17 Keys to Help Your Kids Become Entrepreneurs.
I want you to think about two different countries that are competing to see which can have a better economy. Now, one of the countries encourages parents to teach their kids about concepts of entrepreneurship, and the other one doesn’t. Which country’s economy do you think is going to create more jobs? I’m willing to bet this country here.
So, today I’m going to talk to you about 17 different things you could do to help raise your kids to become entrepreneurs. By the way, before I get into it, I got three kids myself, so anything I’m teaching you, I’m teaching it to my kids as well.
1) TELL STORIES
Let me tell you what I mean by telling stories. I will go to a simple restaurant, and I’ll ask if the owners are there. I’ll have them come by, and I’ll say hello to them in front of my kids. Then I’ll say, “Hey, Tico, hey Dilly, do you see that man over there?”
“That man saved all his money in his life and started this restaurant so you and I can eat and this restaurant pays that waitress, pays that cook, pays this person, so can you imagine that risk that man took created all these people jobs and all these people feed their families because that man was an entrepreneur.”
“No way, daddy.”
I tell these stories all the time. Always the stories about what it takes to create jobs, what it is to become entrepreneurs, and the kids are always fascinated. “That’s the man? That’s the man? That’s the man that owns this business? Oh my gosh, daddy.”
2) TEACH THE VALUE OF MONEY
So what is the value of money? You make 10 bucks, a dollar is given away to somebody by you, a dollar goes towards taxes. I’m the government at the house, so I get the taxes. The way it works out I give them 10, I take a dollar back. Then the eight goes into their savings pile. I explain, this is how it works when you make money, you give one to somebody, you give one into taxes, and you keep eight to yourself.
“Daddy, I don’t want to pay taxes.”
I say daddy, I don’t want to pay taxes, but we have to pay taxes because we have certain things we take advantage of. You’re living in this house, you have a room, someone’s cooking for you, this is a government. If we were a country, this is the country, I’m, the president of this country, you have to pay me a dollar in taxes. We teach these concepts to them about money.
3) GIFT VS OWNERSHIP
I think a very important concept to learn is about the difference between gift and ownership. Sometimes I give a gift to my kid, and I’ll say to my kid listen, “I’m giving this to you as a kid because I want to give it to you, but Tico, Dilly, if you buy this thing with your own money, you will play with it more because you took your own money into it.” They fully don’t understand yet what I’m talking about but I’m telling them that anyways.
We were in Ball Harbor a couple weeks ago, Miami, and my youngest son Dylan sees a white Ferrari and he says “daddy I want you to buy that Ferrari for me.”
I said “daddy, I’m going to give you one better pop.”
He says “what is it?”
I said “I’m going to teach you how you can buy that white Ferrari for yourself.”
He was absolutely furious, he said “I want you to buy it daddy.”
I said, “no, you’re going to buy it because if you buy it, you’ll take care of it better, more than if I buy it for you.” Then he’s listening, he’s understanding. All this stuff, none of this stuff may make any sense to them right now but it’s sticking. Some of the stuff is sticking.
4) COMPENSATION PLAN
I think everybody ought to have some sort of a compensation plan. You have it as an adult, you may be a teenager watching, maybe a parent watching this. At your job you get paid a salary, that’s your compensation plan. If you do X,Y,Z you get a bonus. In our country no matter what country you live in, there’s a tax system. The tax system is a compensation plan. You make $50,000, you pay 15% in taxes. You make $100,000, you pay 43% in taxes. You make a quarter million dollars, you pay 57.5% but there’s a compensation plan to you. I always have a compensation plan with toys I buy in advance. So you know how people say, “I’m never buying anymore,” I always buy them, but here’s what I do with the toys that I buy.
I display them all the way on the top of my house, at the top of a place where no one can reach it, 12 feet up. They can’t reach it but they can see it every single day. They come to me, “daddy I want to play with that toy.” I have toys on the wall for eight, nine, 10, 20 weeks that they keep saying. The bigger the toy the longer it takes to get it because they’ve got to do more work. What do I need to do, then it’s behavior, responsibility, doing your chores, doing your part early in the morning, playing, practicing, doing this, doing that. There’s a compensation, you do X,Y,Z you get this. We have a compensation plan.
5) TEACH CAPITALISM
“Pat, you teach capitalism to the kids?” Always. “What do you mean you teach capitalism to a kid, do you sit there and teach them forms of economy and what’s the difference between socialism and communism and all this other stuff?”
At the age that they are right now, five and three, what I explain to them is capitalism is all about who does it better and who treats people better. If you create a product that’s better than somebody else, or you treat people better than others are treating their people, you’ll win long term. Oh, so treat people better, you win. Create something better, you’ll win.
Now if these kids get to eight, nine, ten years old and we’re sitting there and doing math with them and all this other stuff, I’m going to explain the difference between capitalism, socialism, and communism and how it benefits that if you put a lot of hard work into capitalism, you win. If you wait for everybody else to give them their stuff too, you’re not going to win. I’ll explain here that you won’t own anything, I’ll explain to you, do you want to own your own car, do you want to own your own house? You can’t do that in communism. Do you want to be able to make money, and you keep a big part of the money, you don’t have to give 60% of it away? Yeah socialism you give 60% away. Capitalism you keep 70% of it, 30% goes. Sometimes it’s more than that, but preferably a big part stays with you. Depending on the kid’s age, I’m going to get deeper into that.
Recognize when they do a good job, when they create money, when they make a profit, when they do a chore better, when they create something better, “hey buddy, good job for that man, I’m proud of you. That was good stuff, good stuff you did right there with your little business, you’re gonna do some good stuff here with this business.”
Giving that encouragement or recognize them for it and try to do it in front of a lot of other people, your family, mom. “Hey, did you see pop what he did, hey did you see grandma what he did, hey did you see what he did?” You’re building up their identity and they want more of that because it’s recognition.
7) CHALLENGE EARLY
I think I started challenging Tico at a year and a half, two years old. I literally would sit there, I would get on my knees, the head is always above me, any time I’m challenging your head has to be above me, so they have to be looking here, so at least they feel superior. I put them up, in our laundry room we have a post. Four feet. I put Tico and Dylan there and they look like this to me. I ask him, can I tell what you were thinking when you did that, and I’ll challenge him on it. Can I tell you what you were thinking with this part here? Early. Any reason why you didn’t want to do this, explain it to me, I’m curious, what were you thinking here? I’m challenging early.
The reason why I’m challenging early, I think sometimes parents don’t challenge early and then all of a sudden they do it and the kids don’t like their parents. I’m challenging early. Obviously a year and a half is a different challenge than two and a half, then five and half, then 10, then 16. It’s going to be a different challenge. As the level of maturity goes, you gotta allow them to be the adult and speak to them like adults, but the sooner you give them respect, the sooner they’ll respond. I challenge very early. In the world of business, it’s all about challenging. The world of business, entrepreneurship, it’s always about you getting better so you always gotta have that early on.
8) TEACH PROPER VALUES
You can pick and choose whatever values you want to teach, for me it’s four of them that I teach on a daily basis. I asked Tico and Dylan, hey what are the four things we do as a family.
“Daddy we lead, we improve, we respect, we love.” They have to tell me lead, improve, respect, love. Lead, respect, improve, love. They say this to me so many times, I asked them this morning, what do we do? Such and such. So if they don’t respect somebody and they do a behavior that’s not alright, I sit them down and I say, “hey, in this situation here, did you respect the other person?”
“Do you want to be respected?”
“Any reason why you didn’t respect them?”
“I don’t know daddy” and the reason why he didn’t do it. Hey, what do we do as a family? Lead. Did you lead in this situation?
“I did not.”
“I want you to lead in this situation because we’re a very good family, we lead. Hey buddy, do you know what happened today?”
“I don’t care if you don’t win the game today, but you improved today, because what are one of the four things that we do? Improve. You improved today, good job.”
I’m constantly teaching that, I’m constantly teaching about not bullying and not getting bullied. Sometimes we only teach about not bullying other people, we forget to teach that don’t let others bully you as well. This is a big part of business, so I teach that all the time.
You know you can’t say the same thing enough times. I think sometimes as I’m doing a weekly conference call, so if I’m mentoring or building other entrepreneurs, one of the things that I will tell them I’ll say, you’re probably going to hear me say this 50, 100, 200 more times and you’ll probably hear me saying this five, 10, 20, 30 years from now because business is about repetition and re-reminding, re-reminding and repetition is about re-reminding. You can’t just say one thing one time and have it stick with them. Re-reminding, re-reminding and that’s a part of repetition.
If your kids are going to be in an environment where there’s other people selling, talking about business, they’re going to pick it up. If your kids are friends with other kids whose parents are also business owners, those habits are typically being passed on to their kids, so they’re generally being taught the same mindset. I like my kids to be friends with other kids whose parents run businesses, because they understand hard work and effort and all that stuff, so environment is very, very important. I like to bring them to the environment; if we do conferences I want them to be around it. I want them to see the languages that are being spoken because they’re picking it up, even though you don’t think they’re picking it up. How many times do you hear an adult talk about it? One of my friends who was there who would say “my mother used to be in a company called X, she would always sell dot dot dot. I remember I would watch my mom selling stuff and my mom would sell jewelry or my mom would sell this.” That stays, six years old, eight years old, these kids remember it. They’re going to remember what you were doing with them as well.
Five dollars, you read this book, you write a paper, you present it front of the family, you get five bucks. This book is three times bigger; this is a $15 book. You read this book, you write a paper, you present it to the family, I ask you questions about the book because I’m making sure you’re not getting this off Google, or you’re not getting a summary and I know you read the book. I’m going to ask you specific questions to see if you know the answers. If you know the test, then you get your $15. Books, early on, if you can get them reading simple business books early on, they’ll have an edge over other people.
12) ASK HOW THEY WOULD SOLVE A PROBLEM
Let’s just say something happens in the house. Let’s just say something happens in the country, let’s just say something happens to the community. Let’s say something happens to a sibling, let’s say something happens to your health.
“Hey, how would you have handled that, how would you solve that problem? “
“Hey daddy I would probably do this and then I would do that and then I would call Batman and I would have Batman call Superman and then we would solve it together because Super Mario would show up with Inspector Gadget.”
I don’t care what they’re saying, but I want them to be thinking about how they’re going to be solving that problem. “Oh no way, that’s crazy, that’s awesome kid. You would solve a problem like that?”
“I would solve it like that daddy.”
“Okay good, you’re smart, you know how to leverage other people and bring help. “
“Yes because Batman’s gonna help me out.” Now that’s at five. at 11 years you’re going to get some reasonable answers but what I’m telling you is, ask a question anyways.
13) TEACH YOUR KIDS SALES
Teach them how to sell. When you teach them how to sell or negotiate, they’re typically going to do it to you for the next two to three years, so just be prepared. My son Tico is a very good negotiator. He is just a brilliant negotiator, he’s five years old. He’s knows how to negotiate. Dylan has a different tactic of sales than his brother does, but they know how to sell. I want to teach that early on because everything in life’s going to be selling. Every single thing. A kid who knows how to sell better than another kid will typically move up in life faster as long as they add the effort, because they know how to get themselves in situations that somebody else doesn’t know how to get into. So teach sales early.
14) LET THEM SEE YOU IN ACTION
I know my 18-month old son will listen to me on conference calls and he will just look at me. I’m doing a conference call, and the kid is sitting right in front of me listening as we do conference calls. If I have a negotiation call, I’d have him sit here and listen to me. If I had a strong conversation, I’d have them sit there and listen to me. They’re hearing me constantly and the more they hear me, they’re going to remember this stuff five, 10, 15, 20 years later.
15) SPEAK ABOUT FAILURE AND MISTAKES
“Hey buddy, let me tell you a story about what happened with Johnny once. Johnny used to do this and this is what happened to him. Hey let me tell you a story about an old friend of mine. Hey let me tell you a story about what happened with this kid. Hey let me tell you a story about this actor. Hey let me tell you a story about this.”
Always tell stories of failure and mistakes that you made and others made to educate them through that, and it saves them the time to not make those mistakes. Anyone can talk about keys to success, that’s easy. I like to talk about mistakes and failures.
16) DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY
If you’re too hard on them and you’re too serious with them, they won’t enjoy the process. I want them to enjoy it. Just like math, I want you to enjoy math, math is so cool. I want you to enjoy business, it’s a game, you’re playing a game.
I’ll tell them, “you know how I like to play this game daddy? Business is a game and if you learn how to play this business game it’s so easy to play, daddy boy. It’s so easy.”
“Oh my gosh, I want to learn daddy, daddy this thing is such an easy game.”
“I’m gonna teach you if you want to learn.”
“I want to learn.”
“No problem daddy, we are going to learn this business game together.”
The serious stuff, let them experience that stuff because business serious is going to hit you pretty hard. You’re teaching them already about failures and mistakes, you’re teaching them the principles already as well, but don’t go too serious where they forget the fact that it’s a fun game that they can play as well.
And last but not least…
17) LANGUAGE AND EXAMPLE
The language you use will have a massive amount of effect on your kids.
If your kids constantly hear you talking about you’re in pain, “I’m tired, my body hurts, I hate my boss, I can’t stand my job, you have no idea what they did to me.” If they constantly hear that, “I’m tired” they want to be like you.
“mommy I’m also tired.”
“I hate my boss.”
“Mommy I also hate my boss.”
“I can’t stand what’s happened.”
“Mommy I also can’t.”
They’re just going to mimic you, so if you say, “hey pop, listen, we’re going to be fine, we’re going to do this, good things are happening, we’re going places, here’s what we’re going to be doing.”
“Mommy’s working hard right now, the reason why mommy’s working hard right now is because you said you wanted to go to Disney World and we’re gonna go together to Disney World in July. Hey daddy’s working hard right now because remember when we went to the beach one time? I’m gonna take you to Hawaii, we’re gonna got Cancun, we’re gonna go to Europe where you’re gonna see the statue, you’re gonna see this guy, Alexander the Great where we read about that one time, you’re gonna see where he walked at the Acropolis in Athens.”
“No way daddy.”
“Yeah daddy boy, we’re gonna go, it’s gonna be amazing, so this is why daddy works hard. “OH okay.” But I’m gonna play with you on Sunday daddy boy.”
All this stuff that you’re doing, I’m just telling you what I’m doing. Some of this stuff you may say it’s absolutely ludicrous, I’ll never do it, I totally understand. Some of the stuff I do is probably – it’s not probably, it is ludicrous – but some of the stuff you may do is going work for you. My challenge to you is this, if you’ve got kids, read this all over again and start implementing some of these things in your own person life, and if you know other people who have kids, parents and all that stuff, share this with them, tag somebody on Facebook, share with them, so they can also get some of these principles for themselves as well.
Thanks for reading everybody, take care.
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