Ever since she was young, Cheryl sew Hoy always knew she wanted to run her own business.
“When the teacher asks what your ambition is … and a lot of kids want to be a doctor or a lawyer. My ambition is [to be] businessman,” he said CNBC Make It.
That childhood dream is now a reality for the 39-year-old serial entrepreneur, whose businesses include Reclip.It, a consumer software startup acquired by Walmart Labs in 2013.
Now, he ran Small Health, a health tech startup that sells at-home gut health tests for moms and babies ages 0 to 3. The CEO and founder said the test can help detect gut imbalances early and prevent chronic conditions.
Sew Hoy, a Malaysian citizen now living in Austin, Texas, attributes his success to his mother who is also an entrepreneur running her own marketing business in Malaysia.
“My mother has his own business and he is the boss. History work-from-home It is popular, he has worked from home and I have always had this role model,” he added.
Things have come “full circle” to sew Hoy, who is now a mom to two children aged 2 and 4, when he began to impart the lessons he had taught them.
What tips does he have for raising entrepreneurial kids? CNBC Make It Find Out.
It’s hard to teach children what a business can be at a young age, but children “remember stories” — and that’s the best way to expose them to entrepreneurship, Sew Hoy said.
While she modeled after her mother by simply observing, sewing Hoy said she wants to be “more intentional” about talking to her children about running a business.
For example, he explained to his children about his job as CEO, the “back story” of why he started Tiny Health.
“Talk to them like adults, even if you think they are too young to understand. [you’ll realize] they really understand a lot and they learn a lot from it.”
By explaining to her children what she does, Sew Hoy said she also teaches them the value of money.
“I teach them why I work hard. Yes, it’s to earn money but not just to buy food or spend it. When you make money, you have to build something of value to people. What problems do you want to solve. in the world?”
Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems and that is something that children can learn through adversity, said Hoy.
“There is a difference between a great entrepreneur and a good entrepreneur. A great entrepreneur is someone who will bounce back constantly because it’s really freaking hard to run a company every day,” said Hoy.
If children just have a “smooth ride” where their problems are solved for them, they will never learn that value, he added.
“It takes a lot of patience. My daughter would whine and be like, ‘Mom, I can’t do it.’ I will encourage him to try again, and maybe help him a little bit,” he said.
“If he succeeds – especially if he succeeds alone – he learns the lesson that ‘If you give up early, you will never achieve this.'”
Sew Hoy said she noticed a “spark” in her 4-year-old daughter after experiencing the same scenario with her several times.
“I know he’s studying because next time [she tries to do something], he told me, ‘Mom, I can do it. I’m strong.'”
“So if our life is too easy, I will create adversity [for my kids].”
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