we ask kids: What do you want to be when you grow up? When talking to kids about what they want to be, the direction points directly to the type of job they want to have as in being an employee, but who is talking to kids about other opportunities such as entrepreneurship? The only thing they know is that someday they want a job. Even my 8-year-old grandson wants to know if he could get a job. Of course, he can’t get a job, but there are things he can do to earn money on his own terms and enjoy it while doing so.
How Do We Change the Conversation?
For starters when we ask that age-old question: What do you want to be when you grow up? we don’t let the inquisition end with their responses. There are more questions to be asked. There are more lessons to be taught. This is our opportunity to start talking to kids such things as:
- Career opportunities including entrepreneurship
- Money: how it’s earned, how it grows, spending, savings, how to count money
- Creating opportunities for themselves
- Mentoring and mentorship programs
Not only do we have to talk to kids about these things, we have to be examples and expose them to good examples. The Metro Birmingham Children’s Business Fair is just one example of how we can expose them to the concept of entrepreneurship in a very concrete way.
They have to put in the work by
- Starting a business
- Determine what their product or service will be
- Develop a plan
- Market and advertise
- Create inventory or a menu of services
- Sell to the public.