Updated: Apr 7, 2017
On one day every year, the median age of Main Street’s labor force plummets as toddlers, tweens, and teens swap their school books for a chance to experience the daily grind. April 27, 2017 is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day — a day when butchers, bankers, boilermakers, and business owners invite their children into the workplace to learn new skills and get an inside look at their careers.
Parents obviously play a huge role in shaping their children’s future endeavors, but how much do they contribute to moulding potential entrepreneurs into the next Richard Branson or Arianna Huffington? And how influential are parents when it comes to providing business advice and financing to their grown-up entrepreneurial offspring?
We surveyed over 1,000 entrepreneurs* to learn more about their relationship with their parents, and found these 3 interesting facts:
Building a great business isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires integrity, discipline, teamwork, a strong sense of responsibility, and a commitment to quality — all factors in a strong work ethic. According to the survey, parents really have been modeling putting their nose to the grindstone since before their future entrepreneurs could walk. The majority of business owners said they learnt their strong work ethic from their dad (74%) or mom (67%). Confidence (41% from moms and 49% from dads) and resilience (40% for both parents) followed closely as other skills business owners picked up from their parents.
While parents may have instilled a variety of values in their children, it turns out business owners generally don’t make a habit of asking their parents for advice. Seventy-one percent (71%) of business owners surveyed said that in the first few years of running their business, they never turned to their parents for guidance on how to keep the doors open and the lights on. While Mom and Dad may have had a few words of (albeit unsolicited) wisdom to contribute nonetheless, it’s clear that business owners are focused on making their own way!
…or even would consider doing it! Money and personal relationships don’t often mix, so it’s no surprise that most business owners want to keep their parents separate from their business finances. Investment capital from family may be some of the easiest to secure, but it can also be some of the most stressful to manage in the long term. Instead, consider tapping outside investors for a loan. The relationship you have with a financial institution may be very different from the relationship with your parents, but it typically doesn’t require you to give up equity in or control of your business. And as a bonus: you won’t need to worry about any awkward Thanksgiving dinners if there’s a disagreement around your business’ financial standing.
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What did your parents do to support your entrepreneurial dreams? How do you support those of your child? We’d love to hear about it! Join the conversation on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.