Five Conversations that Lead to Financial Independence
Most parents assume that financial independence begins with education. Why?
The idea that education without entrepreneurialism, will lead to financial independence is as silly as the thought of sending someone onto a field in the NFL because they earned a PhD. in football. The image is actually funny, until you visualize your kid in this scenario. Entrepreneurialism is the genesis of personal financial independence. It is also the single most important driver of the American economy.
Most parents avoid discussing this topic because they assume these skills are best taught in our schools. This is a personal and national tragedy because entrepreneurialism begins at home. Analogous to sports and language, entrepreneurialism is an activity and a form of culture that is best learned through experience. Football players are not created in a classroom, they are created by playing football. And learning Spanish is much easier when you grow up in a home celebrating spanish culture. Academics have elevated, complicated and distorted the original meaning of the word entrepreneur. The original french word simply means to “undertake” or accept responsibility, not own a company, employ people or deploy capital. It is entirely possible to be entrepreneurial and yet be employed by someone else! A national tragedy is that the largest group, with the most relevant knowledge and leverage to teach entrepreneurialism, possess little confidence to do so. I believe this group to be parents, not teachers. And, this lack of confidence is a direct result of the distorted meaning attached to the American Entrepreneur. Entrepreneurialism is undertaking and/or being responsible for solving problems, period. Until this is mastered, business ownership is nothing short of reckless. I have been a self-employed entrepreneur for over 25 years and have been teaching business concepts in classrooms (voluntarily & by invitation) for more than 11 years. In 2007, I started a program where instead of teaching business “concepts” to kids, I simply went “into business” with them. The idea was simple: teach entrepreneurialism the same way most people learn it, by doing it! After four years, specific trends became obvious. The kids whose parents took the time to discuss real-world problem solving and who encouraged them to participate, had enormous advantages over those whose parents did not.
I started experimenting with specific conversations among groups of high school students and narrowed it down to six basic conversations. The results were consistent:
- There was an immediate realization that they were not prepared for the real world.
- My relationship with the child immediately became much closer.
- With each conversation, the student became increasingly inspired and worked harder.
- The students expressed a feeling of empowerment.
I had my own awakening myself during this process. There was no way a teacher could have these kinds of discussions with every child, there simply wasn’t enough time. Teachers do not have the experience that matters to a child and even at the high school level, children still view their parents as their primary mentors.
Entrepreneurialism Begins At Home – 6 Conversations that lead to financial independence” is a “quick start guide” for parents to conduct these 6 conversations with their children over a six week period. It also includes several worksheets for parents to utilize while preparing for and conducting each conversation. The book includes dozens of real and funny short stories and analogies that enable parents to explain to their child basic laws of life and business (entrepreneurialism) using the ageless technique of “make a point, tell a story” helping both the parent and the child to lock into memory some of the most basic laws of becoming financially independent.
The conversation topics include: Understanding the real skills that lead to employability, understanding what life really cost, which careers enable a person to become financially independent, entitlement theory verses entrepreneurialism, real world problem solving, and finally a life map that enables a child to actually plan their life in a real and meaningful way. The best part about these conversations being between a parent and child instead of between a teacher and child is that each child will embark on solving real and relevant, meaningful family problems, that will not only pit the child against the real world, it will empower the child to make a real difference in their family.
This idea is a national game-changer because there are roughly 4 million high school students per year in America entering the workforce. Currently, there are less than 8,000 high school teachers who must divide their time and attention from among (on average) 16 students in the classroom of whom they will spend less than an hour with, to teach these students entrepreneurial problem solving. Contrast that with the over 4 million parents who spend considerably more time with their children and who have more leverage to influence them because they have actual, relevant and meaningful family problems for them to solve.
Which is more likely to change the game and produce a country of entrepreneurs and/or problem solvers? Having 8,000 teachers, teaching “problem solving” or 4 million parents giving their children problems to solve?
If you need validation that this book will not only lead to improved chances of financial independence and also improve the quality of the relationship between you and your child, look no further than your own experiences in life when you were given “real” responsibility and “who” that person was, who trusted you so boldly.
Entrepreneurialism Begins at Home.