I was very fortunate to have both of my parents as entrepreneurial role models as I was growing up. Both my mom and dad owned their own businesses at one time during my life and through growing up on a farm and raising steers for 4-H I learned that you can earn money to help pay for things (such as college) here are 5 things that I learned about entrepreneurship from my parents.
- Entrepreneurship is about doing what you love. My dad owned a HVAC business – he took what his work experience and went out on his own. He was able to do what he loved, the way he wanted to do it. I remember when he named his business ABF heating and air conditioning. He wanted it to start with A so it would be listed first in the yellow pages (that was before the internet). ABF stood for Accurate Best Fast – which was his motto for the business. My mom owned her own antique business and ran it from one of the out-buildings on our farm. She had a passion for antiques and collectibles and was very gifted at refinishing antiques. She was also able to do what she loved, the way she wanted to do it with the hours that she chose to work.
- Entrepreneurship is about freedom. Not only did my parents have the freedom to choose how they want to complete the work, they had the freedom to choose their own schedules. This allowed our family to go on some exciting camping trips and short skiing vacations in the winter (the hardest thing was getting the school to agree to let us go). They also gave me the freedom to explore entrepreneurship through penny carnivals, lemonade stands, garage sales, craft sales and my plant business (read the e-seedling story on eseedling.com).
- Entrepreneurship is about hard work. Don’t get me wrong about the entrepreneur and freedom thing, which is a great benefit of entrepreneurship, but it is definitely about working hard. It takes a lot of hard work to make a business successful and may be some of the hardest work you will ever do but the rewards are well worth it. Waking up in the middle of winter to go out and feed the steers and other animals before school and in the evening was hard work but it helped pay for our college education.
- Entrepreneurship is about solving problems. My dad’s ABF HVAC business helped others stay warm and cool when they needed it. My mom’s business helped others purchase completely refinished antiques for their home. Customers buy solutions so it’s important to know what problem you are solving. At E-seedling we make it easy to implement youth entrepreneurship education.
- Entrepreneurship is about taking responsibility. Owning a business means the “buck stops here” – there is not one thing that I can think of that will teach more about responsibility than owning your own business. You are responsible for not only your pay check but also any employees that you have working for you. You are also responsible customer satisfaction, government compliance, and any issues regarding your business.
I’m sure that if I thought about it more, I could come up with a long list of the things I have learned along the way from my parents and am definitely learning a lot more these days running my e-seedling business. I hope I can instill that entrepreneurial mindset into my two sons! If you would like more information on youth entrepreneurship education – visit: eseedling.com.