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Raising Entrepreneurs, Raising Leaders

by Kelly Crawford

Raising Leaders Raising EntrepreneursWe have been carefully defining “education” and implementing a “life-learning” educational paradigm for a while now.  This year, we’re kicking it up a notch.

Besides our basic 3 R’s, fundamental to any life pursuit, we are studying entrepreneurship as our focal subject.  Using a combination of inspiration (reading stories of other young entrepreneurs, casting a vision for the concept of entrepreneurship, etc.) and instruction, each child will develop his own business (the younger ones will help the older ones), implementing what we are learning as we go.

(Our son began his own business last year, and though he’s already making money from it–he’s got a knack for portrait sketching–we haven’t utilized the opportunity as we should to teach him all the mechanics of a working business. That is changing.)

Regardless of what our children grow up to pursue, the skills and knowledge to be gained from studying and establishing a business are priceless.

In simplified terms, I think of entrepreneurship as simply the ability to see lemonade when I look at lemons.  Giving our children the vision and skill sets to see opportunities and to embrace the challenges of life with optimism is an invaluable part of their education–a crucial life skill many young people are missing.

Are entrepreneurs born or made?  Perhaps both. But I can’t help but think we need to be more vigilant about showing our children the advantages and power of being self-made leaders, showing them that families can thrive working together, showing them that there are other options besides “assembly line education” that often just leaves college graduates thousands of dollars in debt with a job that sucks the life out of them.

Kerry Beck has some thought-provoking things to say:

“The first place to start in raising your students into leadership is to change your own education paradigm….Most of us grew up in a public or private school, which can be likened to a factory. All the students come to the factory or the school. They start in kindergarten and move on to first grade, down the conveyor belt. At each stage of the conveyor belt (or grade level), the student learns the exact same information as everyone else. The students are told what to think.”

“Leadership education ultimately involves the family as a whole. Initially, it takes much effort from a parent because you must be involved in learning and growing yourself. You cannot hand over some workbooks and say, “go for it.” Workbooks merely teach your children what to think, not how to think.”

-Kerry Beck

From Curriculum Connection

Kerry Beck is a homeschool mom and wife! She is the author of Raising Leaders, Not Followers, which encourages parents to train their children to be leaders who lead wisely. She would like to give you a free report about Leadership Education in Homeschool Curriculum

Think Outside the Classroom

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Diane April 25, 2011 - 9:51 am

You know, I was actually raised to be anti-entrepreneurial, if there is such a thing. I was raised that to try and make money off of one’s actions and ideas was… I don’t know… sort of crass. Now I don’t believe that to be true anymore, but I still struggle in encouraging my children to become entrepreneurs. Thinking of it in terms of training them to be leaders rather than encouraging them to merely make money is really a wonderful way of looking at this whole thing for me! I love the idea of encouraging leadership skills in my kiddos..
Thanks for the fresh perspective, Kelly☺

Carolina Jackson April 25, 2011 - 10:39 am

My husband is off mondays and works saturdays instead. Today is monday. A friend from church is here helping to put drywall in several places. my boys are looking. a part of me says: they should be doing something academic. Another part of me says: no, it is great what he is learning. a school boy would be missing this oportunity.
i still need to think out of the box a little.
my grandfather was an entrepreneur, but the company was sold some years ago. apart from that, nobody else in my family has that mentality. in fact, mamy many are public employees. so, i do not know if i would be able to teach my children this kind of stuff. i have been a freelance editor and traslator for some years. I guess the important thing is to help our children to discover what they are good at, and then try to see what they can do with that.
But i am the first who has to learn all these things.
What resources can you recomend, Kelly?

Word Warrior April 25, 2011 - 12:17 pm

Here are a couple of great websites:

http://generationswithvision.com/Articles –Search for “entrepreneurs”…Kevin has lots of vision in this area

And here is a very inspirational video…I *think* I remember one curse word, or maybe it was just crass?? Anyway, there’s the warning 😉


I Live in an Antbed April 25, 2011 - 12:05 pm

I agree–it is so helpful for children to understand these principles. Our oldest, the only one who has married and left home so far, has a photography business that she started while still in high school. It offers her the flexibility to work from her home, around her husband’s schedule, and can easily be placed on hold now as she is about ready to give birth to our first grandchild.

Kim from Canada April 25, 2011 - 12:18 pm

A very good topic! My husband and I are researching this for our kids, too – we simply were not raised with this thought process…so we are learning as we go. My daughter is already working with a senior for odd jobs, but I would like to see her branch out a little and try new ways to make money for herself.

I hope this is the first of many more posts. Your previous posts on entreprenuerial ideas have been helpful.

Word Warrior April 25, 2011 - 1:48 pm

For super-inspiring stories, check out “Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs”.

AbbysMom April 25, 2011 - 6:25 pm


If you are a free-lance editor and translator, you own your own business, right? In my book, that makes you an entrepreneur, although at a much smaller scale than the young men and women featured on the “Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs” website.

IMHO, you have skills in marketing, meeting deadlines, putting out a quality product for the money you and your client(s) have agreed on, pricing, handling your taxes, etc.

Those are all things you could teach to your children if anyone of them decide to becoming young entrepreneurs.

Janice April 26, 2011 - 12:00 am

Hi Kelly, I think that’s your name. lol I don’t come here often but I try to! 🙂
This article reminds me what my mentor told me last week. There is a total of 7 pillars, education, economy, media, business, etc.. that we as Christians need to INFILTRATE. We need to take ownership and rise up to be leaders so that God can use us.

So this article really makes sense as to what she told me. I will be taking knitting and sewing class and hopefully build a business from there as stay home mom. I am going to rise up and allow God to use me. 🙂

Lori April 26, 2011 - 10:08 am

I like the way you think, ma’am! 🙂

Janice April 26, 2011 - 3:55 pm

Thank you. Just trying to be cool and fit in. haha 😀 XOXO

Jennifer April 26, 2011 - 4:48 pm

Are either of these ladies’ books available in regular format?

Blair April 27, 2011 - 5:46 am

Dani Johnson has a decent book out about this too. It’s called Grooming the Next Generation for Success. (I think.)

Crissy Alsbrook July 25, 2012 - 1:05 pm

Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your weblog. You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

Raising Entrepreneurs: Kids Starting Businesses | April 9, 2014 - 7:53 am

[…] If you’re interested in raising entrepreneurs, you may enjoy Raising Entrepreneurs, Raising Leaders. […]


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