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Peer pressure is a common challenge that teenagers face as they navigate through adolescence. It can come in many forms, such as pressure to conform to societal norms or to engage in risky or negative behaviors. However, one effective way to help teens overcome these pressures is through entrepreneurship. Now, it’s important to understand not every teen has the entrepreneur DNA, but if you can convince your adolescent to take an interest in it, there will be lifelong benefits. In addition to teaching valuable business skills, teen entrepreneurship offers a sense of purpose and accomplishment that can help sway negative peer pressures.
Let’s dive into some of the positives teenage entrepreneurship can have concerning peer pressure:
Related: 6 Things to Consider When Starting a Business as a Teenager
1. Critical thinking
Developing entrepreneurial skills can help teenagers learn to make independent decisions and think critically. When teens take an interest in becoming entrepreneurs, there are many problems they must tackle creatively. With identifying problems comes developing solutions that typically directly impact the business. These skills are transferable to other areas of life, including how to respond to teen peer pressure. By learning to think independently and make decisions, teens are less likely to be influenced by negative peer pressure.
2. Sense of purpose and accomplishment
Another benefit of teen entrepreneurship is that it can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment. As teenagers go down the path of starting their businesses, they develop a sense of ownership and pride in their work. Since passion is fueling them, they’re more inclined to not just “give up” but to push through and be solutions-oriented. Adopting an entrepreneurial mindset can help them develop a strong identity and purpose. When teenagers have a strong sense of purpose and accomplishment, they are less likely to feel the need to conform to peer pressure because they possess the confidence to say “no” and make their own decisions.
3. Discover and pursue passions and interests
Starting a business allows teens to discover and pursue their passions and interests. Having passions and something you’re looking forward to and are excited about builds confidence which can help them resist peer pressure. Teen entrepreneurship pushes internal limits and helps introverts become more extroverted, especially when seeking advice from mentors, advisors and other entrepreneurs. This can help them build positive relationships with adults and peers who share their interests and values.
Related: 10 Things I Have Learned From Starting A Business As A Teen
4. Leadership skills
Starting a business can also help teens develop leadership skills. Teenage entrepreneurs face the challenges of self-management, people management, goal-setting and decision-making, which typically leads to lessons learned. They may use these abilities to become stronger and more influential leaders in other areas of their life. Possessing leadership abilities is a valuable asset for any future endeavor and one that may pave the way to financial freedom. When teenagers earn their own money through their creativity and decision-making, they understand the value of the dollar earned vs. the dollar spent — a great life-long valuable skill.
5. Resilience and perseverance
Entrepreneurship can help teens develop resilience and perseverance. Starting a business can be challenging, and teens may face setbacks and failures. However, these experiences can teach them to bounce back from adversity and keep going despite obstacles. This can be a valuable skill for navigating the challenges of adolescence and adulthood.
Overall, entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool in helping teenagers overcome peer pressures and develop valuable skills for success in all areas of their lives. It teaches valuable skills such as independent decision-making, critical thinking and financial management. It provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment that can help teenagers resist negative peer pressure and become more receptive when you talk with your teens about peer pressure. Teenagers who become entrepreneurs gain not only valuable skills but also gain the confidence and resilience necessary to navigate the challenges of adolescence. So, what small project or business can you help persuade your adolescent to start?
Here are some ideas for your teen:
Online reselling: Buy items at garage sales, thrift stores or online marketplaces, and resell them on platforms like eBay, Amazon or Poshmark.
Social media management: Offer social media management services to businesses needing help managing their accounts.
Pet-sitting or dog-walking: Start a pet-sitting or dog-walking service in your neighborhood.
Lawn care or landscaping: Offer services such as mowing lawns, trimming hedges or planting flowers to those in your community.
Tutoring or coaching: Offer tutoring or coaching services in a particular subject or sport to other students in your school or community.
Homemade crafts: Make and sell homemade crafts such as jewelry, accessories or home decor online on platforms like Etsy or eBay or at local craft fairs.
Related: Meet 16 Teen Founders Who Are Building Big Businesses — and Making Big Money