Thoughts on family entrepreneurship

Thoughts on family entrepreneurship

Renee EllisonJan 1, '20

Entrepreneurialism is what founded our country, and it is currently yielding better and faster results for the young than most college degrees.  It is beneficial for homeschoolers to train their young thoroughly and ongoingly in the dynamics of entrepreneurial endeavor.

Here are some balancing statements regarding family entrepreneurship:

Sometimes hearing a talk or reading a book on this topic can cause us to make work assumptions and take daring risks that go beyond the implications of the talk or the book, which were designed to first and foremost inspire, or to get us to think outside the box, but skips over some "in-the trenches reality" fall-out.  In other words, it may tempt us to lay hold of implications that simply are not true in our particular case, and which go beyond what the work actually is and what it will yield.

All work involves a high measure of tedium; no work exists anywhere without that.  There will be some hours in all types of work, whether it is for an outside boss or you are your own boss, that will demand sheer grit endurance.  One could conclude from a short inspirational talk that one route is horrible and the alternative route is totally pain free or slave-free, which is not true.

Anyone who makes it in any business endeavor has worked like a slave to get there—even MLM’ers.  The ones that make it big, worked.  Their growing income didn't fall off trees.  It cost them something.  They lived, slept, ate and drank their MLM business endeavor, and worked far in excess of normal business hours.

Sometimes inspirational talks can avoid discussions about obstacles.  For example, the current red tape that small businesses are under is far more difficult to navigate than what small businesses in the past had to deal with.  For example, the minute you hire anyone, you have to consider the fiscal and financial toll of computing worker's compensation, Obamacare expenses and reporting paperwork.  It can turn into a nightmare quickly.  To hire any contract worker socks the upstart company with heavy taxes, which are may be out of all proportion to what the business entrepreneur can recoup in the initial years.  Currently business governmental red-tape is a formula for failure, for not being able to make it.  It is business sludge.  The political leaders of the State of Israel had to change their tax structure and business laws in order to jump start their country decades ago.  Currently we are governmentally in a business law jungle; the noose has tightened.

Also consider the anxiety levels of self-employment.  To be an entrepreneur means you wake up every morning unemployed, and that can cause high levels of stress.  One never knows if the personal business one thinks will work, will actually succeed, given the current climate, especially if no one else has tried your particular new idea.

Having listed these cautions and considerations, here are eight good resolutions:

One:  To lower your stress levels, grow your entrepreneurial endeavors on your side hours, over lunch breaks, evening hours and weekends, until they can sustain you financially—before you even think of quitting your 8 to 5 SURE job.

Two:  Tighten the use of all your stray hours.  To grow an alternative plan, you must continually ask yourself the question: "Is this the best possible use of this hour to advance me financially?"  As a parent of a budding entrepreneur, it is most important to teach this single paramount principle to adolescents.  Every hour lost in youth is irretrievable.  Ben Franklin is a great example of getting serious about finances early in life.

Three:  Get into other people's seasonal or short-term income streams.  Whenever money is flowing, get in the boat and paddle in that water.  Then come back to your own dreams when nothing else is happening—making use of private hours in the deep, cold winter months, for example.  We watched our very fiscally wise neighbor do this.  He always worked for someone else whenever he was asked, and then did his own projects when nothing else presented itself.  Thus, he grew both kingdoms at once.  Money earned little by little is what makes a solid future, not "waiting ‘til my ship comes in!"

Four:  Begin with what you already have.  Examine and take inventory of the endless possibilities of your own land, your house, your car, your specific resources, your buildings, public buildings, other businesses, your aptitudes, your knowledge, your talents, people you know, current business relationships, apprenticeship possibilities close to home, and free online training.  Many of the most successful entrepreneurs have logged in many hours in online education—three-day workshops in various subjects, etc—take advantage of the training opportunities and finding ways to “plus” their business more.

Five:  Take your expenses out of a child's upstart small business endeavors; he or she must reimburse you for the plastic cups for a lemonade stand, for example.  This teaches the children that they never get the whole dollar; they have to learn to factor that in from the get-go.

Six:  Don't put all your eggs in one basket.  Ecclesiastes 11:1 says: "Toss your bread on the waters” —morning, noon and night—for who knows which one will succeed.  Multiple income streams assure MORE success.

Seven:  Steer clear of MLM's, they place too much stress on friendships because they are loaded with expectations for the other guy (over which you have almost no control, after your initial influence.

Eight:  Use your few rare high energy free hours to plan for your low energy hours.  In other words, learn how to limp when wounded.  Develop the personal discipline to keep going doing something that involves brawn but no brain to keep advancing your own little world in the directions you want it to go, using small moments wisely.  It is important that parents teach their young how to marshal stray hours to build their own fortresses.  That gives them focus and ammunition against the temptation to fritter away their time in ways that don't further their own long-term goals.  A productive child is a happy child.

For further reading along these lines, read Sure Financial Steps for Beginners.

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