I have a soon to be 15 year old son, Braden. He is the youngest of the 3 kids. He has always marched to his own drum a little more than the other two, and is a fascinating study in how birth order impacts kids. I would say he has some independence style traits that come with being the kid that changes parenting from man to man to zone… in other words, 2 parents, and now more than 2 kids!

He is an awesome kid. Funny, sensitive, smart as $%*&, and really fun to be around. He is also on a journey, a journey to find himself and his place in the world with two older siblings that have led, and continue to lead, amazing, fascinating lives. But Braden is the sleeper and I think he is going to outperform them both.

Recently, I brought Braden in to work at align.Space, the co-working space I own in West Chester, PA. I brought him in for the requisite stuff (he started his day breaking down boxes, and cleaning up our Breakfast Club). But also to start teaching some of the skills I feel are not even a topic of conversation in our school systems, both public and private (for the most part).

We serve a hot breakfast every morning for our members, 5 days a week, pretty much year round except holidays. I have Braden creating a “Breakfast with Braden”, where he is planning the menu, doing the budget, figuring out ingredients (he is a budding chef), cook times, profit and loss, gross margin, etc. He doesn’t know it yet but I will actually have him deliver on his plan in the coming weeks!

After that we will be on to goal setting. Much like I have described in previous emails about goals and kids, today is his day to start that process. I want him to think about the next year, but I also want him to dream about the future. I have him sitting in the space among the members, so he can absorb some of the energy of success around him!

After that it is off to lunch and a long talk about what makes some people successful, and other people wishful. Success is obviously a lot of chance, and luck, but it also comes from a place of self belief and mindset. It is possible to fail with a great mindset, so nothing is a guarantee, but it is also very hard to achieve with a poor mindset. That lesson is the goal for today.

It is such great fortune to own a company, large or small, and be able to use it as a dojo, or metaphor, to teach our kids success habits. My kids make fun of me all the time, in fact they have even created memes of me talking about gratitude, goal setting, and journaling. But then, they are doing those things as well. They can make all the fun they want because that’s when I know the lessons are landing, sinking in and subtly becoming part of their success habits!

Parenting is hard. But let’s stack the deck as much as we can in our favor. There are no guarantees… but might as well give it the best shot possible!



Founder of the align5 Companies,  CEO of Scaling Up Coaches, and Serial Entrepreneur

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