When my children were young, I was building my wealth management career. I was very fortunate to have a wonderful support network: my husband, parents, other family members, a caregiver (same one for over 12 years!), and of course, my friends.
There were times I had meetings at night and worked late. I explained to my daughters that I was building my business and some people could only meet after work. Bringing in new clients often required these meetings. They understood.
Still, I wondered, how could I have my daughters invested in my success? We had a family meeting and I explained that they might need to do some extra chores when I was not home. The good news — my earnings increased each time I brought in a new client, which benefitted the whole family.
I asked them what they would consider a good reward for their help. They both agreed to Dave & Buster’s gift cards. Since we were in this together and they had an impact on my success, they would earn a $5 dollar Dave & Buster’s gift card with every new client.
We made a chart to keep track of new clients (no names, of course). A tick mark for each one. We all high-fived every success. If I called home to check in and told them I was working late, Isabel would say, “that’s okay Mom, as long as you are working on a new client.”
One year I was having a tough quarter with new business. There were no recent tick marks on the chart. As I was eating breakfast Maddie looked at me, then the chart, and said, “Mom, umm not so much happening with new clients lately. What’s up with that?”
Wow! Not only was I receiving pressure from my boss, but from my daughter as well! I had to laugh. I explained to her that it takes time for hard work to pay off. I hoped to quickly add a tick mark to the chart.
As I added the next several new clients, we enjoyed a family visit to Dave & Buster’s. Their next financial lesson was how to allocate their winning tickets for prizes, but you will have to wait for my next book for that story.
We often discussed that this was a team effort and that everyone had a part in helping me grow my business. Everyone had "skin in the game." Even today, my daughters ask me how things are going, and congratulate me as the business grows. Of course, we talk about their jobs as well!
How about you? Is there a way to give your children "skin in the game" when it comes to your career or passions?
Shari Greco Reiches