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  “How To Teach Your Child To Be An Entrepreneur so they can Do

What They Love and Get

Paid for It!”


It’s the American Dream.  To own your own business, do what you love, and to get paid for it.


Most small business fail in the first five years.  In fact, I know from personal experience that it’s pretty hard to get financing options for anything until after you’ve hit the 5 year mark.


Here’s some statistics on business failure from David Birch, former head of research firm specializing in studying small business data.


Here’s Birch’s survival rates:


• First year: 85 percent.
• Second: 70 percent.
• Third: 62 percent.
• Fourth: 55 percent.
• Fifth: 50 percent.
• Sixth: 47 percent.
• Seventh: 44 percent.
• Eighth: 41 percent.
• Ninth: 38 percent.
• 10th: 35 percent.

"Once you've hit five years, your odds of survival go way up," Birch said



The reason why so many businesses fail is that people want to be entrepreneurs but they have not learned the skills that they need in order to succeed.


Kinda of like not learning to balance a checkbook in high school or not learning some other essential life skill.


And you can’t teach someone else a skill that you haven’t learned yourself.


If you’ve ever wanted to run your own business but never felt you had the skills…


If you want your child to have the option to run his or her or business – or not.


If you want your child to have the life skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur…


Then this will be the most important report that you will ever read.




Dear Homeschooling Parent:


Before an entrepreneur isn’t easy.  It’s not a skill you’re just born with.  It’s learned behavior, thinking, planning, and decision making.


And how do I know that?  Because I had to go through that learning process.


When Wade and I got married in August 1989, I had no idea that he had the dream of owning his own business. 


We were in the military – first stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, then sent to Clark Air Base in the Philippines until Mount Pinatubo erupted (which is a whole story in and of itself), and then wound stationed at Elemendorf  Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska in December 1991.


Wade was security police in the Air Force and I got a great job that soon made me an Assistant Vice President of a mortgage company.  I was very secure in the predictability of our lives and in the security of our income.


Then came the changes.


After 8 years of service, Wade decided to end his military career.  That was fine with me.  I hated being the “dependent wife”, and he had so many dreams and plans that he wanted the opportunity to try.


His military service was officially over September 15, 2023 – exactly two days after our first son, Nathan, was born.  Talk about timing!


Wade felt liberated.  He decided to seek employment in the law enforcement field; and it wasn’t long before he was training to be a correctional officer for Spring Creek maximum security prison in Seward, Alaska. 


He was excited and I was so happy for him.


There was only one BIG problem.


Seward was four hours away, and he worked seven 12 hour shifts and then was off for a week.  So, he got an apartment and lived and worked down there for a week and then was home for a week.


It was awful.  It was hard on our marriage.


When Wade was gone, I was still working as a new Mom and had to take care of everything.  Then, when he was home; he wanted to be back in charge and I didn’t just want to hand it all back over when I was going to have to deal with it all again the next week!


So, he applied for a transfer.


And I’m not really sure how he got it having been employed with the state for such a short time – maybe it was just a gift from God for Wade’s hard work and commitment to his family – but he got a transfer as a Youth Counselor to McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage (the center for juvenile delinquents.)


Wade was great with the kids; but the job still wasn’t what he wanted.  It was 12 hour shifts, mostly nights; and the job left him emotionally drained.  We were basically still leading separate lives in the same city.


And a year and a half later, my Bissell Little Green clean machine broke and changed our lives forever.


How a Broken Bissell Led Us Into

Opening Our Own Carpet Cleaning Business


It’s actually ridiculously funny when you think about it!


Wade took in my broken cleaning machine to get it fixed.  It happened to be at a place that sold equipment and supplies to professional carpet cleaners.


Wade, being the friendly, social person that he is, struck up a conversation with the owner.  He asked lots of questions about everything there.  And when he left, he not only had my machine fixed; but he also a $1200 professional portable carpet cleaning machine.


It was then that he walked in the door and announced that he was going to open a carpet cleaning business.


I was horrified!


This was definitely out of my comfort zone – there was so much uncertainty – so many unknowns…  I wanted nothing to do with it.


Nooooo problem, Wade assured me.  This would be his venture.  It would be a huge success.  He would be home more, we’d have money, and we’d have a better family life.


Breaking Free Into the World of Entrepreneurship


So, that’s how it all started.  And when it all started falling apart.  Our carpet cleaning business officially started February 15, 2023 – two weeks after I found out that I was pregnant again.  Perfect timing, huh?


Wade kept working at McLaughlin and passed word around about doing carpet cleaning.  And he actually got jobs!


He cleaned carpet on his days off and after work.  I never saw him.


But he had a plan:  since the other carpet cleaners charged $.18 SF for carpet cleaning, he would charge $.16 a SF.  We would get all the business and be on our own before we knew it.


He was right about one thing.  His cell phone started getting calls and messages and we were losing jobs because he wasn’t able to answer the phone when he was working his other job.


So, that’s when I got involved.


We turned our third bedroom into a home office, installed a business phone line, got a yellow page ad, and started other advertising.


I was busy scheduling appointments, doing the book-keeping, and being a Mom. 


I never saw Wade accept to hand him his cleaning schedule; and when he did finally make it home, he was totally exhausted.


Hard Work Will Brink in Good Money, Right?


But I have to hand it to Wade.  I had never seen anyone work harder than he did that year in my whole entire life.  And without complaining.  He was a man with a dream and a mission.


And by the end of 1997, he had brought in $9,000 from carpet cleaning.  Pretty awesome, huh?




Our total expenses were over $25,000, so we had a net loss of $16,000. 


We were both working full time jobs (and through my entire pregnancy too) in order to pay for the privilege of cleaning other people’s carpet!


So Where Exactly Did We Go Wrong?


Through most of the year, we had difficulty paying our bills, living off of credit cards, and racking up debt like crazy.


We had expected things to turn around; but they hadn’t.


The problem was that dreams and ideas don’t make you a good entrepreneur.  Organization and people skills don’t make you a good entrepreneur.


Well, now that we knew how to do it the wrong way, we had to figure out the right way, and FAST.



What an Entrepreneur is NOT:

·        NOT just a hard worker

·        NOT just an idea maker or creative person

·        NOT just going along with the flow

·        NOT copying what other people are doing or aren’t doing


Skills Every Child Needs to Know To Do What They Love

and Get Paid For It


So, now that you know what an entrepreneur is not, I’m going to share with you what an entrepreneur is.


And the characteristics and skills each successful entrepreneur has.


And when we learned these characteristics, we turned our -$16,000 for year loss into a business grossing over $220,000 a year with a very comfortable salary for ourselves.



TRAIT TO TEACH YOUR CHILD #1:  Be able to ask for things


I’m not talking about the ability to ask questions about how things work and things like that.  We develop that naturally as children; and as adults, still have the ability to find out how to get something done.


I’m talking about something entirely different.


Something even I was guilty of stifling in my children until last year.


My oldest son Nathan loves to ask questions:  how does this work, what about that, how come that happens, etc.  And I tolerate those pretty well and really try to use them as teaching opportunities.


But I HATE the constant questions:

·        “Can I have pop to drink?”

·        “Can I have a piece of that candy?”

·        “Can I play with Dad’s game?”


You know the type of questions I’m talking about.  And I’d tell Nathan that he had to stop asking questions.  That if he wanted something and wasn’t sure of the answer, then don’t ask because the answer is NO!

If you’re like me and have done this, you need to STOP IMMEDIATELY!


As annoying as they are to a busy mother, that is exactly the skill an entrepreneur needs.  The ability to ask for something and know that the worst that can happen is that the answer will be “no.”


Just exactly how is an entrepreneur supposed to step out and ask for business, ask for sales, ask for financing, and ask for anything else if they are trained not to ask?  Or worse yet, have been trained to be AFRAID to ask?


Nathan now knows that he can ask when he wants something and the worst that will happen is that the answer is no – and that’s not so bad.


TRAIT TO TEACH YOUR CHILD #2:  Ability to Plan


Successful people have been studied and analyzed by tons of people for many years.  And all of them have the ability to plan, covering several facets:


1.     Long term thinking – envisioning an end result and knowing exactly what they want

2.     Making each decision based on what they want in the future and what will happen in the future

3.     Setting priorities – know what is important to do and when to do it

4.     Written goals and Plans – knowing step by step what needs to be done to get to the final goal


When you think back to the story I told you about starting our carpet cleaning business, you will see that we missed all four of these.


We didn’t have a vision of the end result of what our business would be.


We didn’t make any original purchase or business decisions based on long term thinking or long term financial impact


We didn’t set any priorities (such as time with family) or even any business priorities.


We had absolutely no plans – it all started at the spur of the moment.


Teaching your children to think of a goal for the future, set priorities, make a plan, and base decisions to get to that final goal will be INVALUABLE to them some day running their own business.


TRAIT TO TEACH YOUR CHILD #3:  Ability to Systemize


One of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make is that they do everything themselves.  And they are the only ones who know how things are done.  And if they were injured and unable to work for an extended period of time, the business would be bankrupt in no time.


Here’s how the typical business gets started:


·        Joe Schmoe is really good at welding.  In fact, he’s the best he knows.

·        He decides to open his own business to make the money he deserves.

·        He quits his job and goes on his own

·        He continues welding because that’s what he’s good at.  He works hard.  But he has no entrepreneurial skills.  He either works harder than ever (probably ending up making less money), or goes bankrupt in no time flat.


Here’s how a business should get started:

·        Analysis of market vs. product of service

·        Business Plan

·        Starting business based on that plan

·        Creating systems of what works as the business develops and grows

·        Hire people to take over parts of the business, using the systems created to continue to bring in the flow of income successfully

·        The owner as soon as possible works “on” the business, doing more planning, marketing, and systems; instead of working “in” the business by doing all the physical labor.


Now, I’m not saying that kids don’t need to learn how to work hard.  They do.  Starting a business is some of the hardest work we’ve ever done.  But it’s not supposed to stay hard.  And it’s not supposed to stay a one man show, unless that’s they way that you want and plan for it to be.


And the only way that a business is going to grow, is by creating systems and hiring people to do those systems.


Teaching your child how to create systems for a task will be invaluable.


TRAIT TO TEACH YOUR CHILD #4: Delayed Gratification


We live in a world where people want things and they want it NOW.  They buy now and worry about how to pay for it later.


Allowing your children to do that will not only prevent them from being good entrepreneurs, but will lead them on the path to massive credit card debt no matter what they do in life.


Think about the people around you.  The wide range of incomes among them.  And what do they all have in common?  They are all maxed out with their income.  They have no savings.  They are still barely getting by. 


As their income grew, so did their spending.


Delayed gratification is working and saving for something that you get down the road or reap the benefit down the road.


Teach your children to work for something, save for it slowly, and then get it. 


Teach your children to set aside a little of all their money and don’t let them spend it. 


Teach them that by spending little now and saving now, that they will have greater rewards later.


For example, someone who wants to be a doctor will invest years of education – and may be 30 years old before they are finally officially a doctor, living their dream, and making good money. 


That is delayed gratification.  Giving up in the “now” and steadily pursuing a path to reach the goal in the “future”.


You’re also living another example of delayed gratification:  rearing your children in the best possible way that you know how – for 20 years! – so that they can be the best adults possible.


Just take that same principle and teach it in the financial and goal planning arena as well.


You Now Have 4 Traits to

Teach Your Child


Now is the time for you to take the principles here and apply them. 


1.     Take a moment to plan and evaluate your current child rearing practices.

2.     Decide what you need to change.


Teaching these four traits will get you on your way to teaching your child how to be an entrepreneur – to do what they love and get paid for it.


These four traits will lay the foundation for the other characteristics that they will need to be successful entrepreneurs.


By teaching them these four traits, you are giving them an incredible head start!  These types of things just aren’t taught in schools.


Congratulations on taking this step in a new direction to invest in the future of your children.  You can do this.  It will work.


Trust me.  My husband and I are living proof!




Laura Bankston


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