Tuesday, February 23, 2016

4 Ways To Build Up Your Siblings

Courtesy of Faithwalk Photography
When I was eight years old I decided to try selling drawings. With blissful ignorance, I was certain my handcrafted cows, dogs, and googly eyed people would be in high demand. I carefully staked my cardboard sign in the front yard and awaited my first customer. It didn't take long for him to arrive. My dad enthusiastically bought two drawings for his office wall. Later on, my grandparents bought several and one or two other dear souls may have completed my line of patrons. I was thrilled. Someone liked my work. My idea was a success – in my eyes anyway.

That experience left an impression on me. I learned when I took a risk and tried something new, there was a reward. This is so important for a child. But you don't have to wait for your own children to give this same experience to a child.
If you have younger siblings, you have a rich opportunity today to encourage them in creative labor. Here are some ways you can inspire your siblings to be entrepreneurial minded.

Praise Work Well Done

This is one I don't practice near enough with my six siblings, but am seeking to do better. Express gratefulness when your brother shovels snow off the deck. Be five year old Susan's first customer when she launches into selling bread dough bracelets. They may be over-priced, but you're investing in her, not the bracelet. Build up your siblings when they work hard and they will likely do more of it.

Be There In Tough Times

Courtesy of Pathway Photography
When I was in my teens, two of my siblings and I started a business together. Despite all our best efforts the business had a very rough start for several years. Countless times, we wanted to give up. It was the encouragement of our family that kept us going until we succeeded. When it isn't “our thing”, it's so easy to become calloused to someone's discouragement. Your encouragement to hang in there may be what they need to keep going.

Share What You Are Learning

You don't have to be a know-it-all to do this; just share interesting things you learn with them just like you would a friend. Listen to entrepreneurial CDs in their hearing (if child appropriate). Read an informative article out loud. Be creative and use your knowledge to bless your siblings.

Split Expenses

Splitting business cost has opened up more opportunities for my siblings and I than anything else. Purchases you could never make on your own are possible when you have fellow investors. Of course it must be a win-win for everyone involved, but if you are not just thinking about yourself, it can be a great way to benefit you both.

As older siblings, we have a trust of influence in our brothers and sisters lives no one else has. Our words and actions can mold them to be productive or slothful. Sow seeds of encouragement in their lives and watch what kind of fruit springs forth.

Do you have a suggestion for how to encourage a sibling? We'd love to learn from you!

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