How We're Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Spirit in Our Kids

9.2.11

When we owned our own towing and car sales businesses back before we sold it, the boys and the older girls would go and help their dad with the business. They would get to take turns helping -- whether it was detailing a car or going on a wrecker call -- and get paid in return.

The kids love to go with their dad when he's doing something business related. And since we've sold the towing and car business, it's now real estate that they get a perspective on, either working on a property or just observing business with their dad. Jim Bob often needs to go and look at a property or check something out or talk to someone, and usually he will take one or two of the kids so they can listen to what Jim Bob and someone else is talking about and catch some of the business lingo.

Afterward they may ask Dad questions or Dad may say, "Did you hear what we were talking about and did you understand what we were saying?"  And Jim Bob will go over some of the things that they were discussing -- it could be housing codes or something about a home or building inspection.  

So he talks through a lot of that with them.  And we feel like when our children get to go with us when we're doing any kind of business -- whether we're doing real estate or cleaning up our commercial properties -- they can learn the ins-and-outs of business while cultivating a business mind and a work ethic.

There are times when we are leasing a property that we have to add a bathroom to, or add a new garage door and a bay, or put up a wall. That's a great learning opportunity for the kids.  Even the smaller ones can help, cleaning up the debris by sweeping. We feel like any time we get a chance to take them alongside of us and learn while we're working that's just another opportunity for them to absorb more information and understand and appreciate the worth of a dollar.

When they work hard and then they earn some money for what they've done, they really appreciate that money so much more, and they're not frivolous about it. Some of our kids are a little bit quicker to spend their money and then some of them just save and save and save. But by and large I've noticed that even our spendthrifts are still pretty frugal when it comes to spending their own cash. They really don't want to part with it because they remember, "Oh, it took me three hours of scrubbing the concrete floor to earn this much money!"

Photo credit American Images, Inc./Getty Images

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