For the last 2 hours, I have been having a life talk with my daughter about being an entrepreneur, how everything costs money, and the "cost" of free time.
My parents never talked to me about anything. My husbands' parents were always working so their messages were brief.
We all live in a time now where it is VITAL for parents to talk to their kids about how "life works". We need to explain why everyone is running around, stepping on each other for money.
What money even means to our society. And what the best ways are to earn money. For sanity, freedom, and prosperity.
We also need to instill a mindset in our children that money is not king.
That trading years and sacrificing our freedoms for pieces of paper is not why we live on this planet. And it is not the answer to happiness.
We also need to make sure our kids know that dreams and passions are most important for our own inner growth.
I had trouble explaining why people obsess over money, why people choose to work for 40 or 50 years of their lives.
I do not even know all of those answers.
What I do know is that life is meant to be lived.
I grew up poor and am now lower class. We do not make much money even though we have multiple family businesses. Why has that been the case?
As I explained to my eleven year old, running a business can be very expensive. When you have overhead, machines, employees etc. Plus, you spend your time working in your business every day [and even through holidays /weekends].
We did that for the last 4 years.
I met my husband in 2015 when I was a single mom in college. I leaped right into his businesses with him that year and then became pregnant. In those 4 years we have dedicated our time, money and resources into the businesses.
And my girl knows how much we have struggled, put tears and sweat as well as blood into the businesses.
But that is not what life is about.
So 2019 brought us many new changes. Due to money problems, health issues, and other unforeseen circumstances, the universe was screaming at us to take a break.
In all ways, we hit rock bottom. And ungracefully. It was scary, painful, and raw for both my husband and I to let go of so many things at ages 28 and 30, with three kids to provide for. With a family to provide and nourish.
But seven months later, I now see just how lucky we are to have been stripped of what we knew.
My daughter knew 7 years of college life and alone time with me before I met my husband. And she cherishes those years. She remembers them as amazing and fun. She does not know the struggles I had, the debt I went into, or the stress I endured as a single person with so many bills and worries. I left college with $80,000 in debt and no promise for a career or future to support her alone.
I thought I did all the right things though. Regardless of being a teen mom and becoming estranged from family, I went to college. 6 years worth of Undergraduate level schooling, interning, and work experience. But from day 1 I was in debt with dreams but no security.
I want my girl as well as my other kids to learn that college and education are great for the experience.
The people skills. The passion and inspiration. And I am so grateful for when I went to college so I could build up the dreams I have and develop myself as a person.
However, I am also personally thankful that I now have the freedom and opportunity to be my own boss.
And do it from home.
"What I am doing now is building a career from scratch. Aside from being home to raise my kids and tend to chores, I am applying all of the knowledge I've built and all I have access to so I can break the code." J.S. , Jaded Savior
The success code.
The happy code.
And I want my kids to see it all. Authentic and raw.
I tell my girl when things are hard, that pressure creates beauty.
I tell her that arguments and frustrations also happen as you are learning and trying to build. That my husband and I have to work hard to educate one another, to make tough decisions and to make a life plan that will be enriching.
Our goal now is enriched, not rich.
We see money as leverage, but we do not feel it is a ticket to a rich life.
My kids see how fun it is to enjoy nature. To take walks. To go to public spheres like the library. The place that holds all the answers for me.
Those are my tickets. When I can absorb knowledge and pass it around, I feel enriched and fulfilled.
She understands so much, even at a young age. She is curious and she now improves in her own mindsets by rethinking things in her life.
When we left our old apartment and my college, she was so sad. Though she was happy to gain siblings and a family, I know it was not easy leaving behind her safety and familiarity. Her home.
Because this is what we do.
This is our whole life now.
Building our own opportunities, discovering our passions, and sticking together as a family. Even if that means some days we cry together. And other days we have stress together. Because that is life as an entrepreneur, and just as humans. But we have one life, one chance together to make it all count. ♡
Jean Soto, mother of 3 and wife, is a writer + artist in the Hudson Valley, NY community.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMPOWERING MINDS SINCE 2019