enterpriseforkids.com

Inspiring kids to be entrepreneurial.

An Entrepreneur’s Conscience!

September 10th, 2012

Is Having a Money Mindset Charitable?

 

Yay! Enterprise For Kids Rock!

I was talking with a dear friend and asked what she thought of our Enterprise for Kids blog. She thought that it was very well done and that her kids were very inspired by our kids’ enterprise experiences. Her children had read every blog post and watched every video, then her nine year old daughter sat down and planned an enterprise following all the lessons we talk about in our blog.

Wow!

That is exactly the sort of inspiration we hope to develop, especially with kids.

What happened next was a real surprise to me!

 

What! I have to give it all away!

My friend explained that she didn’t mind the idea of enterprise, but she wasn’t OK with her kids having an enterprise where they make money for themselves.

I was a little taken back when my friend said this. I really had never thought that there would be people with the view that kids shouldn’t be making money for self interest. I was also grateful that my friend was frank in sharing her beliefs as it helps me better understand mine.

Firstly there is no right or wrong in what people believe or do. Everyone is entitled to their views and I respect my friend’s view.

After this enlightening conversation, I came to realize how far our mindset around money has changed since we started out on our journey in search for economic and personal freedom. It also had me thinking about the entrepreneur’s conscience!

Wealthy entrepreneurs think very differently to the rest of us.

Generally I would also say that they are not selfish; although I’m sure there are some who are, like there are selfish poor people as well!

Wealthy people would have persisted with their goals and taken certain risks to get to where they are now. Many of the wealthiest entrepreneurial people in the world are also very charitable and give millions away supporting causes they believe in. It is much easier to be charitable when you are rich! Many who are struggling to make ends meet do not have the time, energy or money to make larger contributions to the world.

Bill Gates

Warren Buffett

John Templeton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Gates, for example, employs many people to spend his money on charitable causes! Warren Buffett, who has lived in a very modest house all his life, gives away billions to charity! And Sir John Templeton (1912 – 2008) contributes $70 million each year through his foundation providing research grants and programs relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality (very interesting if you have the time to delve!).

Only last week I was speaking with a new entrepreneur friend who lives in Perth. He has recently created tremendous wealth developing property mostly in the Western Australian mining town, Port Hedland. He explained to me that he no longer needs to work and he now channels his energy into his passion. He is planning to take his young family to America where he has enrolled in a Theology university course. From there he plans to do mission work in Africa. Being a successful entrepreneur is allowing him to follow his charitable dream!

It could be argued that entrepreneurs, as opposed to the rest of us “workers”, have more free time, are less stressed, enjoy better health, eat better, travel more and their families are given more opportunities in life.

Do the rich have an entrepreneur’s conscience?

Probably more so than the rest of us!

The difference being is that they are in a much better position to make a real difference in our world than those of us who are tied to a “job” and to “debt”.

I’d like to thank my friend who allowed me to consider my views of an “entrepreneur’s conscience”.  I certainly value the importance of teaching kids enterprise, and I do support the view that enterprising kids should also be taught to be charitable.

Our view also is that a child has to walk before they can run…..meaning that for us, it’s OK for our kids to have a “selfish” goal because that is what motivates them at the time to take action and learn the entrepreneurial skills necessary to succeed. Then, when they have mastered that skill, they are taught to have a goal, but think about where they may like some of the money they earn to go. That is exactly the process we taught our Chayse (who’s 4) and Kit (who’s now 7) when they reset their goals. See this in action in an upcoming blog.

The more entrepreneurs we create the better our world will be!

 

As we revisit our own kids entrepreneurial journeys in this blog, we will share the lessons around their entrepreneur’s consciences and how we are teaching them to be charitable.

Next time we will talk a little more about the conditioning we have around money and how the wealthy do think differently.

Keep this discussion going by sharing your view in the comment box below.

Lastly, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you about the Gold and Silver Seminar that we are holding in Bunbury this Sunday. It will be an informative presentation that will open your eyes to some excellent investment opportunities. The discussion after the seminar is a great way to meet and network with other investors and business people. Bring along your teens to kick start their financial education. Click Here to view our flyer and please pass it around to others who you think may be interested.

Comments

12 Comments

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  • Linda Slater says on: September 17, 2012 at 4:05 am

     

    Hi Guys
    great blog. Yep, I too have to constantly remind myself that there is no “right/wrong/good /bad”. Teaching children to be self sufficient AND to be charitable seems like a good idea. If self sufficiency means being enterprising even better, because I believe the skills of enterprise spill over into many areas of our lives, especially when problems need to be addressed. Forge ahead Howitts!

    • Cathy and Trevor says on: September 17, 2012 at 4:38 am

       

      Thank you Linda for your thoughts on this topic. Totally agree. If the kids are entrepreneurial in one area, this will indeed spill into other areas of their lives. Its also great to hear the views of others and then use this to reflect on your own.
      That’s what this blog is all about – food for thought 🙂
      Cath and Trev

  • Tracey Truss says on: September 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

     

    Hmmm…kinda makes you think doesn’t it. For me, charity goes far beyond money. If you teach your children empathy and expose them to the multiple dimensions of our world…perhaps charity will naturally follow? Whether it is sharing your lunch with someone at school or donating dollars to a good cause…it is so much about intent. Do you donate to charity to look good or is it driven by an intrinsic motivation to support a cause you are passionate about? It is easy to give away things you don’t want, but how many of us truly go without something we may not need, but want, in order to help someone else out?
    Life is a moral minefield, and I love the stories about those who have worked hard in order to obtain their own financial freedom, which has in turn given them the opportunity to give back.
    Keep up the great work!… such questions deserve to be debated!

    • Cathy and Trevor says on: September 18, 2012 at 5:43 am

       

      Love your comments Tracey,
      We most certainly are a multidimensional world and children learn naturally throught the actions of their parents and other role models around them.
      Absolutely agree about “charity” being in the “intent”. Luckily our children have grown up with the idea of sharing, caring and being passionate about something. I also believe that giving something to someone simply to “look good” or be seen to be doing the “right” thing is in actual fact, not very charitable………….giving from the heart is what counts.
      Our kids do that in so many ways, and for me as a mother, I initially struggled with them making money for their own purposes. But I realised that was my social conditioning and if having a “goal” that was a bit selfish was what was needed for them to take action, then so be it. But that would feel very “hollow” after a while, so it was very exciting for the kids to come up with charities that they truly wanted to give to (like the RFDS as we have had direct experiences with them when Kaitlin was born). The Make A Wish Foundation also rated highly with our kids because they could relate to other kids having a life far less fortunate than their own. Sponsoring a child in Africa (where Trev was born) and seeing first hand what our money does for her and her community is truly inspiring. We are so glad we are teaching our children a way to make money and continue to help like that in the future. Thank you so much for your thought provoking ideas. Cathy and Trev

  • Christian says on: September 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

     

    HI Guys,
    A good read and thought provoking as always. Good to see you have touched on the fact that a focus on earning money is not the be all and end all. While there is nothing wrong with earning money and it gives one great power to do good things, it’s good to keep in mind the pursuit of the money is not a value to build your life around. A value system is made up of beliefs in how we would like the world to be, and we should never lose sight of what our value system is.
    Then go out and make your values come alive, and you will feel fulfilled.

    • Cathy and Trevor says on: September 18, 2012 at 6:18 am

       

      Hi Christian,
      Thank you so much for your thought provoking response. I think you said it all so succinctly. Money is simply a tool that we in society use to exchange for goods and services and experiences. Teaching our children how to use that tool is what is a valuable lesson. In actual fact, the pursuit of money is very rarely what people are going for. Most have a vision, a goal, something they would like to do with that money. Some will choose to spend it on material things, and feel the need for more, and never quite be satisfied. Others may choose to buy things to make life comfortable, but may also choose to use this tool in a way that can make a difference to not only their own lives, but those of others. That is how we hope we are raising our children. The values children hold around money, will in the end, probably mimic those of their parents (or come about as a direct experience from their own childhood).
      I absolutely love the last sentence you have written – “go out and make your values come alive, and you will be fulfilled.” Spoken like a true entrepreneur…………..and one I am going to write out and pin on the wall for the kids to read.
      By the way Christian, you are a real inspiration and you are definitely living a life that fulfills you and exemplifies the values you hold dear to your heart. I hope all people get that opportunity to do just that. (including our kids).
      I have included your blog link here because I love your work and know others will too.
      christianmushenko.wordpress.com
      Cheers Cathy and Trev

  • nan and pop says on: September 18, 2012 at 3:56 am

     

    Loved reading this blog. As a kid, the only way we could buy anything extra was to work on tasks outside the normal jobs of responsibility set by Mum and Dad. Can remember selling newspapers on the corner of Burt St to miners on their way home from work. Great believer in the more affluent and Governments assisting those in genuine need, however I also believe able people should not be eligible for the Dole unless they have made some contribution to the community.
    I realise that this is a little off track, but thanks for the opportunity of saying something I feel strongly about.

    • Cathy and Trevor says on: September 18, 2012 at 5:32 am

       

      Thankyou so much for sharing. I don’t think you went off track. The idea of this blog is to think about why we do what we do, think about our own values system and look at what works for us. We all have varying opinions depending on our belief systems and our social conditioning.
      I think it is important for memebers of society to contribute in a valuable and positive way. Selling newspapers on the corner of the street teaches you many very valuable lessons in life and has given you the work ethos you have today…..one you’ve passed onto your chidren 🙂 We have been passing this on to our own children, and now it’s time for them to take that work ethos and apply it to their entrepreneurial pursuits……so far, so good 🙂

  • Linda Slater says on: September 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

     

    …and this just popped into my email today. How relevant! To save the world we must first be “selfish”…..
    http://geniusawakening.com/blog/saving-the-world/

    • Cathy and Trevor says on: September 19, 2012 at 4:16 am

       

      Hi Linda,
      Isn’t it funny how the universe has a way of delivering what you need at the right time! I loved the blog link you sent. If anyone wants a good read, just click on the link in Linda’s comments.
      Clarifies so many things and puts it in a way that we can relate to. Thank you for sending this through. More “food for thought!”
      Cathy and Trevor

  • Cindy says on: September 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

     

    For entrepreneurs there is a natural progression. First is the “get phase”. This is where the person works hard to create wealth, security and financial freedom for his/her family/self. This phase could be seen as “selfish”, as the goals are centered, for the most part, around the entrepreneur’s personal goals.

    The second phase is the “give back” phase. The entrepreneur has achieved or surpassed their personal goals and is now ready to positively influence their community or the world.

    I honestly don’t think that “the get” phase is really selfish, and without it people would be less likely to contribute anything of consequence to improve society.

    • Cathy and Trevor says on: September 19, 2012 at 4:22 am

       

      Cindy,
      You have put the “natural progression” of an entrepreneur in such a succinct and easy way to understand. Where were you when we were writing the blog post? 🙂 Thankyou for sharing that with us…………it’s exactly the process we are going through with our own kids, and I guess in the end, it is all based on our own beliefs and values systems and our social conditioning. Sometimes that works, sometimes, it’s time to re-evaluate what makes us tick, why we think the way we do and sometimes it’s time to open up to new ways of thinking. The worse that can happen is we can have a different way of looking at the world and appreciate the differences in others as well. The journey of life……………….

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enterpriseforkids.com

Inspiring kids to be entrepreneurial.