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Why Bring Your Kids To Work
This is episode 277. We’re going to call this one something to do with if you are a business owner, if you’re an entrepreneur. Why is it important, even at an early age, to bring your children to work with you once in a while? I’m going to let Kerri start off. Why is it important that we brought all four of our children to our business, our conferences, our events, even to our offices on a fairly regular basis? Why is that cool?
We’ve always brought our kids. When they were very young, we brought them to the video stores. Eventually, we brought them to the office. We brought them to meet our friends, and now they work at the events at Digital Footprint. We’ve always incorporated them because if we’re going to spend so much time doing something, one, they need to know why. They need to know what it is and they need to know why we’re doing it. Money is a driver in a sense that we like to be successful so that we can pay for them, for their college, a roof over their heads, food, doctors. It’s not just about how many Lamborghinis, how many cars we can get or diamonds I can wear, it’s about the other stuff. It’s about choices. If they see that, they now have a goal of what they may or may not want to do.
Money is a driver to success. Click To Tweet
A lot of kids as they go to school, they go get a good education. They have no idea what they want to do for the rest of their lives. We have had the privilege of being able to put our kids around people like you, people like you who are doing something. They see dentists, they see doctors, they see insurance agents, they see insurance company owners. They meet doctors who are looking to create a tourist destination for medical services in Belize. Our children are thinking big. They don’t think just a doctor around the corner. There’s nothing wrong with that because you are home when you’re raising children. That’s a great thing.
They’re seeing that there are other options out there that are much bigger than anything that’s in a little children’s book that says, “What can you be when you grow up?” They’re meeting people and talking and having a conversation, “If I do this, if I like what you’re doing, tell me about it. Maybe I don’t want to do that. Hi, my name is. What do you do? That sounds really great. Tell me more about it.” They’re learning that there is so much more out there in the world that they could possibly do than they’re learning in school.
They’re learning to behave and that might be taboo to a lot of people, but I do believe in etiquette. I believe that children should be able to shake a hand and look at someone in the eyes when they’re talking to them and carry on a conversation that you can understand the enunciation. Our children all know how to do that. That’s a tactic. Whether or not they work with us or they do work with us, that’s extremely important, those soft skills.
Our children have goals. They know that they are looking for a good education, not because you’re looking for a degree to put on the wall. They’re looking for a great education so that they can carry on conversations with people like you. We’ve always brought our children with us at all ages and we’re very blessed to have been able to do that. In no matter what industry you’re in. If you can bring your child with you, I’m not saying two or three. We did, but there are two of us that work together so we’ve had that luxury. If you can bring your children around other people in your industry or even to events or conferences, they get to ask the questions. They get to find out what they want to do when they grow up. That’s not just a plaque on the wall, but an actual career path for themselves that they would enjoy and you have the rest of your life.
My dad once said, “You’re eighteen. I only have you for eighteen, Kerri, but you’ve got 82 other years if you lived to be 100. Most of your life won’t be with me.” That’s the truth. We love the Bible. God says, “Train up your child.” He doesn’t say, “Just have a child.” He says, “Train them up,” because we only have them for a short time and I love the fact that you, my friends, our friends, have enabled to enlighten our kids with other ideas and occupational and goals. A big deal is they have goals. Thank you.
I’ve said this one a couple times, but how many times have you seen, say a mom or dad smoking and they’re putting a cigarette in their mouth, taking a big breath, and saying, “Don’t smoke,” and they’re talking to their kids? All their kids see for years is, “Don’t smoke,” and what ends up happening with those kids? They end up smoking. What happens to a kid, a teenager, that starts hanging around with three other kids and all they do is smoke? People end up doing what they see, not what they hear. Kids don’t hear mom say, “Don’t smoke.” They don’t hear that. They see mom smoking. Kerri and I made a conscious decision early on to bring our kids into work, into our buildings, into our events, meeting our clients, our employees, our friends.
We can say to a child, and everybody reading this can say to a child, “You can do anything.” You can say it but a mom can also say, “Don’t smoke,” and yet they’re going to smoke. It’s difficult sometimes if you have a job to say, “You can do anything,” and then you go to your job instead of you doing anything and leading by example, by being a business owner. We knew we could tell our kids and we did tell our kids, “You can do anything,” but when we bring them to work and then every year when they go back to our office, we’ve doubled again. We’re at 50 employees, then 70, then 100 and our business is worldwide. They hear us say, “You can do anything,” but they don’t hear anything we say anyway. They don’t listen. They watch, and they replicate. We don’t have to tell our children what’s possible. They physically see what’s possible.
We have had very deep conversations with our teenagers in which they walked up to us and just out of the blue thanked Kerri and I for showing them what’s possible, “Thank you for showing me what’s possible.” I want to throw out the word Kerri hit it twice, choices. No matter what your business is, 80% of the audience are business owners and entrepreneurs of some kind, serial entrepreneurs, high-level managers. In essence, almost 90% of our audience own some kind of commission-only sales position or business ownership.
People end up doing what they see, not what they hear. Click To Tweet
Even if your kid’s 28 years old and has a job or owns their own business, when’s the last time you brought your kid to your business? When is the last time you have shown them anything is possible? I want to bring up another nugget. In 1998, Kerri and I were mentored by a great couple out of the West Coast and they were talking a lot about dream boards. They had one. Kerri and I took out a mini-poster board and we made a dream board. We put the house we wanted to live in. It was a cool white three-story house in the back on a lake. We put pictures of boats. Kerri had jewelry and I had a lot of travel in a private jet and this and that.
We had moved a couple times and we lost the dream board. About two years ago, we found that dream board. Outside of the jet, almost every single item including the diamonds, including the three-story home on a lake, we have it all. Why is that important? It’s because we’re talking about bringing your kids to work. Because our kids saw and see our current dream boards, our kids have dream boards. They know that inside of our company it’s not a requirement, but it’s strongly urged that the major people that work with us closely have dream boards as well.
Why is it important to bring your kids to work? It’s critical because they don’t hear a word you say. They watch what you do and when you lead by example and show them what you’re physically doing to improve people’s lives, add value to people, and make a difference, they have no choice but to feel it, not just hear it. That might change the direction of your life.
I have one more thing to say, which is going back to the beginning thing that you had mentioned about bringing your kids to your office. We own a wonderful company and we have fabulous people that work with us. Not all of our children but two of our children intend to work for the company. Our staff knows that the children eventually will be coming in. If they’re qualified, eventually they’ll be taking over our positions.
How would it be if our kids were never around and all of a sudden one day they showed up and now they’re there versus all the hard work and the life that the other people have put into our company? It’s quite the opposite at our company. They all respect our children because they know our children are involved, are teenagers are extremely involved. They’re very respected because they know what’s going on and if they don’t, if they have a question, they’re respectful enough to ask someone else in the company for assistance.
To me, that’s the biggest thing about why if your children have an intention of working with you, it’s the respect of the people that are working in your company already. They’re not going to jump into any position. They’re going to work their way up just like everyone else has. They just happened to be our kids, but they’re here. They’re paying their dues as they should and they’re respected. I want to circle this back.
The point of this podcast is why would you bring your kids to work, not necessarily that your children will take over your company. The statistical chance of a child working for their parents is less than a half of 1%. It’s one half of one-tenth, something crazy. Whereas in 1970, 60% of males follow in their dad’s footsteps and 30% of women followed mom’s footsteps in business. This is Ken and Kerri Courtright. We hope this helps. Take care.