How to Raise a Kid to Succeed

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I recently listened to a woman tell me how her 10-year-old son wanted to start a business last year. She told me how her bright son came to her with a great idea for a business and had asked her for $50 to start it, which she happily gave to him in support of his budding entrepreneurial endeavors. Her son, who was standing next to us, was quiet and never uttered a word to show how he took that leap into something grand.

This young boy's mother then went on to tell me that he never really did anything with his business and never quite got it off the ground despite her having given him the money and early encouragement to explore the opportunities before him. She herself was self-employed, and I asked her if she had given him the tools and knowledge to guide him along the way. She replied that she had not and so I asked her, "If you were entering the world of entrepreneurship without having any knowledge or skill sets of how the marketplace worked, would you know what to do? How would expect your 10-year-old son to know?"

We have great intentions when we try to help our children learn important lessons and life skills, but when we do it without giving them the proper tools to be successful, we inadvertently and unknowingly set them up to fail.

Kids don't have a true sense of failure like adults do. They only know what failure means once we tell them they have failed. Kids look at the world with open eyes. They don't see barriers, but solutions to problems. The young boy gained a sense of failure because his mother told him he wasted her money on his idea and the mother failed her son by not giving him the proper tools to get his business off the ground. It's akin to giving a kid a bicycle without its wheels and telling him to ride.

Running a business at any age involves learning and honing vital skill sets. Kids make great business owners and they should be encouraged to seek out opportunities. To set them up to succeed, not just now but in the future, provide them with the tools they need to do it right from the start.

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Occupation: Entrepreneur
Melissa Rose grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. She started her first business, a marketing company, while still in college at the age of 20, and spent the next 20 years self-employed. In 2008, Melissa took her formal and informal business training and experience wrote a workbook for her 12-year-old daughter so that she could learn about entrepreneurship. Her daughter’s business, Plants, Paws and Pacifiers just survived its first year and she recently started a second business. Melissa is the Founder and President of Boxx Productions, a company that produces an interactive, independent, educational tool called, Biz In A Boxx, which gives kids ages 7 to 18 hands-on experience in starting and running their own business. She is driven by the knowledge that there are vital skills sets to be learned from entrepreneurship and that every America child deserves to have a brighter, productive future.

Melissa received her BA in Journalism from the University of Arizona in 1991 and her MBA in 2003.

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