Do you want your kids to be successful? Well, there is no foolproof way to ensure that, but that doesn’t mean you can’t increase their odds.
When I was growing up my parents did a lot of things throughout my childhood that helped spearhead me into success. These things weren’t done intentionally, but if you replicate them with your kids, I think you’ll be able to increase their odds of success.
Pick your friends wisely
My parents are big discriminators. No, not against a specific race, but they hate dumb people. When I was growing up they always encouraged me to hang out with the smart kids. They never allowed me to hang out with kids that just wanted to mess around because they felt that I would develop bad habits from them.
By hanging out with people who were smarter than me, I had to push myself to do well in school. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be in the same classes that my friends were in. And as you already know, the last thing a young kid wants is to be a loner.
Education is everything
In my family you only had one responsibility as a kid. It wasn’t to keep your room clean or to help around in the house, but it was to do well in school. Education was so important in my family that during my summer vacation my parents would give me homework to complete every day.
Most of the homework that they gave me was math related, which sucked, but it came in handy in the future. As the only thing I am really good at other than counting money, is solving problems. And if I didn’t spend as many hours as I did doing math homework, I probably wouldn’t be a good problem solver.
The best cartoons are on CNBC
Technically CNBC doesn’t have any cartoons, but that was the channel I used to watch every morning before I went to school. It wasn’t that I enjoyed watching it, instead my parents loved the stock market so much that the TV was always tuned to CNBC.
From the day I started elementary school to the day I went off to college, CNBC was on every morning. And even though I hated CNBC, you end up picking up a few things here and there. Such as how profit is much more important than revenue or that you can make a profit by trading currency.
I know these things sound obvious, but when you are 12 or 13 years old, you don’t really think about forex trading.
Money doesn’t grow on trees
I know it technically does, but you get my point. The way my parents encouraged me to save all of the money I got for Christmas or Birthday presents was by matching it. So for every dollar I placed in a bank account, they matched it with a dollar.
Throughout my childhood I was able to save up to $1000, which isn’t too shabby for a young kid. And although I never really used that money for anything, it taught me that value of having a bank balance.
You never know when the shit hits the fan, so you should always save money… especially in business. Because when times are bad, at least you won’t have to close your doors.
Financial statements are meant to be shared
Very few of my friends know about their parents’ financial situation. Throughout my childhood my parents always shared with me how much money they made, how much savings they had, and any losses or gains they encountered through the stock market.
The cool part about knowing your parents finances as a child is that it lets you know what you need to do. Should you be getting a job and helping out or should you be thinking about ways to invest their money?
Luckily enough I didn’t need to get a job, and although my parents weren’t the richest people out there it didn’t stop me from thinking about how I could make more money from their money. For example, one thing I dreamed about was to own a Taco Bell… which my parents always encouraged.
Spoil your child… but not too much
As I mentioned above, my parents aren’t poor or rich. They fit somewhere right in the middle. So when I was growing up they didn’t ask me to pay for my clothes, food, car, or even college tuition.
Although it seems like things were just handed to me on a silver platter, I wasn’t spoiled too much. For example, I never had the latest gaming system or a TV in my bedroom.
I didn’t have to worry about the basic necessities in life, which meant that I could focus on my education and on building a business. If I had to worry about making car payments or rent payments, I wouldn’t be where I am today in life. Instead I would probably be working for Microsoft.
I know spoiling your child sounds like a bad thing, but it allows them to take more risks in life. You just have to be careful and not spoil them too much.
Encourage business, even if it isn’t legal
No, my parents would have never let me sell drugs. But they did let me sell bootleg cable boxes, which is kind of in the gray area.
At that point it was the only business I was interested in. So they let me do what I wanted as long as I didn’t get in trouble. Eventually I made the transition into more ethical businesses, but if my parents would have stopped me, who knows where I would be today.
So if your kids want to sell lemonade even though it requires a city permit, you just let them do so. As long as they won’t go to jail or get in serious trouble, it’s good to encourage entrepreneurship.
The best policy is an open policy
By the time I was ready to start my first real business, I needed some money. I had some money saved up from some part time jobs, but I didn’t have enough.
Lucky for me, my parents had an open policy, in which they opened up their bank account to me. They had saved up money for their retirement, but they trusted me with it, and it was enough to get me up and running.
Without their money, I would have never built a company that hit 7 figures in revenue. So if your kids need some money, don’t be afraid to open up your bank account.
Granted, your kids could lose your money… just like how I lost my parents money the first few times. But if you don’t keep on encouraging them and helping them out, they’ll never succeed.
Business is business
While in high school I had a few ventures. Many of them didn’t work out but one of them did. So by the time I entered college, I continued to expand my mini empire… and as I was expanding I had a habit of being a nice guy.
I always want to please people, which caused me to lose around a million dollars. And I probably would still be a people pleaser if it wasn’t for my parents.
See, my parents always told me that I have to look out for my best interest. They always told me to watch out for others, or else you can get screwed. And I never really believed them, until I got screwed really badly and lost a lot of money.
More importantly they taught me that if I was doing business with friends or family, I shouldn’t let that affect anything, as business is business. And if the other party can’t accept that, then they aren’t worth doing business with.
I know it sounds bad to be a cutthroat businessperson, but sometimes you have to. I used to think that everyone’s problems were my problems. But my parents taught me that they weren’t and if you aren’t a cutthroat person when time requires it, people will just walk all over you.
Criticism maybe annoying, but it’s helpful
To this day my parents always criticize what I am doing. They always point out my mistakes and they never forget them.
If they didn’t do this, I wouldn’t have learned from most of my mistakes. So although I hate it when my mom tells me that I was wrong and she was right, it truly keeps me grounded.
No matter what your kids do in life, make sure you give them useful criticism. The key isn’t to be a pest, but it is to give them feedback they can learn from. And when doing so, your kids may hate or ignore you, but remember that the criticism is making them a better person. They may not like it now, but they’ll appreciate it in the future.
I wish I could look into my crystal ball and tell you that your child is going to be successful, but reality is I can’t. The average income for someone in the U.S. is $32,140 a year. Only 6.24% of the people who live in the U.S. make more than $100,000 a year.
Although the odds are against your child from succeeding, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to change it. Whether it is following what my parents did with me or doing what you feel is fit for your child, it’s up to make your child successful.