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GOLD! Worried Dad - Need "Fastlane" Insight

Let my son live with us while he quits his job and starts a business?


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WorriedDad

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I know this isn't a parenting forum, but I've noticed my son browsing this forum regularly for a couple years now and was hoping the veteran entrepreneurs here could give some insight into his (our) situation. I don't want to embarrass him, so I won't reveal his username. :rolleyes:

My son is 25. He graduated from college with a degree in marketing two years ago after much prodding and bribery from me and his mother (he wanted to drop out and focus only on his "start-up"). Upon graduation, his internship turned into a full-time marketing position at a small start-up. That business failed a year and a half later, so he recently moved back home with us while he looked for another job in our city. The job search really didn't go as planned, so he is now working in a customer service role in a large corporation, and he despises it. He keeps telling us he wants to start his own business and quit the job, but my career has consisted of climbing a corporate ladder as an attorney (a mind-numbing life suck according to him), so my advice thus far has been to "find a better job before you get fired for your attitude." He doesn't want to find another job and only wants to start a company. We've argued back and forth for about 2 months about this, so I am assuming he wants our blessing to start this company.

His life savings consists of almost $35,000. He thinks this is enough to just quit his job and start a company without having a steady income. I don't know about all of the latest web start-up success stories, but all of the very successful entrepreneurs I personally know started their businesses after "paying their dues" in the corporate world for a while and saving much more than this. Should he quit his job and start this business (he hasn't even "picked an idea yet"), he will have to stay living with us. He tried starting an online business while in college, but it failed due to his lack of discipline and determination (and being too scared to pick up the phone and call businesses).

When asked what business he wants to start, he presented me with a list of about 30 business ideas, all of which have "Fastlane potential." Without a solid business plan and his lack of trying to find a better job first, part of me wants to kick his butt out of the house if he quits without finding another job. Don't get me wrong, some of his ideas are pretty decent, but his mother and I really want him to stay in the corporate world for at least 5 more years. Maybe it's because we're his parents, but he just doesn't seem ready to us. He's 25 and can do whatever the hell he pleases, but while he is living under our roof, what I say goes.

What would you do if you were his parents? Let him continue to live with us while he quits his job and follows his dreams of *hopefully* becoming a successful entrepreneur (or blowing through his life savings)? Or, kick his a$$ out and say, "have fun?" Let's put this up to a Fastlane vote.

Thanks in advance for any guidance.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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What would you do if you were his parents?
IMO, I would not let him quit his job until his business generated his FIRST SALE with a profit margin that can be maintained while scaled.

I'd say "Want to quit your job? Great, get a customer."

These startup stories don't end well when there's no plan, no idea, and no market validation. Just a dream of starting "something."
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Also, your son having $35K in savings at such a young age is pretty remarkable. Some people twice his age don't have even that much.
 
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WorriedDad

WorriedDad

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I appreciate the response, MJ. You are his hero, and your response is exactly what I was hoping for... :notworthy:

He owes his savings to our generosity. He has earned it 100% on his own, but we've let him live at home for the past 6 months.
 

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I assume based on your description that your son will read this thread.

Understand that failure is part of the learning process of life and entrepreneurship. Rather than being critical or overly concerned of that being a possibility, you are in a unique position to coach him through life's difficulties.

His life is not going to pattern after your life. The crossroads you are at right now are more critical than simply his career path. Should you choose to throw him out on his a$$ simply because he's not following the path that you did… Could have permanent and irrevocable consequences on your relationship with him forever. Is it worth that to you to win a philosophical argument over his career path?

Be his champion. Be his sounding board. Help him think through the pros and cons of the path that he is on. Support him whether he wins or loses. In so doing, you'll maintain a relationship with your son that will transcend whatever the outcome is of his decisions. Be there as his champion whether he wins or loses. Be there to pick him up if he falls and help him climb back up off the ground again.

He might turn out to be the next Bill Gates. You don't know at this point. He also might crash and burn, which point he will need his mom and dad more than ever. Don't risk losing what you have in a son simply because his life trajectory is different than you hoped it would be.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I assume based on your description that your son will read this thread.

Understand that failure is part of the learning process of life and entrepreneurship. Rather than being critical or overly concerned of that being a possibility, you are in a unique position to coach him through life's difficulties.

His life is not going to pattern after your life. The crossroads you are at right now are more critical than simply his career path. Should you choose to throw him out on his a$$ simply because he's not following the path that you did… Could have permanent and irrevocable consequences on your relationship with him forever. Is it worth that to you to win a philosophical argument over his career path?

Be his champion. Be his sounding board. Help him think through the pros and cons of the path that he is on. Support him whether he wins or loses. In so doing, you'll maintain a relationship with your son that will transcend whatever the outcome is of his decisions. Be there as his champion whether he wins or loses. Be there to pick him up if he falls and help him climb back up off the ground again.

He might turn out to be the next Bill Gates. You don't know at this point. He also might crash and burn, which point he will need his mom and dad more than ever. Don't risk losing what you have in a son simply because his life trajectory is different than you hoped it would be.
Wow, that's some GOLD right there. Rep+
 

Vigilante

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At first I really was wondering if this was a troll. Reading through the words I believe it is just a father that really loves his son and wants the best for him.

And dad, if you haven't read the millionaire fast lane book, read it. It might help you understand better where he is coming from.
 

Mike Kavanagh

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Could have permanent and irrevocable consequences on your relationship with him forever. Is it worth that to you to win a philosophical argument over his career path?
I can attest to this.

I don't talk to my father.
I told him I wanted to be an entrepreneur and he said "The only way to make money(outside of a job) is to sling dope, give up that fantasy and work a good job so you don't get thrown in jail."

On the flip side, I do agree with MJ about the first sale and scale before quitting. If you stop one cashflow before you have another, your flow becomes stagnant.
 

Vigilante

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I don't talk to my father.
Mike. Fix this. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Life is short bro. In a f*cked up way he might have been trying to look out for you.
 

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Mike Kavanagh

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Mike. Fix this. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Life is short bro. In a f*cked up way he might have been trying to look out for you.
That's not the only reason, but the most recent.
I given him many chances over the years.

I've lived in the same place, had the same phone number, worked at the same place for over half a decade now. Only 3 phone calls or Facebook messages from him in that time. Before that I lived in the same neighborhood for 7 years. Nothing.

I'm 23 years old. He was around for about 4 or 5 years scattered in somewhere. Just some stranger I call dad.
I can't be in the lifestyle he's chosen. I'll either end up dead or in jail.

Sometimes you just have to cut off people, even family.

I hope that doesn't happen in this situation. Opposed to my situation, it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
 

SteveO

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There are a lot of successful people on the forums. There are millions of successful people that are not on these forums.

All of the people that I know that have a LOT of money operate businesses. I started later in life at the age of 37. Without a safety net, I was able to leave my good paying job three years later.

Obviously, some people have difficulty operating businesses. But we consistently see people starting them here with little money.
 

Ninjakid

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Even though I've only been an entrepreneur for a matter of months, I can tell you that just knowing my father supports me has made the experience an enjoyable adventure instead of a bitter and lonely drag. At the end of the day, the company you work for, or your boss don't really give a crap about you. They won't be there to pick you up when you need them to. 2008 was a great reminder of that. No company help when people were left without income to tend to their own debts and mortgages. But family should always be there for each other, because there may very well be times when no one else will.

Your son is 25, he's a man, he can stand on his feet and make his own decisions. He probably has an army of people telling him he can't do what he's setting out to. But I'm sure he's going to carry out his plans no matter what you or the others say. But I'm sure it would mean the world to him if his very own father was the one standing by him and accepting him whether he succeeds or fails; and if he fails encourages him to get back up and not take no for an answer.
 

tafy

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The world we live in today is very different from old, startups and "Global Small Businesses" are the future.

But as MJ said, make a deal with him that he only quits his job when he really has to.
 

robk

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Give him a roof and bed, but as other people have said, don't let him quit his job until he makes his first sale.

Working on a business whilst having a full time job means you have to be really focused on the 80 / 20 principle which will pay dividends when the business does take off.
 

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Have him pay room and board. (Actually put the money in a separate account to give back to him later). Talk through 'burn rate' with him. Show him how he may want to keep the job until he replaces enough of his income to cover his living expenses. Then let him decide.
 

LightHouse

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These startup stories don't end well when there's no plan, no idea, and no market validation. Just a dream of starting "something."
This was my first thought as well....

The sentiment behind him starting a business is merely to start a business, not filling a need. The fast that "he" had 30 options is setting up for imminent failure or having a self employed job.

I will tell you why I say that, because I lived it. I started when i was 20, I can't even tell you how I got into my first business, I just bought the equipment one day and learned the entire thing and built it from there, and it was an agonizing job because i was not filling a need. I was just another company running in a now sudo-commodity business.

That's not to say I regret it, because I learned a ton and I learned what not to do.

You sound like you are completely in tune with not only your perception but his, and that is a HUGE advantage as a father. I am sure your son, if he does not realize it now, will come to appreciate that later.

As I would love to give you more details about my experience from the other side of things, I do not want to publicly announce it all. You can certainly send me an email if you are curious and your cup isn't full from all the other excellent advice and perspective in this thread.


**BTW - As a new father I opted out of a 529 plan for my son, because He will have the choice when he is 18 to start a company or go to college, which ever he decides is the best path with some guidance in either direction.**
 

LightHouse

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The world we live in today is very different from old, startups and "Global Small Businesses" are the future.

But as MJ said, make a deal with him that he only quits his job when he really has to.
I think this is merely perspective from being on this forum. There is really no difference it's just what is pushed into your news feed, there are still millions of normal small business and folks having dreams of opening a small shop or restaurant on the street corner, they just don't waste copious amounts of time on a forum talking about it.
 

Get Right

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If I were in your shoes...and I soon will be, I would assess the following things:

1. Is the lack of getting a job a potential discipline problem? The whole "I don't wanna work thing"?
2. Has he continued his informal education after school? Reading books, talking to mentor-types, asking you lots of biz questions, etc.
3. and
Have him pay room and board. (Actually put the money in a separate account to give back to him later). Talk through 'burn rate' with him. Show him how he may want to keep the job until he replaces enough of his income to cover his living expenses. Then let him decide.
This would let me know if his head is in the game. If so, I would be my son's biggest cheerleader.
 

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Esquire

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Interesting topic.

Like you (Dad) ... I too am a practicing attorney. 43 years old. Joined the Marine Corps to put myself through law school.

Been a lawyer now for about 15 years. I enjoy what I do.

So I certainly relate to your experience and perspective.

I think it is great that your son is here. I wish that a resource like this existed when I was his age. I often wonder how my life course might have been different had I been exposed to the Millionaire Fastlane at an early age. It is ... in my humble opinion ... the best business book ever written.

And ever since I read it ... I have been hellbent on transitioning from an "attorney" ... to the "guy who hires the attorney."

I think the opportunities out there as an entrepreneur are endless.

If you have not read the book ... you really should.

So the question comes ... are you helping him ... or enabling him ...?

I guess that comes down to drive.

If he is focused and resourceful ... then I would encourage him to go for it ... and put 100 percent of his energy behind his entrepreneurial pursuits. I think a customer service job is a tremendous waste of time beyond (perhaps) acquiring an appreciation of what a shitty place the "real world" can be ... which has its value too ... as far as motivation goes.

The first thing I would suggest that he do what Robert Kiyosaki suggests in Rich Dad, Poor Dad ... tell him to get out of the customer service business and pursue a line of work that is consistent with his Fastlane ambitions.

To hell with the money ... work for the experience.

Because right now ... at 25 ... he doesn't have a lot ... and that is not necessarily a good thing.

Then ... like MJ suggests ... once his entrepreneurial ambitions turn into cash flow ... he can transition.

Hell ... even on a traditional path ... I'd give the same advice.

When I got out of law school ... I set up shop right away in consumer protection litigation. The problem being ... for the first year and a half ... it was all cash out and no cash in. Takes a while (as you know) to get your cases to the courthouse steps ... and that's where most cases get settled.

So what did I do in the meantime ...? I ate humble pie ... took a job nights ... and worked that job until the law practice generated sufficient income such that I could quit my night job.

And that was about 1.5 years later.

Sometimes ... that's what you have to do.

As they say in the Marines ... "Nobody promised you a rose garden."

With that said ... I would not counsel him (or anyone) to give up on their Fastlane ambitions.

I think it is great that he is here. And I hope he one day pulls it off.

Read TMF ... and read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Great way to acquire the right perspective with which to counsel him.

As far as living with you goes ... yes ... I would support that.

Having to meet independent overhead requirements while he is starting a business ... would be crushing ... and either retard or substantially reduce his likelihood of success.

That money would be better invested in a business or advertising.

So here's an idea ... rather than charging "rent" (which would be wasteful) ... consider requiring "capital contributions" instead. In other words ... compel him to put his money where his mouth is and invest his hard earned dollars in the business endeavors he claims to be pursuing.

A minimum dollar "investment" each month.

Require him to show receipts of how he spent his "rent."

Use it wisely ... and he'll see an ROI.

Use it foolishly ... and watch your hard earned dollars disappear.

Sure would suck to see a week's salary ... at a shitty job ... go right down the toilet ... with nothing to show for it ... right ...?

And by "capital contributions" I don't mean a high tech computer you can play video games on ... I'm talking about business software ... online advertising ... and things of that sort.

Things of no residual "fun" value.

If that doesn't motivate him ... not sure what will.

I see this as good.
 
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Milkanic

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I would suggest your son keep his job and hustle in the morning/night. There are 24 hours in a day and I'm guessing he is playing wantrepreneur in his 8 hours away from work each day instead of actually building something.

I think it's incredibly stupid to "burn the boats" before you even left shore yet.
 

tafy

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there are still millions of normal small business and folks having dreams of opening a small shop or restaurant on the street corner
I dont see what your getting at here?
 

MJ DeMarco

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I admit there are days on this forum when I just shake my head in disbelief and want to close the browser.

Today is not one of those days.

The feedback in this thread makes me proud of this forum and the people who have chosen to be apart of it.

@Esquire solid post man, rep+.

Kudos for @WorriedDad being open minded about his son's ambition and taking some time to investigate it.

Entrepreneurship is a tough career, so much that it isn't a career, but a lifestyle. However the rewards far outweigh the wounds. I remember when I first got started in my mid-20's, I used to say "I'd rather earn $25K/year in my own business than $250k/year working for someone else"
 

jilla82

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I can attest to this.

I don't talk to my father.
I told him I wanted to be an entrepreneur and he said "The only way to make money(outside of a job) is to sling dope, give up that fantasy and work a good job so you don't get thrown in jail."

On the flip side, I do agree with MJ about the first sale and scale before quitting. If you stop one cashflow before you have another, your flow becomes stagnant.
dont get caught up in this.

To make a long story short...I dropped out of college and wasnt doing too much w/ my life.
I stopped talking to my dad because I was ashamed and didnt want to hear him tell me how I need to do something w/ my life.

A couple years went by and my step mom called me and said I need to get over there now.
My dad was really sick. He was diagnosed w/ ALS and the disease was progressing pretty quickly.
The next time I saw him he was a small frail man in a wheelchair.
I was with him pretty much everyday for the next year and a half until he died.

That experience changed my life for the better (led me to this forum actually)...but I wish I wasnt so damn hard headed and stubborn when I was younger.
 
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SteveO

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Sure would suck to see a week's salary ... at a shitty job ... go right down the toilet ... with nothing to show for it ... right ...?
Great advice in your post. I see this statement as learning though. Many people lose money on ventures. It is paying for experience.
 

timmy

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Lads every situation is different and is generally extremely delicate. ...IMO .... As the Dad or Mom.. Take him out to lunch away from the home. With a smile see him as your equal and ask him openly and honestly of HIS plans for HIS future going forward to October 2016. Listen to all he has to say. Tell him you will consider his business proposal for 24 hrs and come back to him with notable suggestions in an advisory role. At the next meeting you add what you consider to be safety valves to help keep his business a float. Allow him to be part of the decision making process. This allows you as the parents the privilege of being part of the solution rather than being part of the problem. At 18 years old in my country youngsters are considered adults. Don't expect him to listen to everything you ask of him. Hope this helps.."....
 

Unknown

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He should keep the job until he has a successful business. Only when the job is truly preventing him from expanding his business (when the time spent at work is making less money than spending that same time on his business would make) should he quit his job. I don't understand why so many people on this forum are in such a rush to quit their job. There are plenty of hours left in the day to work on a business.
 

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