I remember being told to walk out in the middle of a street in Banff, Alberta because I'd thrown a penny out in the street, and my dad said, "Go pick it up." He said, "I work too damn hard for my money. I'm not going to see you ever waste a penny." And I remember that lesson to this day. Allowances teach kids the wrong habits. Allowances, by nature, are teaching kids to think about a job. An entrepreneur doesn't expect a regular paycheck. Allowance is breeding kids at a young age to expect a regular paycheck. That's wrong, for me, if you want to raise entrepreneurs. What I do with my kids now -- I've got two, nine and seven -- is I teach them to walk around the house and the yard, looking for stuff that needs to get done. Come to me and tell me what it is. Or I'll come to them and say, "Here's what I need done." And then you know what we do? We negotiate. They go around looking for what it is. But then we negotiate on what they're going to get paid. And then they don't have a regular check, but they have more opportunities to find more stuff, and they learn the skill of negotiating, and they learn the skill of finding opportunities as well. You breed that kind of stuff ( raising children).
Each of my kids has two piggy banks. Fifty percent of all the money that they earn or get gifted, percent goes in their house account, percent goes in their toy account. Anything in their toy account they can spend on whatever they want. The percent that goes in their house account, every six months, goes to the bank. They walk up with me. Every year all the money in the bank goes to their broker. Both my nine- and seven-year-olds have a stock broker already. But I'm teaching them to force that savings habit. It drives me crazy that kids are saying, "Maybe I'll start contributing to my RSP now." What?, you've missed years. You can teach those habits to young kids when they don't even feel the pain yet. Don't read them bedtime stories every night. Maybe four nights out of the week read them bedtime stories and three nights of the week have them tell stories. Why don't you sit down with kids and give them four items, a red shirt, a blue tie, a kangaroo and a laptop, and have them tell a story about those four things? My kids do that all the time. It teaches them to sell; it teaches them creativity; it teaches them to think on their feet. Just do that kind of stuff and have fun with it ( raising children).
Get kids to stand up in front of groups and talk, even if it's just stand up in front of their friends and do plays and have speeches. Those are entrepreneurial traits that you want to be nurturing. Show the kids what bad customers or bad employees look like. Show them the grumpy employees. When you see grumpy customer service, point that out to them. Say, "By the way, that guy's a crappy employee." And say, "These ones are good ones." If you go into a restaurant and you have bad customer service, show them what bad customer service looks like. We have all these lessons in front of us, but we don't take those opportunities; we teach kids to go get a tutor.
Imagine if you actually took all the kids' junk that's in the house right now, all the toys that they've outgrown two years ago and said, "Why don't we start selling some of this on Craigslist and Kijiji?" And they can actually sell it and learn how to find scammers when they get email offers come in. They can come into your account or a sub account or whatever. But teach them how to fix the price, guess the price, pull up the photos ( raising children).