The 12 Secrets of Self-Made Multi-Millionaires (12 Lessons)
Values Are Learned Early and Passed On
(Please listen to the audio file first! It is more in-depth. Then study the text and take any action that the text suggests!)
The Sixth secret of self-made multi-millionaires is that they learned to make it on their own early in their lives, and have passed this quality on to their own children, although they can give their children everything.
Contrary, to what you may have been led to believe, self-made multi-millionaires are not set-up in business and are not given a financial nest egg by their parents. Most of the self-made multi-millionaires I have studied, earned their own spending money as teenagers and young adults, helped pay for their cars, worked while they attended college, at least during vacations, paid for their study materials, paid for their own clothes and their recreation.
When their parents did help, it was not with credit cards, gasoline cards, smart phones, and unlimited messaging. It was a small allowance, in addition to helping with their education, when they could. Many of the wealthiest self-made entrepreneurs in present-day society came from very modest backgrounds. It is simple to understand, yet difficult to implement in your own family.
The object of parenthood is not to give our children everything we didn’t have, and everything the children didn’t earn. Our job as parents is to teach our children how to fly from home as independent young adults without them getting hurt physically or impaired emotionally.
Adolescence, especially, is often a time of maximum resistance to further growth and a tendency to be irresponsible for their actions. It is a time characterized by the teenager’s ingenious efforts to maintain the privileges of childhood, while at the same time demanding the rights of adulthood. They want rights without consequences. It is a point beyond which many human beings do not progress emotionally. Yet, research has proven the more we do for our children, the less they can do for themselves.
The dependent child of today is destined to become the dependent parent of tomorrow. Therefore, the greatest gifts that parents can give their children are roots and wings, instead of loot and things. Roots of self-esteem that make them feel strong and confident in their decision making skills. And Wings of self-reliance that make them learn to live with the rewards and consequences of their choices. This decreases their tendency toward immediate gratification and tension-relieving behaviors in favor of delayed gratification and goal-seeking behaviors.
To help children grow from total dependency toward independence don’t do anything for your children, including making decisions, that they are capable of doing themselves.
When children are three or four years of age, they should put away their own toys, play materials and belongings. They should help make their beds and keep their rooms in order as a regular daily routine. Don’t pay children for doing something for themselves. Pay them a reasonable, regular allowance for regular household chores, outside of their own room which should be maintained in order and cleaned with no payment other than praise, or a family outing.
A dollar per week per year of age of the child is a reasonable allowance. This means an eight-year-old child would receive about eight dollars per week allowance, if he or she completed regular chores.
For a fourteen year old, it might be fourteen to twenty dollars per week. Each child should have regular chores at regular times on certain days. Whatever is expected of them should be inspected by you and approved. This is an excellent time for positive reinforcement for a job well done and also for positive coaching when improvement is needed. (Note: Since this recording, allowances have soared to nearly double or triple those suggested in this program.)
Preteens and teens should have savings accounts and checking accounts which they open and manage themselves, with initial supervision from parents. They need to learn early that savings accounts are for delayed gratification and the future. And that checking accounts are for weekly necessities. Dream lists and goals for their savings should be encouraged to stimulate delayed gratification.
For small children, three large jars are ideal. Jar One is for one-third of allowance money and can be spent any time. Jar Two is for one-third of allowance money to save for later in the year for special occasions and gifts. Jar Three, with a tight lid, is for one-third of allowance money and should not be spent at all. It is for transferring into a savings account for the long-range future, such as a car or college education. One of the most glaring missing lessons in most children today is that parents don’t instill strong moral and ethical values, and, unfortunately leave this to the media, friends and school. As we’ll learn in a later secret, the earlier children experience mistakes and failures as learning experiences, the earlier they become mature adults, capable of handling change and adversity.
Let your children accept responsibility for their own actions. Help them understand that they cause their own effects in life, good and bad, and that their rewards in life will be in proportion to the contribution they make. Let them experience the logical consequences of their actions, as long as those consequences are not physically dangerous.
I learned this important lesson the hard way. I grew up in a poor family, where I was expected to earn my own spending money and contribute a daily effort in maintaining our home and yard, and that of my grandparents. I learned to rely on myself at an early age and, as a result, I have been able to generate my own financial security as a result of my own efforts. I never expected my parents, a company, or the government to take care of me or guarantee my future. My children were raised in family that had abundance. Ski vacations, cars, free time and spending money. As a result, some of them have had difficulty being self-reliant and self-motivated to make it on their own.
I finally realized and so did they that my role was to provide early strength and nourishment, so they could get the wind beneath their wings and fly free and high. They now know that their inheritance is their college education. We are always there in person, spiritually, emotionally and financially for our family and friends in case of emergencies, health problems or hardships.
Our mission in life, however, is not to create heirs who eagerly await the reading of our wills. The money in my estate will go to abused orphans, not become a windfall or crutch for my own children later in life. We want our children to have the same challenge and joy of earning as we have had. Money is appreciated most when it has been earned.
Self-Test: If you have children, what has been your approach to helping them appreciate the value of money?
If you plan to have children, plan now not to become their ATM machine. Teach them fiscal responsibility as early as possible. If your children have grown and flown the nest, what will be your approach to their inheritance? Will the values you have helped instill in them be more priceless than the valuables in your estate?
The Science of Getting Rich • The Richest Man in Babylon • Acres of Diamonds
Section Review Quiz and Answers
The 12 Secrets of Self-Made Multi-Millionaires (12 Lessons)