My son turns five in just a little over a month.
A few years ago, he could barely walk and now he’s challenging my authority. How times have changed.
Soon, as he begins to better understand numbers and, more importantly, money, his real education will begin.
As he’ll attend a Japanese elementary school, his English learning is my responsibility and we’ve already got him enrolled in a Karate Dojo to teach him how to protect himself, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
One of the things I am keenly aware of is the importance of educating him financially, especially from a young age.
The sad truth is that so many adults get into financial trouble, in business as well as in their personal lives, because of bad decisions. Decisions that to a large extent can be avoided.
The problem is that financial problems don’t just stay financial, but manifest themselves in our daily lives. They affect how we talk, how we think, how we interact with our family and I don’t believe I’m out of line when I say that somewhere in the realm of 70% of problems in a marriage are in some way linked to money.
Now for most of my life I thought I understood money, I was wrong.
Five years ago I made the decision to educate myself on the financial markets, it really opened my eyes.
So much so now that I have made it a mission of mine to help educate others in the form of the FFS, the Financial Future Seminar, as some of you may already be aware.
As a result of making finance important in my life I read pretty much everything I can get my hands on when it comes to money, just like success and marketing.
Just yesterday I came across an article by the world’s most successful investor, Warren Buffet, in which he talked about his new TV show for kids (Secret Millionaires Club) to help teach them financial education (something Robert Kiyosaki also strongly believes in).
In it, he mentioned just a few of the lessons that children would be taught over the series.
Reading them, I realized that a whole lot of people I know would benefit from learning these lessons so here I am. Let’s quickly go over the lessons and then I’ll share some insights afterwards.
- The best investment you can make, is an investment in yourself.
- The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.
- Learn from your mistakes, and the mistakes of others.
- Great partnerships make any job easier.
- Fail to plan, plan to fail.
- With business as in life, get to know people before you judge them.
- Learn not to spend more than you have.
- Save for the unexpected.
- It’s never too early to start.
Some of these are pretty self-explanatory, but it’s amazing how easily we forget them.
For some reason, people are happy to fork over anywhere between $40,000 and $100,000 for college education, but not $2000 for a 3-day workshop with a living legend.
In fact, once people leave school people feel their education is over, but there’s a reason the final ceremony at college is called a “commencement” ceremony, because it’s really just the beginning of our education.
Let’s face it, whether we choose to study or not, life will teach us many lessons.
That’s why I spend, on average, $100 a month to purchase new books, audio lectures or DVD trainings (I usually have to save up for these) because I know that my success largely depends on who I become as a person, from studying then doing.
Education also directly links into the third lesson on the list, which may be the most valuable.
Our mentors, whether they are in books or in person, are people who have “been there, done that.”
So when they share their mistakes with us, we should take notes…copious notes.
Naturally, we’ll make our own mistakes along the way, no matter whose plan we follow, but mentors can help us sidestep some major land mines.
Knowing what NOT to do can often prove even more valuable than what to do.
I realize my son is only four, but often times what we learn at a young age is the foundation upon everything else is built.
School will take care of subjects such as Japanese, science and PE.
Money, love, success and life are up to us (my wife and I) though.
So many parents leave education up to the school system, but I think back to the words of my mentor, Jim Rohn, when he said, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
One day my son will have to choose his own path, but till that time I’m going to do my darndest to help him see the value of learning.
Wish me luck.