There’s lots of things we can do to future proof our kids. But near the top of the list would probably be: Don’t condition them to into thinking they’ll get a job when they grow up.
The reason is simple – A job is only one source of potential revenue to sustain life.
This isn’t to say that jobs are bad, just that while they are young we should be introducing the concept of economics. The first concept is that we need revenue when we grow up, and a job is just one source. Imagine asking your kids this:
“What will your major revenue source be when you grow up?”
Their first question will probably be – ‘What in the heck is revenue?’ And this invites an important conversation that opens their minds for the rest of their life. A decent answer might be this: Well, revenue is a word that describes all of the different ways we can get money for helping people. A job is just one of those ways, but there are many more. And some are more rewarding, some easier, some harder. Here are some examples:
- Profits from selling things, or owning a business
- Commission which can be from selling something for someone else
- Fees for doing projects
- Freelancing selling your skills one task at a time
- Rents for people using things you own – like a building
- Dividends which is money when you own a portion of a company, Like the toy shops we go to – Did you know you can own part of that toyshop?!
- Royalties from letting someone use your idea, like if you drew the first picture of a cartoon character
- Licensing which is when people pay you to use something you own in another country
The list is endless, unlike the number of jobs which are about to be replaced by AI, Automation and offshoring.
Phil Burton-Cartledge, program leader for sociology at the University of Derby in the U.K. says “A broad range of skills and competencies is the best way to future-proof people for the challenges coming down the line.”
You could explain all the examples above, using just one of their toys, say, Lego. Shops make profit selling it. Professional Lego builders work as freelancers. The shop the Lego is sold in is rented by the person that owns the building. Lego pay licensing fees to Star Wars to make Darth Vader. Shareholders in the Lego company share in profits from people buying Lego. You get the pattern.
This will show them many possibilities. Kids are super curious about the world, and they’ll never see money in the same way again. They’ll start to see economics and different ways they can participate. More importantly though, they’ll be thinking about systems, and how to position themselves into owning the factors of production, and not being them. If we do this, we give them a chance at being the architects of their own future, and not a bricklayer in someone else’s.
The key to future financial freedom is a diverse range of income streams
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