On the Huffingpost -Canada site, an blog was posted about the values that entrepreneurship teaches young children (Values Eship teaches young children). The short article makes some solid points but in my very humble opinion misses one key component that I also see in many of today’s entrepreneurs from many backgrounds. That point is – the process of making a profit for the venture (assuming it’s a for-profit venture).
The profit-loss aspect of entrepreneurship is critical to the concept of starting a venture and hopefully sustaining it and growing it for the long-term. It’s the ultimate way score is kept by business people and is a major driving force as to how you will allocate resources in your business as the founder/CEO. Trying to decide whether to hire employees, lease new office space, spend money on new equipment, etc. are all decisions that have to be weighed against the long-term financial goal of earning and growing profits.
Why can this be a valuable value for kids to learn? First, it shows kids that math is important – not just how to add/subtract/divide/multiply but to understand what is the driving force(s) behind profit making. Second, and so important, is that it shows that with any decision, there are many benefits and costs to the venture that can be measured. This shows young kids a very important axiom in economics – unlimited wants, limited resources – that not all things can be done. This experience can have a direct impact on developing self-discipline for people of all ages (something always discussed as a key part of leadership development, i.e., the marshmallow test).
I’m not sure why people are fearful of discussing the importance of profit and loss in businesses. It’s not the only factor but an important one that can provide a great learning tool for folks of all ages.