5 Values Of Entrepreneurship Parents Can Instill

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The days of the traditional ‘9-5’ have long been numbered and COVID-19 has only accelerated the process. Our everyday reality has been altered and many of us are struggling to re-enter the workforce and to adapt to rapid change.

Based on this bleak forecast, one cannot help but think: “if it’s this difficult to secure stable employment now, what will it be like in 20 years?” Educational expert and entrepreneur, Lisa Illingworth urges parents to consider what the future of work will hold for the next generation, and the best way to prepare children for that reality.

“When I chat to parents about the future of work, they are generally fearful because they don’t know how what skills will need to be instilled to ensure future employment success,” says Illingworth.

This statement  is echoed in a report by the World Economic Forum that notes that “65% of the children entering primary school in 2017 will have jobs that do not yet exist and for which their education will fail to prepare them.” (2017)

Illingworth says that parents need to focus on what they can control, and that is instilling a mindset of cognitive flexibility, complex problem solving, and creativity. These qualities will prepare the next generation better than giving them highly specialized knowledge in a specific subject area. “These skills which form part of the World Economic Forum’s ’10 skills needed to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’(2016) are also the skills needed to succeed as an entrepreneur”.

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Educational expert and entrepreneur, Lisa Illingworth

There are many disruptions in the economic environments such as automation taking the place of jobs, working from home is becoming the standard way of work and with the current pandemic, absenteeism is on the rise. The measure of success and work productivity is becoming more and more output focused and less input focused.

This is the crux of Illingworth’s plea to both educators and parents, that, “as the job market is limited, as young people are flooding an already saturated job market, the next generation of workers should be encouraged to create their own entrepreneurship opportunities instead.”

Why look to entrepreneurship as a solution to an uncertain future?

Winston Churchill put it best – never waste a good crisis. “Entrepreneurs know this better than anyone,” says Illingworth. Their strength lies in their ability to harness the resources around them and to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the crisis.  This is most evident during uncertain periods like COVID-19.

“While most people are still looking for a way to reinstate ‘normal’, entrepreneurs are looking at the world in its current form and saying ‘okay – what opportunities are possible now that the entire world has been interrupted.’”

It’s natural for parents to instinctively try to equip their children to be prepared for every eventuality, to ensure both their emotional and financial stability once they enter the working world. “Parents want to know that their kids will be okay once they no longer have any control over their circumstances and training them to think like entrepreneurs is a good way to guarantee that kind of fortitude,” adds Illingworth.

The 5 values of entrepreneurship parents can instill:
  1. Install an internal locus of control. That’s believing that you have the ability within you to not only go out and find problems but solve them by harnessing available resources.
  2. Opportunity awareness. They need to look at the world as a set of opportunities and not as a set of problems.
  3. Tenacity. Future entrepreneurs need to build up the grit to suffer what might be an uncomfortable situation to achieve a long-term goal.
  4. Delayed gratification. They have to be able to go long periods without receiving rewards and not need immediate validation for that.
  5. Remind them that they are deeply capable. This may be tricky for some parents as it rejects the currently fashionable style of “helicopter parenting”  and rather encourages parents to guide the child to go and find the tools to be able to solve problems and to be able to grow themselves giving through learning as opposed to parents providing the answers.

The above is not to say that the future of employment is all doom and gloom. “Through this process, we are cultivating a new generation of entrepreneurs that are going to have a long track record of learning business lessons and solving problems way before they have to enter the world and generate an income.”

A mindset of entrepreneurship may result in children growing up to become more community-minded, which has positive implications for society in general. “The hope is that by following these guidelines we’re nurturing a generation of entrepreneurs that are firmly set out to literally save the world through the problems that they can see and the opportunities that they can create”, concludes Illingworth.

Please visit FutureProofSA.com for more information.