I was sitting in my home office amidst scattered piles of notes, printouts and books as I attempted to tackle the marketing plans for my two new start-up coaching and consulting firms. I was drowning in to-dos. After leaving my C-suite role in another firm, I started to feel discouraged as I struggled to building my social media followers and email list. It felt impossible to find the time and energy to write my posts and articles while uncovering new ways to reach coaching clients.
I had just ended a pro-bono Zoom call with a potential client. She needed direction and support as she pivoted away from her previous role (a casualty of the pandemic) and considered entrepreneurship. As I processed our conversation and hoped I had said all of the right things, my teenage daughter popped her head in. She said, “You’re already coaching a client! That’s so awesome. I am so proud of you, mom. I don’t tell you that enough.” In that one instance, my daughter became the officemate that I didn’t know I needed.
The hidden entrepreneurial potential of your children
As we launch and grow businesses, we are often resource-restricted and challenged by the amount of work to be done and our self-doubt. On a deeper level, we are stymied by impostor syndrome that prevents us from moving forward. So why become an entrepreneur? Because it’s also incredibly satisfying to build something yourself.
Beyond that, you have an opportunity to involve your kids in your business. You can become a role model for leadership, work ethic, determination, creativity and business smarts. As many adults are still working from home (perhaps permanently), our children have a front-row seat to real-world education through seeing their parents’ careers in action.
While each business venture is unique and has different needs, below are five ways in which you can involve your children in your entrepreneurial journey to benefit both you and your child.
5 ways to involve your kids in your business
Let’s face it. Our kids are more proficient with technology and social media than we will likely ever be. Older children can help with designing, drafting and scheduling social media posts. They may even be able to respond to comments and interact with other profiles on your behalf. Younger children can take photos of you or your products to contribute to those posts. If they’re skilled in filters or photo editing, they may be able to handle that task. (I often text pictures to my daughter and ask her to use her wizardry before posting to Instagram.)
There is endless data entry to be done when running a business. Whether it’s entering transactions into financial software and spreadsheets or creating lists of inventory and customers, there’s always something to do. School-age children can support these tasks because they are typically straightforward and simple to understand. Don’t underestimate your fourth-graders ability to update Quickbooks. (Trust me. They are often more capable than we realize!)
While it may seem like marketing and branding should be left to professionals with corporate and graphic design experience, there are so many tools to help you DIY when you are just starting. On top of that, our kids often learn to use these tools in school. For example, I use Canva to design my logos, stationery, reports and social media posts. Guess what my daughter is using in high school in her freshman business and marketing class? Canva. Guess who can now help me with design? My daughter.
This is one area that our younger offspring can tackle with gusto. Kids can follow simple directions to help with tasks that keep you on top of your priorities. They may be able to organize office supplies and files on your desk or even shred papers (if you’re comfortable with your child’s ability to be safe with this equipment). Speaking from experience, teach an elementary schooler how to use a label maker, laminator or 3-hole punch, and you will have a helper for life!
This one may sound like a stretch, but many kids are learning basic (and even advanced) computer skills in school. If not, they can likely figure out software like WordPress and related plug-ins as quickly as you can. They’ve had devices and applications in their hands for most of their young lives. Whether it’s minor updates or complete webpage buildouts, ask your mini-mentee about their skills and interest in this area. This one, in particular, is great material for college applications and resumes!
In addition to shouldering some of your to-do list, don’t underestimate the experience and exposure that your child will gain from being involved in your business. One task every now and again allows them to develop a new understanding of what it is like to work for someone, be a part of a business, see entrepreneurship first-hand and develop self-pride with their newfound adulting skills. While they blossom, you will get just a bit more space to tackle the more strategic and core functions that only you can do, tame your inner impostor and grow yourself and your business with confidence.
About Brandi Keiser
Brandi Keiser is an accomplished business consultant and two-time start-up COO and CEO, small business and entrepreneurial expert, executive coach, writer, wife and mother. She supports high-performance individuals and organizations to help them overcome the challenges that come with transitions and growth to achieve a more fulfilling future. Described as an emotionally intelligent leader and authentic, thoughtful motivator, she is passionate about helping others to ‘rise again’ in fierce pursuit of their goals.
Keiser has a B.S. in Business and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as certificates in Executive Leadership and High-Performance Leadership from Cornell University. In addition, she’s a Master Certified Life Coach (MCLC), Certified Talent Optimization Specialist, and Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE).