4 tips : How to avoid children business failure traps

4 tips : How to avoid children business failure traps

Working hard to build children’s Business?

In order to teach my child about money I helped her start what seems to be a successful “jewelry Business”. My goal continues to be to teach my 12 year old daughter about money. To teach her how money works, how to manage money, create an income stream and the difference between working for money and having it work for you. So far, it has been a successful lesson but one that is difficult and an on going process.

Blogging honestly about Children, Money, success & failure

It has been several days since my last Post about my efforts to teach my daughter, a 12 yr old child, about money. I really have been busy with the efforts to teach her what I believe she needs to learn in order to have a better chance at having a successful financial future.

Like I said - it has been a successful start, but difficult and repetitive. There have been a few issues I have been making notes on in order to address on this blog when I found the time. I have a lot of notes so I’ll break it up for easy reading.

How to deal with :

teach children money1. “Repetition”; to a child repetition can be a negative thing?
Most to all children consider repetition to be a bore, especially annoying when it is a parent constantly reminding them of what they should or can not do. To children, a parents constant reminder can mean “are you saying I’m stupid” or a reason simply to rebel.

2. Overcoming the desire to do it for them
Children are not stupid, I believe they are the smartest humans on the planet. They will ultimately find away for you to do all the things they do not want to. Even if they have real issues that hinder them from a goal, they learn how to manipulate that to carry over into everything they want us to do.

3. Parents need to teach, build and Release
It is almost like second nature - parents want to teach their kids to be independent, the problem is when they become independent - we don’t know how to them go. We begin to create dependant children because we can't stand to see them grow up.

4. Make them responsible, even with Money
Nothing has given my 12 year old daughter a greater sense of freedom, power, ownership and responsibility than when I opened a checking account for her and she received that “new debit card” in the mail. Her words exactly were: “Mom, I feel so grown up now.”

Building on small successful steps in order to grow

children jewlery businessChildren need approval, appreciation, acknowledgement and patience parents - nothing builds a child’s confidence level than working out a problem into a successful result. The trouble arises when the child faces his/her natural instinct to be a child - you know, easily bored, distracted, the desire to avoid work or failure.

As I try to teach my daughter how money works, give her basic first level understanding about making money work for you, having a business pay for itself and other financial necessary knowledge - I deal with the facts - she is only 12 years old.

It scares me, I see high school students who know very little about the world, about money, unsure of their capabilities and sadly enough - do not even know how to balance a check book. I know an 18 year old girl who is talking about getting married, starting a career and here I am helping her plan her financial future. I asked her if she file her tax returns yet, her response: “I am waiting…” so I asked - “for what?” she replies, “well, to be honest, because I don’t know how to file my taxes….”

I think of my daughter and I can not help but wonder - am I doing enough? I want her to be more, do more, live more, not just be another cog in the machine stuck at a dead end job because she has no options available to her. I want to believe that if my daughter decides to be a plumber, a sanitation worker or work as the CEO of a company - it is because she wants to, not because she has to.

I want her to be a “millionaire next door”, she doesn’t have to be rich if she doesn’t want to - but I do not want her living pay check to pay check because Dad never showed her that their was more to life than just debt, going to work and more debt.

I also remind myself to continue to educate myself, to strive to do more and be a better example. It may be too late for me, but that does not mean I can not improve my situation or be a living example of what I want to teach my children.

On a side note:
My five year old has improved his reading and is trying to read some of the Rich Dad, Poor dad book. I am not sure if he just wants to compete with his sister or just because he sees what we’re doing he is motivated to do the same. I love it when he reads a few sentences of my book in the car on the way to school and says: “Dad, am I smart with my money?”

Overcoming the desire to do it for them

Overcoming the desire to do it for your kids

Children are not stupid, I believe they are the smartest humans on the face of the planet. They will ultimately find a way for you to do all the things they do not want to do themselves. Even if they have real issues that hinder them from a goal, they learn how to manipulate that to carry over into everything they want us or others to do for them.

When I started to teach my child about money one of the first things I did was to sit down with her every night and have her read a book called “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. While the book was not way over her reading comprehension level almost every night the first challenge I met was with my daughter wanting me to read her the book instead of her reading to me. Ofcourse I always found a way to convince her to read - but my goal in having her read was for her to understand, for her to 1- practice reading 2- learn and retain because she was reading [ using her brain and not pretending to listen ] and 3- by her reading I knew she was listening and not just ignoring me as I talked. After all, this was not a bed time story, this was a lesson, time of learning - even if it was also time of togetherness and more.

Fighting the Urge to do it for them

As Parents we have two options when our children do not do what they were asked or told to do - you do it for them or you give up on them. My wife sometimes falls into both categories - the problem is that both of these options does nothing to help the child, except teach them to be lazy or incompetent.

The challenge I face now is fighting against the over whelming Urge to do it for her - her business is doing so well and like children do, they lose interest or have a tendency to taper off and relax when they should be pushing forward. At a point I was ready to take the jewelry material and make some jewelry pieces on my own in order to keep the selling going. But I didn’t. I know if I start I wont stop because she will begin to rely on me to do the work instead of her doing the necessary work to keep her business going.

When I was a teenager my Mother always asked me to “help” my sister with her homework - which I hated to do. Not because I did not want to help, but because I already learned that the help my sister wanted was not help but for me to “give” her all the answers.

teach children about money and businessSo despite my “URGE” to keep the sales coming, the business moving, I have to sit back and bite my nails as I watch and hope that my little girl learns that this is what she has to do if she wants to succeed.

A tip to help with lack of desire is goal and reward

Children are children and they will lose interest, desire and occasionally take extended breaks because - they are children. Children have no worries of paying the bills, providing food or anything else for that matter. If they are hungry they ask Mom for dinner. If they miss school they just make up the work later. The mind set of a child will always be - I have time to do it later - we all did this as children.

The goal of a Parent is to give a child goals, time constraints and purpose or rewards if you like.
I have set up 2 goals and time constraints for my daughter:

1. She set her own goal of raising $1,000 dollars by Oct 31, 2010.
It can be achieved, she made over a $100 dollars in 3 weeks selling her jewelry pieces. If she accomplishes this goal she will learn that even though she thought it was impossible - if she works hard she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

2. If she reaches the $1,000 dollar goal I will give her a lap top.
We were getting a new computer and my daughter was franticly asking me when she can get her own - she even asked if she could use the money she is making from her jewelry business to buy the lap top - I used this opportunity to build some interest and a goal for her - I told her that when she reaches $1,000 dollars in October I will buy her a new laptop and she will not have to use her own money. That put a fire in her belly for awhile at least.

Ultimately you know what works for your own child. You know what motivates them, drives and interest them the most. I suggest you use that not to manipulate but to motivate.

children money financeAnother thing we have to learn as Parents is to allow them our children to work at their own pace. Yes, I know kids forget, lose interest and we already knowing that life is short and time is money want everything done today or better yet - yesterday. But we have to remember that this is a lesson, training, that our goal is to teach them the principals and tools they need in life in order to succeed - not to make them multimillionaires at the age of six.

I was watching a show a while back about extra ordinary kids - children who had their own clothing line, toy business and were already CEO’s of their own companies at age 10, 12 and 16. They were ordinary kids, one particular boy who like to invent fun underwater pool toys that his father licenses to a toy company.
It made me think: Why can’t my kids do that?

We have to remember that no one is happy trying to be some one else - and we have to let our kids be themselves - the goal is to teach them how to think, to understand that there are more ways to doing things than that of just being a follower, an employee. To instill in them the principal that made this country great and why millions of people still come from all over the world to this country, a land of opportunity.

Too many people think that they are trapped in a dead end job - but they are only trapped if they refuse to try and learn about all the opportunities that are out there for them.

“Repetition”; to a child repetition can be a negative thing?

Children making money can be easily motivated into doing more. The problem is that as time goes on as most parents do - we begin to “repeat” ourselves because children tend to need constant reminders of how we want things done. In teaching my child about money and how to run her small business - I have to be careful not to be a nuisance by nagging [ constantly reminding her ] about what she needs to do.

Repetition; being repetitive can be a hindrance to your efforts

As a parent I know children need constant reminders ofwhat needs to be done and how it should be done. We parents repeat ourselves so much we tend to believe we are talking to the wall when it comes to our kids listening to us. It is simply second nature for us to Nag:

Pick up your cloths
Do your homework
I told you clean up your room
I said walk the dog now!

My daughter is a shy but independent child, I expect much of her because she is extremely smart and I see so much potential in her - but some days, I just want to kill her.

teaching children about moneyChildren are just that children, they do not listen, they ignore you, they easily forget things when it is convenient to them and they act like it is never their fault. We as parents start to do the natural thing - we complain, we repeat everything a million times and they think we are nagging them to death. So in my efforts to teach my daughter about money I have to stop myself from being the nagging parent and figure out ways to convey why I want things to be done in such a fashion, manner or time.

Do you want independent self motivated children or a Slave?

While every parent wishes thier children did everything they were told to do - I want a self motivated independent child not a slave. My goal in teaching my daughter about how money works, business and other financial knowledge is not so that she could be a follower but a leader. In my attempts to teach and train I sometimes forget and simply start barking orders at my daughter expecting her to follow my lead. Which basically defeats the purpose of everything I am doing.

When I first told my daughter that she had enough cash in the bank that she will now start paying for her own materials and supplies: what I really meant to say was: “Now that I helped you build up your cash reserves, the next step is for you to become more independent. To learn how to manage your business and money so that your business can pay for itself.”

But no, I didn’t think and just blurted out that she had to pay for her own materials now - which caused her to complain and argue accusing me of wanting to have her “ waste” her savings. She was illogical, but what can you expect from a 12 year old - I did a poor job of explaining what we were doing and why.

Once I explained what I really meant to say and took her through the motion of having her go to the store, buy new materials, create new jewelry and ultimately sell it for a profit - she began to get a sliver of understanding about what I was trying to teach her. The business should be able to sustain itself - pay for itself - if it is to be successful. It took a few days but she is starting to understand and is happy with the concept.

Slow long process and you need to Push

teaching children about money allowanceMy daughter is smart but she is shy, which makes the business she is in a bit difficult to accomplish. Besides the fact that I have to remind her that if she does not make product - she can not sell product and make money. The hardest part of this process is to teach her and to motivate her to actually do the selling .

She enjoys making the jewelry, she is a girl and what girl does not like to go shopping even if it is for jewelry supplies - but she is simply too shy to go out their and sell. For the most part I have been their to help and occasionally I had to push her into selling her jewelry. Most of her selling experience has been with family, friends and acquaintances. I push her because as I have explained to her, she needs to grow and build her customer base - she can not rely on the same customers to always buy her products. I also want to continue to teach her how to sell - as I stated in a my post “Teaching children how to sell“, is important. Every child has to learn how to sell because everyone is always selling something - if your not trying to sell yourself for a promotion, a mate, friendship, your selling a product or something else.

Communication is important, yet most people have few skills in selling because they lack communication skills. People fail before they even start because they fear rejection or do not know how to handle rejection. Learning how to sell helps with learning how to deal with rejection.

Finding myself at Odds

As a parent it seems natural just to lead - you tell your kids lets go just follow me - it is just a part of being a parent. It also breaks a parents heart not just to see your child fail but to actually see them ready to fail [ fall ] and not to be able to stop it. In my case, I actually have to stop my natural instinct of wanting to lead, of wanting to protect my child from failure [ falling ] in order to teach her how to succeed.

This puts me at odds with my wife who has taken an active part in my daughters jewelry business and is mistakenly helping her by doing most of the selling [ she calls it helping ].

I also find myself looking forward and not realizing that my daughter is not yet ready for the next step or the next four steps I already planned out for her. My daughter is the typical slick kid - if she can get her mother to do something for her - then why do it herself. But I also have to remind myself that she is only 12 and even though I have to push her at times - I have to move forward at her pace - because then I am simply nagging, being a nuisance and she will hate the business and then my efforts to teach are all in vain.

Children need help to make money

Here I am trying to help my daughter reach her goal of buying a Laptop - my 12 yr old that is.
It's my fault, I gave her the idea - so now I have to help.

She's been working real hard and has already earned $100 dollars through her own efforts [ no money from Dad, except for paying for supplies and materials ]. But she found a new way to make some extra money and she wants, needs, is telling me I have to help. Ofcourse, she is a girl so she is selling jewelry [ a bit out of my expertise...]

Help Kiki buy her laptop

Necklace Sets CC Beads W Large Drop
$7.00 each
S&H $3.00
Can take 2-3 weeks to ship
Duaghters Profit $1.50

* send check with item#3 to address below

She is using a drop ship kind of program and selling other peoples jewelry. She is selling the piece at a very low price in order to get sales [ smart idea ]. Since she is only 12 her goal is not to make millions just enough for that laptop.
I hope she succeeds because that's money I don't have to spend - and what dad doesn't want that.
I know this maybe too much to ask but she is my little girl and I am proud of her for trying to make her own way. I've been trying to teach her in these rough economic times that money does not grow on trees and that she has to learn how to make money, budget her money and think in more terms of being "owner" and not just employee. I have to say, so far she has been doing a good job.
So I am asking you - help a father help his little girl out. If you want to get something nice for valentine, mothers day, a birthday or just because - maybe this nice necklace can help [ it's cheaper than what you will find in the store?

Please mail Check [ $10 includes S&H ] with return address to:
* make check out to Keira Medina

3550 Youth care Lane
Sebring, Fl 33870

Making money and loving it !!

My daughter is making money – I can’t believe it.

I shared with you a while back about my endeavors to help my 12 yr old daughter learn about money. One of my goals was to help her understand that she needed to think in terms of being the boss [ a business owner ]. Well, good news, in the short time that she has started her jewelry business has easily earned more than $100. Her goal to “make” $1,000 dollars by Oct 30, 2010 is not that impossible as she first thought.

The money she has earned has been made in the last 2 weeks, the more she sees that she can sell, can make money and with her own business – the more she wants to do. Ofcourse there are still some challenges.

As with any business she has to learn about inventory, price points, sales and returns and so much more. The biggest obstacle was her shift to saving mode. Most of her supplies and materials have been provided to her thru gifts and her biggest investor - me. I tried teaching her that she needs to budget her money and that she needs to use her income to buy her supplies. Boy did that bring on an ugly scene. Right away she was accusing me, dear old dad who has supplied 80 percent of her materials of wanting her to “waste” all her money.

Learning how to run a business is a process

kids making money funI don’t expect my daughter to understand everything I am trying to teach her. I expect to have to butt heads with her especially when it comes to “motivation”, she is twelve after all. But if I want her to learn what she needs to learn about money in order to be a success – she better stop crying and start listening.

I did take the “I’m your parent” approach for a second and threatened to stop buying her the supplies she needs – then I calmed down and explained to her that I am trying to teach her more, one day dad won’t be around and I need to know she can do it on her own. That helped a bit, but like life – learning is a process and we have to take steps [ in a twelve yrs olds case, it’s baby steps…. ].

Teaching, learning and working together

One of the things I love most about this process is the time we spend together; I even make jewelry with her. It’s a fun way to make money I have to say and I never thought I’d be working for my daughter [ just a joke ].

It’s nice to sit there with her, watch her be creative, talk and just spend time together. Ofcourse I also get the old juices flowing when I start being creative as well – who knew that jewelry making could do so much.

Can you make a profit?

A friend saw the jewelry my daughter was making and asked me if she was making a profit. Yes- ofcourse! Right now the jewelry pieces are priced at $3 or $4 a piece and my daughter is making a killing, especially since I am paying all the bills in this business. But I can not put a price on the time we spend together or the knowledge she is learning.

It may look simple, childish – a small jewelry business run by one child….. But she is learning how to make money, run a business, dealing with customers, filling orders, marketing and so much more. This may be a small operation, but what she is learning, the confidence she is building, the understanding that she is gaining – it’s priceless to this dad.

Steps to teach your child to build wealth rather than just consume

Parents are always faced with the same problem – their children asking for money, acting like if mom and dad are simply atm’s that dispense money when ever they want it. How do you teach your child to value a dollar? How do you teach them that money doesn’t grow on trees? More importantly, how do you teach them not to be just an employee, but to build wealth?

Have them start their own business.
It will require more time, effort and even money from you the parent, but I think you will like the results.

1. Teach your child about money, even if only the basics.
2. Help your child understand that they can make their own money.
3. Help your child find a business [ you decide if it’s a good and profitable business ]
4. Help your child start that business.
5. work with your child [ understand you are not only Mom / dad and child but co-works ]
6. Be extremely patient with your child.
7. Teach through example, be the lead but not the leader [ motivate ].
8. When successful, multiply that success, help them understand how they were successful and help motivate them to repeat it.
9. Face failure correctly, teach perseverance.
10. Make it fun, enjoyable and a hidden learning tool.
11. Give them a real goal, help them want a goal and to desire to accomplish that goal.

The rest is simply you, your child, learn thru experience. And hopefully, what you will treasure most is the time you spent with your child.

Children need to know about tax breaks and benefits

Children need to know about tax benefits and tax breaks

If you want your child to learn about money, business and be successful – talk to them about the benefits of “Tax write off’s”. That is right, tell your child about the wonderful world of taxes and then tell them the deference between the write off’s a regular person has and that of a business owner has.

Why do I bring this up, because as I spent some time with my daughter last night – making jewelry pieces; she said something that gave me hope. She said “Dad, it’s good to have your own business.” She doesn’t realize how good it really is just yet.

I have spoken to my daughter about the general differences in tax burdens between the rich and the poor [ meaning the working class ]. She understands that the working class pays more taxes than the rich because of the lack of knowledge and no working class tax breaks. But once I am done with this years tax process – I have decided to show her how it works in the real world.

Now, I’m not going to bore you with all the possible tax write off’s a business gets – you should get professional help for that. But in general I will tell you how I plan to explain a difficult tax system to my 12 year old and the benefits I personally see.

Tax benefits for having own business [ * even if only side business ]

1- Tax write off’s : you can write off in whole or in part things like a new car, a new computer, business supplies, and even things like health care. Yes it all has to be for the business but – it belongs to you, you use it and you get tax break.
2- Deferred tax burden: employees have their taxes taken immediately they get paid, companies can have their tax burden deferred to every quarter or even till the end of the year.
3- Pay less taxes: here is a double whammy (a.) business’ like corporations can pay fewer taxes than the average person even though they make much more money. (b.) if you have a side business you can claim all your dependants pay as little taxes as possible on your employee check and still get government money back at end of year.
4- You can itemize: my tax guy told me not to itemize on my personal taxes unless my itemizing gave me more than the government allowed tax break for being married ($6,000) and of course there are little to no tax breaks to itemize on the employee side of the tax table. But, in a business you can itemize several items and as you can see by example #1 it can get very beneficial.
5- You do not have to cheat, lie, steal: it’s all legal and above board. All you have to do is know the laws, follow them and get the benefits [ this is where a good tax person helps ]. Plus your tax person should always prepare you for next year.

Now what does all that mean to a twelve year old ?
It means that even though a business can be fun and can be difficult – when you look at the big picture you can see the larger benefits, gains, monetary value. Most people say they want to be in business because they want to be the boss, in control, have freedom. But the truth behind it is based on money. Not to sound greedy or too capitalist, but think about it, being the boss, freedom – it is simply away of saying I have the money to do what I want.

My daughter tells me that she wants her own business but still wants to grow up to be a doctor. Hey, that’s fine with me. Having a business will give her the freedom she needs to do what ever she wants – be a doctor, lawyer, a school teacher if she wants, as long as she has a profitable business to take advantage of all the American opportunities.

Does your child “Have big Dreams”

children business taxesLike I said, my daughter wants to be a doctor, for awhile she wanted to be an astronaut – all children have big dreams. Like me and many Americans those dreams are squashed or pushed aside because they do not have the financial freedom to even try to attempt them.

As a parent we all want the best for our kids, but between high cost of living, taxes and living – some of us can barely afford to live week to week. Your child may not become the next Bill Gates or even a millionaire, but you don’t need millions to live comfortably. Then again, your Childs small business may propel him / her to bigger and brighter opportunities. All I am saying is, atleast give them a chance.

Children, Business and who is the Boss ?

Children, Business and who is the Boss ?

One of the problems teaching your child about money and starting or creating a business - is when you run into the issue of : Who is the Boss?

It is hard enough dealing with your child in a parent child relationship and they reach that point that they believe they are independent individuals who do not need to listen to mom and dad. That stage most parents call “rebellion” is only multiplied when your trying to teach your child how to be a business owner and not just an employee [ follower].

You tell your child that they have to think, be independent, don’t let their friends influence them, learn how to deal with rejection - but what does a parent do when their child says: “this is my business and I think I can do it like this”…..

I’ve been thinking about this for the last three weeks. I saw an altercation between my daughter and my wife over how a piece of jewelry needed to be fix. A piece of jewelry my daughter sold to a customer had broken and the customer [ a friend ] asked if it could be fixed. My daughter, the twelve year old was dragging her feet in fixing it. When “Mom” forced her to fix it, she did just that, she fixed it. But Mom wanted more, she thought she should improve the jewelry, that it was too short, not centered and so forth. Ofcourse my daughter argued back that she only needed to fix the clamp and that she put everything back the original way - just like when the customer bought it.

That started a long debate which ended in “Mom” playing the parent card. She scolded her for being an individual and told her that she was “MOM” and that she had to do what she said.

That left me in the middle - First, she had to fix the jewelry piece. Second, she should put more effort in pleasing customers in order to retain repeat loyal customers. But she did put it back just the way the customer first bought it. So here I am trying to ease my wife’s ego - trying to help her understand that even though she was right, she is not the boss, her daughter is the boss of her business. Succeed or fail, we can only advise.

Children,money, Business and who is the Boss ?On my daughter’s side, I explained to her that Mom just really wanted to help, that she wants her to succeed and just pushed a bit to far. But that she should learn to be more open to suggestions, just because she is the Boss does not mean that she is always right. The Boss can learn to improve, that she should stop and listen because someone else may have a better way or idea.

So what advice do I have to give:

1. Parents have to understand the dynamics of the relationship with your child. They run their own business [ depending on age] so you advise, help, encourage, help some more and work with them.

2. Understand that they are children - plus individuals, they have their own ways of doing things and yes they will falter, make mistakes and even fail. That is part of the learning process.

3. Remember your not the boss - but you are an investor, chairman of the board and the bank, so you have a say in the business. You want them to succeed, they need you to start and to succeed. So compromise, find a happy medium where both of you can agree to do what needs to be done to make your Childs learning experience and business a success.

4. Be ready to let them fail and to let them succeed. If they fail help them back up with encouragement, if they succeed, help them use that success to move forward.

Please, tell me what you think, and I would appreciate any advice. Leave me a comment below and I will be sure to read it.

Teaching Kids 2 important business & life concepts

Teaching Kids 2 important business & life concepts

I was joking around with my daughter and my wife got very offended at a joke I made. I thought about what we talked about and realized this was a good opportunity to talk about two very important business and life concepts that children today are not taught.

The joke, well it was what I thought to be a witty childish comeback – I told my daughter that she was a garbage picker and my wife mistook it as a put down on the fine institution of Sanitation. Which it wasn’t, but she wanted to point out that people always look down at people who work in certain jobs.

So, while I explained that the joke was not a putdown intended to insult the fine profession on the sanitation department – I quickly informed both my wife and especially my daughter about two important factors in life:

1- It is not how you start but how you finish.

2- It is not about what you do, but if you are the Boss.

money children businessI know that society [ especially parents ] view doctors, lawyers and so forth as wonderful prestigious professions that their children should aspire to attain. Few parents tell their children “Son, your life will be great if you grow up to be a janitor”. No, we all want our children to be the next President of the United States or atleast the next CEO of a large corporation.

But the truth is, if you are happy in the sanitation field or picking oranges – that is what you should do. No one should feel ashamed of their profession – But with that said: we need to teach our children that while they should not be embarrassed or ashamed of a profession, they should not settle for less either.

Concept # 1: It is not how you start but how you finish.

Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth or a parent that sacrifices everything to help their child reach high goals. Most if not 90 percent of all the population in America have to start at the poor or middle class level. That means we all come from or are all working class individuals who have to struggle through life.

Weather you started as a Sanitation workers child or a janitors son – be proud of an honest days work. There is nothing wrong with having a dirty job – some one has to do it, do it with pride. But also plan for the future, to improve your life. A couple of Blog post back I wrote about an elderly woman who I worked with, she was a millionaire and she showed up at work everyday with a smile on her face. Was she happy because she had money – yeah, I am sure of that, but she also enjoyed her work. I have known people who have large business, a lot of money, big houses and are the most miserable people on planet earth.

A job is just a job – you may need this job to reach your goal, you may need this job until you get a better job, then move to the next and so forth. But ultimately your success is based on you reaching your goals and being happy with what you do and how you live.

I received an email a while back with a wonderful story about being content: the short version of the story is that this big business man saw a fisher man in Mexico and asked him why he stopped working so early in the day. The Mexican fisherman said that he caught enough fish to feed his family so he is going home to play with his children, love his wife and spend time with his friends at the bar.

The man said no, you should work hard all day and catch more fish. The fisherman ask him why – the man replied by saying that if the fisherman worked hard he could get extra fish to sell to the cannery, then with the extra money and work he could get more workers, extra boats, eventually have his own cannery and then do so much more. The Mexican fisherman asked him “after I do all this, what do I do then?”

The man said, well after ten or twenty years and your successful, then you can spend your time playing with your kids, loving your wife and hanging out with your friends…

Concept # 2: It is not about what you do, but if you are the Boss.

When I was a child all I wanted to be was a lawyer. That was it for me, be like Perry Mason and all those rich smart TV lawyers, ofcourse my family could not afford that kind of an education so I settled for air force pilot, then I just did like everyone else – took what ever job I could get.

But I have learned one thing, it doesn’t matter what you do – what really matters is, if you’re the Boss.

The last year I have meet some very interesting people, they love what they do, enjoy going to work in the morning and most of all – they are pretty much content. Why, because they are owners, not workers – owners. They all owned one form of business, some were large business, others were small business – what mattered to them is that they loved what they did and they owned the business.

Now, I know everyone can not be a business owner – everyone can not be a chief, we need Indians [ a work force ]. But not everyone has to be a worker for life, living pay check to pay check, struggling to get by.

Remember, it is about your goals and what makes you happy and content.

The reason I say it is best to be the boss is because of the freedom it affords you. A worker has to ask for days off, a boss just takes the day off. A worker needs to work everyday – the boss just needs the business to work. Don’t get me wrong, I know several business owners who love working at and in their business every day. The difference is they go to work because they want to; the employee goes because he/she has to.

Again, you may love your job; you may love your life – that is ok. What I refer to is, how long before you can no longer do your job anymore? I have a friend I’ve mentioned on this blog before. She cleans houses and she’s proud of what she does. Her customers can’t live without her so she doesn’t have too much trouble making a living. But a while back I talked to her about maybe expanding and starting a business where other people would work for her. Her response was: my customers only want me and it’s too much trouble to have people working for me. We talked for some time and I could not change her mind – what concerned me most was “time”.

Time is a factor in everyone’s life. Eventually she will get too old to be cleaning homes, then what? What will she do if she is too old or if she gets ill and can not work? Being the boss, being an owner is not with out its pit falls and trouble. Being the boss, an owner has it’s ups and downs – but if you’re the boss [ owner ] when you get sick, old or lazy – you can stop working and still earn an income. Every time I visit my local grocery store I am reminded of that fact – people who are 65, 75 years old working as cashiers or baggers because what they use to do when they were young and healthy – they can no longer do now.

I think of my situation, how long it took me to get my head on straight – I do not want the same for my children, I want better. Does my daughter have to end up a millionaire? No. But I would like to think that her situation turns out better than mine – time, it’s the only thing in life that can not be restored, replaced or manufactured. Once it is gone, time, it is gone forever.

So remember to teach your children these two essential concepts: 1- do not be ashamed of what you do, it may just be a step on the way to something better – be proud and do it with pride. 2- Plan for more, plan for something better in the future. Do not get stuck or content with doing what is easy, one day you may find that it is no longer easy and you have nothing to fall back on.

In the end, be happy with yourself and what ever you do, do it right, with pride in the work you do.