Prepare Kids For The Marketplace: Teach Producer vs. Consumer Mindsets

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Posted: Mar 21, 2019 9:48 AM
Prepare Kids For The Marketplace: Teach Producer vs. Consumer Mindsets

Source: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A Facebook friend asked the question if anyone gives an allowance to their children. I thought allowances for kids were a good idea…until I became an entrepreneur. Now I’ve done a 180-degree turnaround regarding money, work, and talents. 

My principle today: Pay children for jobs versus “chores” plus an allowance. This “pay for jobs” means parents create a family job board (not unlike job web sites, company’s job board) with varying dollar amounts just like the marketplace. Each age-appropriate home job varies the pay based on time and difficulty, include for them doing laundry or cooking a meal (hint, hint). Teach them how long it takes to do a job and translate that into an hourly wage and yearly income. Don’t forget to discuss taxes! 

My friend spoke up and gave me a little better take on this issue. “My son has some jobs he can do to earn money. Then for chores that are part of the basic daily household management, he has chores that earn him tokens he can cash in for [computer or console] screen time. I explained to him that some things we do as a service for others and earn money [like a business] and some things have to be done before we can do fun things like screen time. So he earns that screen time to emphasize the importance of doing the chores first. He replied with, ‘I see what you did there, Mom. Very clever!’ ” It keeps children from seeing their mother as an ATM, Automatic Teller Mom, waiting to dish out money to each child that wants it.

The idea of earning “pay for jobs” and then prioritizing their “jobs before play” instills in children the priorities of the marketplace. In reality, God has already laid out these priorities in His Word.

Prov 24:27 (Amplified) Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.

The word “prepare” in Hebrew is a command, we’re commanded to learn and teach to earn a living. Education is essential, but Biblical education. Whether they’re prepared 93 percent or 24 percent, explaining how to operate from God’s perspective in the real world is vital.

In fact, the most critical element that I personally have come across in my entrepreneurial journey is the change in my mindset. I research the Bible from a business perspective, the difference is from having a consumer mindset to creating a producer mindset. The ramifications of this mindset shift have begun to affect all areas of my life.

My consumer mindset translated my thinking that I only had a job and my paycheck is what I earned. From my earnings, I should give God His “first fruits” of 10 percent or more and then my wife and I could/would spend the other 90 percent on ourselves. When you study the Bible, it strongly indicates we’re to have a producer mindset.

This producer mindset changed my giving to versus investing in others. While the former may not expect anything in return, the latter has a certain expectation of something positively done with what is given, i.e., give a fish, teach to fish. In the venture capital or angel investment world, there is an expectation of having an ROI of four to ten times the return of the investment. But I redefined my producer expectations compared with some current Christian thinking.

READ: Break Through The Theological Glass Ceiling: Be A Wealth Creator

When you see the world and all of its resources through God’s Word and His entrepreneurial eyes of “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28), you get a keen sense He does not want us to “party like it’s 1999.” It’s not all play and no work, nor is it all work and no play. We’re to work six days and then rest the seventh, we can enjoy the fruits of our labors, but find work that gives you joy.

Switching from a reactive consumer mindset to a proactive producer mindset creates synergy within the Christian entrepreneurial tribe. A consumer reacts to stimuli and “gets by” while a producer thinks and plans to “get ahead.” A producer mindset is a good soil in which God’s wisdom seeds of wealth creation are planted in, the principle comes from this verse.

Mar 4:20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

Teaching children about money and work is the start of being a good parent, but it does not stop there. You also teach older children about having a producer mindset with a more substantial quality and quantity of work and money. I was teaching a class about the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30) and the size of the talent (up to 200 lbs of gold or silver) being worth $4.1 million. That meant one slave got five talents worth $20.8 MILLION in today’s dollar, he invested it, and doubled it, to the joy of the master.

A man in the audience spoke up during the Q&A session and stated, “I’m not going to give all of the wealth I have created and earned to my children, they can earn it themselves!” His comment stuck with me, I have read cases whereby the third generation most of the first generation’s wealth is gone. So I asked God for His wisdom (Jas 1:5). 

Most consider inheritance as assets, a house, cars, business, land, etc. But assets are the third step, the first step is creating a wealth mindset. You wouldn’t hand over the keys to your car to your six-year-old boy, would you? So you don’t give your children $1M in assets with their $100K mindset, you need to train them to have a $1M wealth creation mindset. That means as their parents, you need to have a $10M mindset if your children need to have a $1M mindset. Wealth requires mentoring and training.

Prov 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

Train your children to have a producer mindset, but then train your grandchildren, too. This is a true legacy planning for a family. With each level of mindset increase, $25K, $100K, or $1M requires higher quality and quantity of producer mindsets and skillsets. A producer mindset creates wealth, “each according to his own ability” (Matt 25:15), but once wealth is created, wealth should be used to hire more, not acquire more. Putting more people to work, developing their God-given talents so everyone’s standard of living is raised, each according to their abilities.

Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality. President John Tyler (1790-1862)