I was talking with some friends last night and we were noting that some people seem to “figure it out” and do what they have to do to make a living. Others seem to have no clue. We agreed that some of it may be due to parenting, and that the issue was classles, it could happen to anyone. Here is an old post that may ring a bell with business owners and their children.
Do colleges teach you how to make a living?
I was talking with an industrial psychologist once about college and making a living. The psychologist said: “the only people who go to college are the ones that aren’t smart enough to make a living without it!”
Well, I think that is a gross exaggeration but there is some truth in it. But everyone needs to make a living some time, and the sooner we learn it the better off we are.
As a business owner and a parent, you have the advantage of teaching your child this yourself. It comes naturally to some, some learn it via osmosis from their parents, and unfortunately some never seem to figure it out. Focusing some time on it with your child early will make a difference.
I suggest that you teach your child how to make a living by comparing it to how businesses do it. Done right, your child will learn both, and get equipped for either a job or an entrepreneurial venture when he grows up.
Here are a few simple things to start with:
Businesses have a purpose, to serve their customers; individuals’ purpose is to serve their employers.
Businesses need a product or service that is in demand in the market place; individuals need a service that is in demand.
Businesses need to keep their product/service current; individuals need to continue learning to keep theirs current.
Businesses need sales people that have relationships with the customers; individuals need relationships with others for personal support, networking for job searches and to help others too.
Businesses need to know their financial situations; individuals need to manage their money also.
Businesses need equity to support their business growth or downturns; individuals need savings to support large expenditures and reserves in case they lose their jobs.
These are just a few simple comparisons, there are many more. If you are not in business and uncomfortable with businesses and how they work, find a friend that is in business or owns a business to talk with your child about these concepts. Most business people will quickly pick up on the concepts here and can show your child how these things work in their business as well as how they would work for individuals.
Not too many colleges I know think like business people, they are educators. Conversations about this can be casual or focused, but need to be done before that big investment of money in a college. Then their education will be focused on what they need to know to survive. You can teach your child to think like an entrepreneur, that will give him the options he/she needs to make a living.