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.

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