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JANUARY 14, 2015

5 Senses that Help Kids Become Successful Adults

All parents want their kids to grow up to be financially successful. What, other than helping them get through school, can parents do?

When we see successful people, they have high self-esteem and high levels of self-confidence. They have had good if not great role models, and they were blessed–in youth or their adult lives–with a positive, empowering environment. Finally, they are positive and full of hope for and about their own lives, and they see opportunity everywhere. Which then of course allows them to then do something about what they see.

The real magic here is that none of this wealth and success formula actually begins with money. It all begins with you. First and foremost, parents need to realize that the real definition of poverty is a lack of self-esteem, hope, and self-confidence, not a lack of money. Real and sustainable wealth building for your kids has less to do with how much money you’ve socked away for them than how much support you provide in the following five areas, which are truly the building blocks for their future success.

A Sense of Who I Am. There’s nothing more powerful than a child being told by their parents that they are loved, valued, believed in, listened to, and appreciated. Children who have high self-esteem will believe in themselves. If they don’t know who they are, they’re susceptible to believing others’ judgments, criticisms, labels, and names.

A Sense of What I Can Do. Confidence is something parents can instill in their children. Encourage them to try new things, and applaud them from trying, even when they fail. Children can’t be financially successful later in life if they are dogged by low self-esteem and lack of confidence.

A Sense of Yes I Can. Children learn by incorporating the qualities of their role models. I was blessed to have great role models growing up. It began with my mother, Juanita Smith, who told me she loved me every day and was a part-time entrepreneur, making handy-crafts and selling them to her coworkers. It continued with my father, Johnie W. Smith, who owned and ran his own business for 54 years. I am a businessman today because of them. The most important role models for kids are their parents. If you aren’t modeling success, your kids will look to other people in their lives who seem to “have it all”–such as rap stars, drug dealers, and celebrities–and then parents lose control of the message.

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