The Case for Teaching Your Child (and Mine) How to Run a Business
Like any parent, I’m always worried about my son. The thought that he may not finish college has been a source of near-depression for me over the past decade.
By no means have I been silent about my reservations about whether or not he will get his degree. Despite the fact that I know college is not a requirement for success, the thought of him not completing college still scares the hell out of me!
He is not committed to the idea that a degree is necessary and I — a man with three degrees — am wondering how that could be. Perhaps it’s a matter of him just being extremely honest with himself and knowing he doesn’t want to go to college.
But I suspect it’s something even more sinister.
I fear his disdain for college is the result of being caught in the middle of a needlessly nasty divorce between his mother and me some years back. With my divorce case, the court system did what it often does — takes the mother’s side without truly weighing what’s best for the child.
I HATE TRADITION. IT SIMPLY COSTS TOO MUCH!
Too often, the devastating effect of a nasty custody battle is that children’s lives are disrupted, to their detriment. Under the guise of doing what was traditional (I doubt the Honorable Judge was thinking about what was best for my son), Judge Pope modified the custody arrangement to allow my ex-wife more parenting time with my son, while decreasing my parenting time.
The irony here is she worked too much to really spend much time with him at all while my life as an investor gives me all the free time I could ever want. Lo, years later, I am still nagged by the emotional distance that plagues my relationship with my son.
Coincidentally, Judge Pope still presides on the Superior Court in the state of California.
After the custody modification, my son’s new schedule was a hectic one. My ex-wife would wake our son up at 5:00 am and get him to daycare by 6:00 am so that she could be to work by 8.30 am. She worked until 6:00 pm, then picked him up. I can imagine that by the time she settled in and made dinner, there was barely any time left to read to my son. This arrangement was in place during his most formative years, so I know that his development was compromised.
My work schedule on the other hand, was very flexible. I was self-employed and I had the ability take my son to preschool, and pick him up at an appropriate hour, and spent time reading to him. I know the effects of taking advantage of the formative years because I constantly read to my daughter, who is now a fourth grader reading at an eighth-grade level.
THE DAMAGE IS DONE, BUT THE CAN STILL BEGIN
The fear that my son will not go to college was exacerbated by the fact that he struggled his entire academic career- barely getting more than C in every class. Once I considered his grades and personality, I realized that forcing my son to go to college was not the best solution. He’s far more inclined to work with his hands.
That’s where he’s in the zone — at his sharpest mentally and physically.
That’s astounding — I am not at all mechanically inclined and though I am often at the mercy of those who are when something I own is in need of service, I still push my son to go to college… maybe in an attempt to close the gap between us. Create common ground, I guess.
I used to think the white-collar world trumped the blue collar world, but that’s just elitist misconceptions. I mean, who cares how many sales I make during the day if I come home at night and the ceiling above my bed is leaking and I can’t fix it, right?
We all need each other. And my son excels in a space I never will.
Still, to give him the best advantage I possibly can, I decided to teach him what I know about building a business and investing in real estate.
In fact, the online training program I founded, GICDealFinders.com, was originally just a way for my son to keep track of his real estate leads and review the training I was providing for him.
He may not be a bookworm like my daughter, but he is kicking ass as one of my real estate apprentices. We butt heads sometimes when it’s time to decide how a property is to be renovated. And there are times when I reach the end of my rope and F-bombs and verbal threats seem to be the only way to motivate him to take his job seriously.
But all in all, he is learning quickly and making money.
So… each day that goes by diminishes the anxiety in me that he won’t be equipped to provide for himself and his family.
He will. His journey to becoming an adult — to becoming a man — is in full gear.
College degree or no college degree, I am going to make damn sure he is educated. I won’t fill his head with theories to debate or the thoughts of men who have been dead for a thousand years.
My son, Ade is enrolled in just one course: How to Generate Cash Flow Forever.
And he’s an A student.
This is an update of a post that originally appeared on my website, Amazing Toyin.