What to teach your kids — that they aren’t learning in school

I recently started following a blog from a 19-yr old Entrepreneur, Ben Casnocha. A recent post struck me as quite insightful. Ben outlines 8 things that you need to teach your kids that they most likely are not learning in high school. These are things that not only help them in higher education, but also in the business world. Some might seem a little odd or against the norm, but after some careful consideration, you see the reasoning.

Investing1. Investing — Most people don’t learn about investing until quite later in life, when the benefits of proper investing are minimized.

2. Frugality — Yeah… this is something our entire society needs to learn.

3. Reading — In a separate post, Ben points to a New York Times article (registration required) that highlights the reading habits of rich/successful people. They all read… a lot. Reading stimulates creativity and vocabulary.

4. Positive Thinking — Human nature seems to fight against positive thinking. We all seem to emphasise the negative in life. But positive thinking is crucial to building everything, from relationships to businesses and careers.

5. Motivation — It’s often hard self-motivate. Especially when it’s something you don’t enjoy. Motivation is a key to any type of success. You have to be motivated to plant the garden if you want to eat any vegetables at harvest time.

6. Anti-competition — This was an odd one for me, as I grew up in a relatively competitive family. We played sports where there is always a winner and loser. Competition is always portrayed as the genesis of quality products in the business world. But is it? The Idealist dedicated an entire blog entry to this and eventually won me over on this. Cooperation will always create a better product/service than competition (although I’m still not sure it’s feasible in todays economy). And you can also apply this to every day life. If you are so competative that you can’t let a colleague excel, then you are only keeping your self down as well.

7. Develop intimate relationships — This has little to do with business except for spill over. An individual who can develop intimate relationships with and had solid relationships with their spouse/parents/kids will always be more rounded (and in turn more successful) than those who cannot.

8. Organization — Too often, we rely on others to keep our lives organized. Organization is key to any successful person. Whether that organization is keeping a kitchen clean or keeping a team of 30 software engineers on task, if you don’t have organizational skills, you will rarely achieve your highest potential.

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