How to raise an entrepreneur

Children in an office
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Teach your child how to be money smart from an early age and he or she could become the next Elon Musk.

South African born billionaire Elon Musk is one of the most successful businessmen in the world, but he is not the only entrepreneur in his family.

His mother Maye also raised two other entrepreneurial children, his siblings Kimbal and Tosca. Both run their own successful businesses and their mother played a big role in helping shape who they have become.

Maye, a dietician and nutritionist, learned to become money smart from a young age – a lesson she passed onto her children.

Speaking to The Economist’s 1843 magazine earlier this year, the 69-year-old model says her family environment as a child helped spark her interest in nutrition.

She also worked as a receptionist at her father’s chiropractic clinic. Her kids would one day do the same when Maye started a private dietician practice from her home.

Here are a few lessons you can learn from Maye about raising entrepreneurs:

Teach them the importance of hard work

Tosca told 1843 magazine that helping their mother with her home business helped them understand the value of working hard. “It really helped us to get a sense of independence as well as understand work ethics.” You don’t need to have your own business to teach your children how to work hard. You can make them do chores for a weekly allowance or get them to start their own little business from home doing something that genuinely interests them.

Allow them to be independent

Parents often fuss over every little thing their children do and watch their every move like a hawk, but Maye did the opposite.

“She wasn’t, like, watching me. I was off making explosives and reading books and building rockets and doing things that could have gotten me killed,” Elon told Rolling Stone magazine in 2017. Minus the explosives, allowing your child to explore the world around them on their own is a good way for them to learn important life lessons.

Lead by example

Children often see their parents as their role models. If they see you working hard to live life a certain way, they will learn to do the same. Watching Maye run a business and providing for her family had a big impact on her children.

“They grow up knowing you work hard, and the harder you work, the better you do and the luckier you get,” Maye told Vanity Fair in a 2015 interview.

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