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Four Simple Steps to Encourage Entrepreneurship

Normalize Entrepreneurship, Pt. 2

I'm passionate about entrepreneurship and its ability to positively impact our lives and communities. Unfortunately, I don't think I even heard the word "entrepreneur" until I was well into my 20s. Last week I wrote about my own path and all of its twists and turns. You can read that here: It's Time to Normalize Entrepreneurship.

Today I'm following up with tangible, real world action we can take to promote entrepreneurship in our schools, communities, and each other.

For kids in elementary school or younger:

Instead of, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Ask, “What is your favorite thing to do?” Then provide more opportunities for them to do that activity. That’s it. No third grader needs the pressure of deciding their career.

For Jr. High / High School Students:

“What {product, service, or opportunity} do you wish was available to you? Either in your local community or the world at large?” Often this answer will coincide with their passions and talents. This step identifies the “problem” entrepreneurship can solve.

Follow up with, “How can you contribute to creating that {product, service, or opportunity}?” Creative thinking leads to the “solution”.

Create courses, and classes to fully explore and research the solution as a business opportunity. This builds the framework of a business plan.

Optional: If the business idea is feasible, and the student(s) are interested in bringing it to life, provide opportunities for them to partner with the local community, seek investors if needed, and implement their action plan.

For college students:

Instead of, “What do you want to major in? What kind of company do you want to work for when you graduate?”

Say, “Here are some of the careers that may be a good fit for your interests and talents. But it’s ok if you’re not sure what you want to do. It’s ok if none of these work for you. There is always the option to build your own business or path.” Take them back through the steps listed above in the junior high / high school section.

For your best friend…

... who just haltingly told you her dream to open her own accounting firm:

Instead of: “I have no idea where you would even start. Sounds like a lot of work.”

Ask for details: Tell me more about that? What does your dream day look like after opening your own firm? What do you already have in place to get started? Do you want to work on your own, or would you rather have a team or partner? Do you want to work from home or have an office outside of the house? Are there any obstacles in the way right now? What are some ways around or through those?

PS, if the “friend” is you, these are the same questions you can work through to get started on your own path.

There's more...

I have so much more to say and so many resources to share with you about this topic! Including tips for small business success in rural communities, and how to start, grow and market your small business dreams. Click here to join the email list so you don't miss a moment:

Cheers friends, and here's to chasing those small business big dreams!


Hey yo!

I'm Kelly. I'm a speaker, author, business coach and serial entrepreneur. I live in rural Iowa with my husband, three kiddos, and two dogs. I'm so glad you're here!

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