So, I’m working on some finishing touches for the How To Raise Your Black Child To Be A Millionaire book release, and in reviewing some of the content these Masterminds have shared, there is one irrefutably essential trait they all said their parents made sure they developed and/or they _in turn_ made sure their children had. That quintessential trait is CONFIDENCE.
If you think about it, that makes all of the sense in the world. Just consider how you, as an adult, approach tasks or challenges when you’re confident in your own ability versus when you’re unsure. Doesn’t it make a huge difference in your approach and your ability to conceive mastery or just accomplish a successful completion? The same is true with children. Before and unless anything or anyone dismantles their certainty about whatever goal they’re approaching, children usually take on tasks with a spirit of pure excitement that is fueled by nothing more than curiosity and limitless possibilities that leave no room for fear to ever enter the equations of their processes of figuring things out.
There’s so much to just that concept that we’ll undoubtedly have to exhaust that over the course of an extensive period of time. But the immediate question becomes, “How do we, as parents, build our children’s confidence so that they’ll maintain the proper and productive mindset to accomplish any self-determined goal they conceive?”
There are quite a few ways that are covered in the book How To Raise Your Black Child To Be A Millionaire, but two of the most effective and easy to employ ways were given by Dr. George C. Fraser (FraserNet) and Andre Amos (Nu Republic).
If you’ve followed this blog, you’ve “heard” me reference Dr. Fraser and some of his techniques. One of the many priceless tips he gave during our discussion was the fact that whenever his children introduced the idea of pursuing any endeavor, his response was simply “Great! That sounds interesting. I think you should try it, and let’s talk about it once you’ve started!” Dr. Fraser emphasized that it didn’t matter how seemingly insignificant or outlandish the idea seemed to he and his wife. Their encouraging response was always the same.
The other piece to that puzzle is that Dr. Fraser and his wife built up their children’s immunity to fear of failure by encouraging them to try new things that were perhaps so far out of their scope of experience that failure was a natural step. The key is that they stressed the essentials of FAILING FAST. Giving their children the goal of failing fast really kind of created a path that continuously ushered them straight through the one barrier that usually prevents most people from ever contacting their own greatness. Imagine that.
Imagine the countless possibilities you could have created and where your life could possibly be if you had been given tools as children that enabled you to either be completely fearless or circumvent and/or move through your fears to seize the rewards on the other side of those fears. Perhaps you have a hard time even imagining a life like that or what your world could have been like if you’d had such tools. Let’s talk about another example to help you get a clearer image.
I had a conversation with a man that completely and forever changed the lives of myself and my husband, and thus, the lives of my children, forever. Andre Amos is the founder of Nu Republic, a financial services firm. When my husband and I first visited his headquarters, we were astonished at the fact that so many key offices that run the company were thoroughly executed by young people… young Black people. I emphasize that, because it’s become a far more common image to see young Black people dressed in hip hop attire, engaging in various recreational activities. It’s very uncommon to see Black teenagers and young adults (in their early twenties) establishing and maintaining multi-million dollar operations that extend from technology to financial services. That’s what my husband and I saw when we when to meet Mr. Amos.
When I sat down with him to find out what he did differently from the vast majority of us raising Black children, he gave me so very much that I’ve listened to that interview countless times. Don’t worry, I will share it with you all… at some point. But, there was one thing that stuck out to me; and I can still hear the exact way he said it. He said, “My children don’t know what it’s like to fail. We don’t lose.”
I’m going to give you a few ticks to let that resonate and really reverberate in your thoughts for a moment.
He said it so matter-of-factly. “My children don’t know what it’s like to fail. We don’t lose.”
“We don’t lose.”
Now, I don’t know just how that landed with you when you read those words, but I was like, “Damn!”
Allow me to qualify his statement for those of you who are struggling with accepting those words as possible for yourself and them. Mr. Amos made it clear that he has trained his children by giving them massive responsibilities that they had to approach with such aggressive persistence and determination that if they discovered throughout the process of execution that their plans or methods were inept to produce the desired results, they quickly made the assessment and adjusted their plans until the desired results were realized.
In other words, they set lofty goals; established plans (no matter how rough or underdeveloped they were); executed their plans; and constantly assessed their performances and results against the desired outcome until their desires were achieved. This means even if they experienced less than what they expected, they managed their disappointments in a way that enabled them to make improvements in the process and persist until what they expected was realized.
Many of us, as adults, will set these timid goals (or perhaps the goals are worthy but our mindsets are timid) that once we experience hardship or let-downs in the pursuit of those goals, we completely abandon the goals, stopping short of what could be the realization of something great. It becomes no wonder when we see our children give up so easily on their ambitions the moment they experience disappointment.
As always, there’s so much in this that we will have to develop more material to help us to digest and really apply the lessons within this lesson. But rest assured, we will do just that. In the mean time, let me know your thoughts. Tell me how these tips affect you, as a parent. What are some ways you know you can implement these tips to improve your parenting? Until next time, let’s be found #RaisingBlackMillionaires!