I had no desire to go to college.

Back in the early 80’s, Tim Ferris’ book the “4 Hour Work Week” hadn’t been written. Actually, Tim Ferris was scribbling on kid menu placemats in the early 80’s. All I knew was that I wanted to make it big in entertainment. College wasn’t going to teach me what ‘pounding the pavement’ would. So I took off from Rockford, Illinois at 18, with one suitcase and very little money moving to NYC to ‘make it.’ I had no plan B. I was just determined. I then started from busking to singing on stages with a band making money to eventually leading a very lucrative and successful NYC orchestra. In hindsight, I realize that the ‘jumping in the pool’ and ‘learning how to swim’ (out of necessity) approach taught me not only life-long lessons for myself but for my kids as well. As I grew to be a mother and hustled to grow my business in social marketing (in between diaper changes and runs to the baseball field) my kids were watching.

So many people ask me, what is the secret to raising successful kids? The truth is that you have to lead by example. I am the mom of 8 (if you count my son-in-law) and I consider my children successful and atypical in the sense that they have embraced the concept of the gig-economy along with the understanding that if they work hard now, learning via mentorship and online resources, the sky is the limit.

Let’s use my son Andrew as an example. Andrew is now 21. At 18 yo he looked at me and said he didn’t want to go to college. He hated the idea of college debt. He didn’t like the idea of taking courses that he found useless and he was well aware that he would just have to hustle after college to get a gig. So why not attempt his shot at building connections, a portfolio and resume now? He started with video editing, social media marketing with his other 18yo friends who specialized in crypto-currency (something very few college professors knew much about), connected with YouTube influencers, the gaming community and just took it one gig at a time. At the moment, I write this 3 years later, Andrew has moved into a studio apartment in Hollywood (across the country from us) as the captain of his future and CEO of his own media company.

When Andrew was 4, he loved Yu-Gi-Oh. My friends told me it was indulgent of me to let him play the card game so much. I watched as he started winning tournaments at the age of 5 competing with 15yo boys. He also could tell you what the remainder of 4573 minus 1398 was in his head while waiting at the kindergarten bus stop . From the age of 3 on he became obsessed with the Yankees and baseball in general. He started memorizing batting averages and stats to each player. He could hold an adult conversation with his 50yo uncle at the age of 9 regarding the trades of the players in the industry. At the age of 10, Andrew had a YouTube video channel reviewing tech products and simply asked Steve Wozniak (Apple cofounder) to narrate his intro. I woke up one morning with the voice of Steve Wozniak saying “you are watching Geek Andrew.”

Andrew is exceptional and I have to give him most of the credit for his success. But as I sit here with my other kids still at home with the looming question “how do you teach your kids to be successful entrepreneurs?” in the air, I realize that the best thing I could ever do to help them was to be true to my own personal dreams and goals and attack them with a laser sharp determination to succeed. I’ve let them watch it all (good and bad). The kids have stood by as I built a new business, struggled, struggled some more and then found my way. They have seen failures and applauded the successes. They see life as an adventure that can at times be difficult but they understand the process in reaching success too.

But what I can tell from many friends who complain about their children not having motivation, is that many parents have set their own personal dreams, desires aside for what they considered the safe track ‘for the kids.’ They put aside their dreams of making that movie, writing that script, patenting the invention for the confines and safety of the known. But when we sacrifice our dreams for the kids, they often sense and inherit a fear of becoming the innovator and producer and instead choose to stay safe on the sidelines regretting the steps they never took. They applaud the movie credits rather than breathing in the satisfaction of watching their vision on the screen. In order for us to teach children to become producers and birth their dreams into fruition, we must set the example and be willing to scrape our knees too , just like we teach them to when learning how to ride a bike. Are we willing to walk the arduous journey of finding our own success as our babies watch as we fall? Or do we insulate them and teach them to color inside the lines of their kids menu placemats?

If you want to raise kids who crush their goals you need to be willing to have them witness your broken dreams and fist pounding moments too. It is also essential to get up after the fall and let them see you ride the vehicle of success so well that you learn to ride with no hands on the wheels. This takes practice and a willingness to get on the road…… If you have suppressed your dreams for ‘them’ think again and recalibrate. It still isn’t too late to show your kids that fear of failure need not be their dictator. Show them that it’s okay to fall down if they get up again and that taking the U-turn when others are turning right is encouraged.

Deanna Falchook is a professional Digital and Network Marketer, Business Coach Specializing in Building Networks as Marketplace Ministers. She is the author of a book called TO BE A MOTHER and the soon to be released book called THE CINDERELLA MINDSET. Deanna’s work has been featured in THE FEDERALIST, Charisma, Breitbart, 700Club, EWTN, Faithwire to name a few. Deanna is the mom of 8 children (5 internationally adopted) and lives near Disneyworld in Orlando. You can contact Deanna on FACEBOOK, LinkedIn, Instagram or twitter @deannafalchook.


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