What Do Your Kids Think You Do for Work?
“Hey, what does your dad do for work?”
“Oh, I’m not really sure. I think he’s a stay at home dad. He’s always upstairs in his office working.”
This was a conversation one of our sons had with a friend of his long ago. It was back in the day when I worked to build a financial planning and wealth management business. I worked from my home office a lot. I eventually sold that business. But not knowing what dad did for a living was a big joke in the Jones family for many years.
Just the other day I heard a story about a dad explaining to his son and a friend what he does for a living. My friend is a recruiter, and at this stage in his life, he was not happy with the recruiting model he was selling. He didn’t like the “churn” of the people he fed into the companies for which he recruited. He was dying inside, and by the time he finished trying to explain what he did, he learned he needed to change everything about his business. What he heard himself say to his son convinced him to launch an entirely new “purpose-powered” recruiting firm which thrives today. This is called clarity.
I thought it was a great story because I can relate based on my own experience. My kids never really knew what I did for a living when they were young. If I were to do it again, I’d be far more intentional about teaching my children exactly what I do for a living.
Here’s another big thing I do even more than I did — I tell my sons all about the power of living and working when you’re powered by your primary purpose. When that happens, life happens really well!
I believe it’s essential for our kids to know what we do for a living, and to empower them to learn their gifts, natural learning style, treasures, purpose, and dreams, and to use them as best they can. At least that was the approach I took with our two sons, even though when they were younger they didn’t have a clue what dad did for a living.
Normal, right? I believe it is. Remember the world of kids. It is simple, playful, and as if living in a dream. Kids live to figure out their new world, and the crazy humans around them. This is why young kids make mud pies and figure out they aren’t so tasty when they eat them. But they sure looked good when they were getting them ready in the mixing bowl they jacked from mom’s kitchen.
Some adults forget to dream. Tragic, I know. If we don’t dream how can we teach our kids the power of dreaming, being creative, purpose-powered and more? I used to get in trouble for daydreaming too much in school. Now I make a living at it. I teach it to CEO’s and business owners. I teach it to kids.
Our two sons, Chris and Alex are grown now. They are both successful, professional young men living on their own at age 27, and 30 respectively. I believe part of their success in the business world was influenced by me, even though I didn’t do a very intentional job of teaching them what I did for work. But I did include them in my work when they got into high school and their early college years, so they could launch into the work world with the ability to dress for success, get along with anyone, listen, ask intelligent questions, shake hands well, network, sell, market, and more. And they have an amazing mother.
Soon, Chris and Alex will have the opportunity to teach their children what they do for a living. Good thing for their mom, my amazing wife of 33 years! And hey, I’m in no rush to be a granddad. Yikes, that just freaked me out.
What Do You Do for Work?
If you had to explain to a child what you do for a living in only one sentence, what would you say?
This is what I’d say now …
“I wake every day in the dark, find the light of my highest power, read tons of smart stuff so I can grow my brain, then I write a bunch of stuff down in my journal or computer, and it’s mostly a bunch of creative stuff up that doesn’t work, or that people just don’t get, but about 3% of my stuff does end up working because I think it all over for while, including time to take grown-up naps where I visualize being happy, healthy, and successful, then I work really hard to help other people in their business so they can enough customers, so they can sleep well at night, and that’s how I get what I want; to hang out with you, kiddo. Then I pass out at 7.”
I’m a CEO who doesn’t like the title. So I go by something else. I just make it up as I go along.
This is called living the dream, for me. You get to make yours up.
Go for it! If you can tell a kid what you do for a living, you might even get more clear on whether this is your game, or not.