How to Raise an Entrepreneur

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My daughter started a nonprofit last weekend. Okay, it’s not a real nonprofit, but through the context of play she’s working out how someone can start a nonprofit that makes an impact on the world. It’s not my story to tell, so I’ll skip the detailed description, but it started with a “save the penguins from global warming” campaign and seems to grow each day. I’m told a walk to raise funds for the penguins will take place this weekend.

It started with a simple idea. She did this on her own time so I’m not sure exactly how it started, but I do know that playing with a stuffed penguin in her room sparked the idea for the nonprofit and she’s been tinkering with it ever since.

Will she actually start a nonprofit someday? Maybe. Maybe not. At nine, it’s too soon to tell.

She does, however, spend a lot of time lost in play, and that playtime leads to thoughts about the world around her and how she can make her mark.

I recently had a parent ask me how to motivate her child to be a “doer”. Evidently the child is full of amazing ideas but doesn’t have much follow through. A few quick questions revealed the problem: The child has very little free time to think and play with ideas. If you want to be the genius behind the next Facebook, you need time to think.

How do you raise a kid with an entrepreneurial spirit? Truthfully, it depends on the kid. You can start by following these steps:

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How to Raise an Entrepreneur

Katie Hurley, LCSW is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and writer in Los Angeles, CA. She is the author of "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" and "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World". She earned her BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She divides her time between her family, her private practice and her writing. Passionate about he ... More

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