Episode 67: Raising Luminaries: So Your Kid Wants to Start a Business?

February 24, 2022


As entrepreneurs, we can be well-meaning in our guidance and our little shoves when we see potential in our kids, but we can ultimately do more harm than good in their first experience in the entrepreneurial world, if we’re not intentional and understanding of the ways to do it, and the things to avoid.

So, your kid wants to start a business? Let’s talk about how you can help them.

There’s just something about that young entrepreneur that’s so refreshing and today, I’m going to cover some important clarifying questions to get clear on both your kids intentions, goals and outcomes and help you navigate the conversations.

Let’s raise them up right!


[2:22] Your Kids Are Gifted to You

Kids are coming up with ideas often. As they grow and develop, you’re seeing what lights them up and what they’re naturally great at. 

Today’s conversation is going to help you clarify what to get clear on first and how to support them if they want to start a business. Often these early experiences shape who we ultimately become, and they become part of our story. It’s the same for your kids. These kids are gifted to you and you are uniquely qualified to lead them and give them what they need.

[4:44] Passion vs Profit

The first thing you need to know is that they need to be passionate about what they do versus where they can make money. 

If you focus solely on the ideas that you think could be successful or profitable, but you don’t actually want to do it, you’re eventually going to burn out. While I’m all for encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit and supporting them in business and being smart about it, I also want to start this conversation by making the point that it’s so important that we don’t steal their passion by trying to monetize something and set them up for a future profession. 

If you need help identifying those sparks and those interests in your child, and guidance to help them nurture those things, we have a tool. It’s a free workbook to support you in working with your child and helping them figure out those things. So, head on over to https://luminaryleadershipco.com/spark/ to download this free workbook.

[6:30] Celebrate the Lessons

The second thing to keep in mind is that we can’t have the success of the idea or business be what is celebrated. 

Ultimately, these business ventures aren’t really about making money in this stage of the game. Instead, it’s the value that comes from the lessons and experiences they will gain in the process. So, be really careful about how you praise your child as they pursue it. 

[7:20] Skills and Character 

The third thing is to ask yourself if this idea to start a specific business will build the skills and character in your child that will benefit them in the future. 

Ask yourself how you can be really intentional about the projects or the businesses they might want to start that are going to give them the new skills and strengthen a character trait that is something that either your family values, or is something that you’ve identified as a gifting and want to be intentional about cultivating that area for them and with them. 

[7:52] The Beginning Stage

Let’s talk about some of the conversations to have with your child in the beginning stages of them getting a business off the ground:

  • Tell your own personal story of how you got  into the world of entrepreneurship. I believe in teaching through storytelling and if your child is interested in entrepreneurship, it’s important they understand the legacy of their family. You are an entrepreneur; as a family, you’re a founder family. This will help give insight into why they are how they are.
  • What is the motivation behind the business? Ask them to explain what they are most excited about and their vision. I have an entire episode around vision casting with your kids. It’s Episode 53, so check that out if you want a little inspiration. 
  • What makes a strong business idea? Have a conversation around these concepts and use your own thoughts and opinions here, or what you’ve witnessed. Help them see how a strong business idea in conjunction with their gifting and passion that fills a need in the world or solves a problem or serves someone could be a really powerful place to start.
  • The illusion of overnight success. This conversation is so important especially today when our kids see all of these YouTube sensations and seemingly instant success in music, entertainment and sports.
  • What does it look like to stick to it? This doesn’t mean that they can’t pivot or evolve or change their minds or see new potential. But just because it gets hard, they’re not going to walk away from it. Maybe after having the four previously mentioned discussions, you’ll decide taking action on the business isn’t the route that they want to take. The important thing is to have a discussion around the commitment – how they’re going to measure it, how they assess it, how they evaluate that business or the growth that they’re seeing.

[10:44] Lessons to Teach

Now let’s talk about the actual steps to getting your child started if they decide to go the route of starting the business. 

Here are some lessons to teach and guide them in the process:

  • Outlining the base. Create a business plan with your kid, align those basics. There are so many templates online and you can simplify one for the specific idea your child might have. Help them experience that process of mapping and planning out and thinking ahead.
  • Competitive research. Teach them how to do some market research. Research that industry; what role models are there, what other people are doing, examples of someone doing well, how can they do things differently and offer a unique selling proposition, etc.
  • Talk about the basic business skills needed. Accounting, keeping track of the money that’s coming in, keeping track of expenses, what they want to do with their profit, how are they going to collect the money, how are they going to find people who are interested in their services and how are they going to reach them, do they need a team, etc.

[12:54] Projects for Beginners 

Here are some ideas for entrepreneurial projects for beginner businesses if your child wants to start a business but isn’t really sure what:

  • Try to find creative ways to bring them into the fold of your business instead of starting their own. What skills could they learn that would set them up for future business, what could you work on together, how can they develop and learn the ins and outs of what it looks like to run a business.
  • I had Caitlyn from my team on the podcast (Episode 58) and she told the story about her daughter’s passion project and a T-shirt fundraiser. It was a two week time period and if you want to do something similar the parameters of the project were: (1) learn a new skill that interests you (2) it has to be something that will benefit someone else in some way.
  • Some other inspiration for beginner business ideas from a simplicity perspective: dog walking, shoveling snow or mowing the lawn, selling artwork or jewelry making.  

[14:30] Camp Luminary and Other Resources 

Here are some other resources to help you foster that entrepreneurial spirit in your child:

  • This one has the greatest value and it’s our Camp Luminary. It’s the first it’s kind! We are bringing together founder families so that they can come out with their common mission and vision. Here kids are going to learn how to develop businesses of their own, have their own Shark Tank style opportunities to pitch their business and get some funding, to be coached by our guest speakers who are going to come in and absolutely blow their minds. All this while the adult entrepreneurs are also being supported in growing and scaling their business so that they can have a freedom based business and really be present and pour into their families. This is a camp for entrepreneurs and their children, the leaders that they’re raising, to come together and change the course of their future for generations. To join our waitlist, visit https://luminaryleadershipco.com/camp-luminary/  and give our Episode 63 a listen for more details. 
  • Entrepreneurial minded entertainment and invention series: shows like Shark Tank and How I Built This
  • Books: Kids Story: 50 Children and Young People Who Shook Up the World, How I Built This

If today’s episode spoke to you, don’t forget to hit subscribe/follow on your favorite podcast player and rate and review the show. Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke and don’t forget to get on our Camp Luminary Waitlist at  https://luminaryleadershipco.com/camp-luminary. And if there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show or an idea you have for us, just reach out and share that.

We do this for you so the more you tell us the more we can serve!


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