To this day, I vividly recall a Parent-Teacher meeting I had while I was still teaching at the School of the Arts. One parent approached me with an almost incredulous look with her face and said, ‘My child wants to be a YouTuber as a profession.’
She was in utter disbelief that anyone could have such a dream. Although I was tempted to say, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ I bit my tongue so as not to frustrate her any further. Like many parents at that time, she couldn’t conceive of how being a YouTuber could be considered a valid profession. Yet, why was that exactly the case?
If their dream is to be a YouTuber- so be it!
Contrary to this, research actually shows that popular YouTubers can actually earn a considerable amount. Forbes reports that the children’s YouTube channel, Ryan’s World, brought in an income of $22 million dollars in 2018.
The truth is our children will probably be holding jobs in the future that we never knew would have existed or that are ‘unconventional’ in our perspective. According to the World Economic Forum, it was estimated that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately work in jobs that do not exist.
Parents: the harshest critics of their dreams?
Yet, if we are constantly in the business of invalidating or questioning our childrens’ dreams, they might stop believing that they could do it too. It is important for us to support their interests and provide them with insight and valid tools to help them explore and excel.
If not a YouTuber, someday, when they want to go out into the world and make something of their own, they will pause and be afraid to venture out into that sense of uncertainty simply as they have been conditioned to dismiss it throughout their childhood. They might always stick to what is safe and not venture beyond their comfort zones instead of discovering their true potentials.
Realizing my own dreams
Fast-forwarding to my own journey when I decided to start my own business, I realized the power of my own dreams, especially when it came to entrepreneurship and stepping into the unknown.
When you are a teacher, your primary concern is looking after the welfare of your students. You’ll know if they are doing well if your students are thriving in all areas. However, as an entrepreneur and business owner, there are so many more things to consider. Other than ensuring that your customers/ clients are happy and satisfied, business owners have to ensure the smooth operations of the business, as well as ensure that the business is profitable and sustainable in the long run and also prioritize the welfare of the staff.
How I wished that I had learned these things earlier and if I did, then perhaps, the transition between teaching and running a business might have been more smooth-sailing for me.
Looking back, I wish if I had learned some of these things earlier and nurtured those skills when I was younger, my own entrepreneurship journey would have been more smooth-sailing. This is precisely why I believe that such skills must be honed in the young, especially in a world where the possibilities continue to grow and are endless!
Our Kid’s Boss Camp is the answer!
After reflecting on my own story and experiences as a teacher over the past few years, I believe that it is crucial to let students understand their dreams and get in touch with their passion and nurture a drive for creativity and idea creation.
This September holiday, ASA will be running an entrepreneurship camp, especially for primary school children. The camp is aptly called “Kids Boss Camp” and it will teach children about:
Day 1: Identifying and conceptualizing a product or service that would benefit a specific target audience
Day 2: Testing the product or service and getting feedback from real-life entrepreneurs!
Day 3: Learning how to market the product or service (includes using marketing tools and doing a 5-minute pitch)
This camp would be suitable for children who are:
- Brimming with ideas but have limited avenues to turn them into a reality
- Not that confident in expressing their thoughts or ideas for fear of criticism
- In need of creative outlets to express themselves meaningfully
There will also be a video recording done on the third day for them to keep as a memento of their entrepreneurial venture! We’ll only be admitting 10 participants and dividing them between
2 classrooms to adhere to social-distancing measures.
Even if they do not eventually become entrepreneurs, they will gain valuable life skills that will take them far in their personal and professional journeys. One day, they will go out into the world as confident adults who would not only dare to pursue their passions but also turn their passions into profit so that they could earn a comfortable living out of it. When they are young, hopeful, bright, and confident, it is important to give them the hope and courage to believe in their own ideas and dreams!