[Average read time: 5 minutes]
As parents, we want what’s best for our kids. We teach them what we know and try to instill the principles that we believe will best guide them through life.
It took me a long time to realize this, but “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Let that sink in.
We all want our kids to do better than us. It’s the same goal our parents had for us, but we can’t teach them what we don’t know. What we can do is create an environment that is supportive and allows them to learn by doing.
My kids are 7 and 4, but it’s never too early to begin talking with them about money.
If you have a teenager that is considering getting their first job or a pre-teen that will be in a few years, here’s what you can tell them…
Did you know the average millionaire has 7 sources of income?
That should get their attention. And yes, it’s okay to dream big.Just because we think something is impossible doesn't make it true.Click To Tweet
Consider guiding them towards entrepreneurship instead of flipping burgers. There’s nothing wrong with working in fast food – my first job paid $6.75/hr.
The skills and knowledge they will learn from creating something out of nothing will serve them for the rest of their life. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be babysitting for neighbors, mowing lawns, or helping small businesses setup and manage their Facebook pages.
Let’s use managing Facebook pages as an example.
Option #1: They could get a part-time job making $8/hr, they’ll make some cash, and they’ll learn some things. Nothing wrong with that.
Option #2: They could go to 50 local businesses in the area and offer their Facebook service. Let’s say only 2 sign up and they begin to learn things a part-time job could never teach them.
They can charge $50 to setup the page and $20 per month for upkeep.
It takes 2 hours to setup and one hour per month to keep it updated. That means they’re making $23 per hour. That’s better than $8.
The money is good, especially for a teenager. More importantly, they will acquire skills, experience, and knowledge that can completely change their life.
If they start doing what I’m suggesting, here’s what will happen:
They will have the opportunity to build something out of nothing. The moment they get their first customer, everything changes. They will understand that hard work, good service, and dedication gets results. Once they have that first win, they will want the second win and they know they can do it because they’ve done it before. This momentum builds and they reach a point where they’re unstoppable. They can carry that confidence into every aspect of their life – career, relationships, and business.
They will have to learn to solve problems.
Facebook page has a broken link – they’ll learn to fix it.
Customer is not happy with their cover photo – they’ll learn to assess the needs of a customer and make them happy.
Customer’s invoice is past due – they’ll learn to create a process that ensures they get paid on time and to communicate better with customers.
Many people can’t or don’t want to solve problems and let others solve them and tell them what to do. A person that knows how to solve problems is extremely valuable as an entrepreneur or employee and will be more successful as a result.
They will be exposed to problems that require them to think and create solutions. This forces a different part of the brain to take action.
Since they’re getting paid for a result and not per hour, they will develop creative ways to get the job done better and faster. Eventually, they will find a way to setup a Facebook page in half the time, and as a result, they just went from $23/hr to $35/hr.
Once their creativity level skyrockets, there’s nothing that can get in their way.
Learn People Skills
Talking to potential clients, dealing with difficult people, and learning to communicate effectively is vital to success in life. Business is about connecting with people. Many people my age still haven’t learned this. Those who can relate and connect to others will be more successful.
Basic Business Skills
Everyone can benefit from having basic computer skills, using spreadsheets, creating documents, managing money, having a solid handshake, etc. Your teen will be years ahead of people twice their age just by acquiring these basic skills.
They will become comfortable with rejection. It’s frustrating when we don’t get what we want, but we have to learn to deal with it and try again. If they become comfortable approaching people, communicating how they can help, and delivering on promises, they will be in a position to succeed.
The skills and knowledge they will learn is priceless. Once they have that knowledge, it can’t be taken away.
More importantly, they will realize there are other options in life than settling for a job they don’t enjoy and that doesn’t pay well.
Life can sometimes be cruel in crushing dreams, but if someone can dream big soon enough, they just might change the world.
You might be raising the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg and not even know it…