I wish my parents had inspired me to be more entrepreneurial and leap out into the abyss to make a real impact in the world. Instead, they, like many parents of their generation, made sure I received a vocational education (I’m a CPA and Attorney) that would lead to a job right out of college. This would lead to a stable career, minimal risk of lay off, or if I was laid-off I had skills that would hopefully make me re-employable. They aspired for me to have a risk-free lifestyle.
So I went down that path, not knowing any better, and not willing to challenge my parents’ perspective. Over the past 5-10 years, as my kids have gone from teenagers to college grads, I’ve taken a different parenting approach. I’ve encouraged our kids to take risks, be entrepreneurial, don’t take the first and easy job, and more importantly, don’t worry what career path someone else has chosen for themselves. We have told our kids not to worry what other’s think of their life and to blaze their own trail. We only care that they are able to support themselves, make a contribution to their community, family, and friends, and are happy and fulfilled doing so. My wife doesn’t always like me encouraging our kids to take these risks as she’s a little more risk-averse. But she goes along for the ride.
While this topic is fodder for a much lengthier post that I’ll write later, it really brings me to my current predicament. And I’m seeking the wisdom of the social media communtiy, including NGAGE Cafe and beyond for feedback.
You see, my daughter is a Registered Dietician and it turns out she’s actually been listening to me. Instead of taking the easy route of working in a hospital or clinic, she’s decided to open her own practice specializing in food sensitivities and inflammation. She has decided to become an entrepreneur. In doing so, she’s smart enough to realize that at age 24 she doesn’t have all the answers to starting her own practice and running a business, so she is interviewing established coaches who have helped other R.D.s successfully start their own practice. Here’s the rub. These coaches charge A LOT OF MONEY and our daughter has now come to my wife and me asking for financial help. A lot of financial help.
We will definitely provide the help, but we also believe the assistance should come with some obligation on her part. We have a lot of ideas about what we think these obligations should be, but I’d like to hear from you.
How have you helped your children and what have you demanded of them in return? What stipulations are put on the money you’ve loaned or advanced to them? Is this just part of being a parent and they pay nothing back? Do they pay it all back? More importantly, what are the non-financial obligations imposed?
For instance, we already told her she has to live at home until her practice off the ground. Should we treat this financial help as if we were investors in a business and ask for monthly financial statements, lead pipeline, metrics, etc . . . ?
Any and all wisdom of the crowds is welcome and appreciated. I look forward to your thoughts.