Thursday, February 25, 2010

Leap of Faith

It takes a leap of faith when you get the phone call and your child says:
"Mom, I'm quitting my job...."
"Mom, I've QUIT my job...."
"Mom, I'm making a move to another company.... it's smaller, more entrepreneurial...."
"Mom, I'm starting my own business..."
"Mom, I've got an idea for a business, so I'm quitting my current job to work on it...."

I'm suggesting that, as the recipient of said calls, you have to have faith in your kid and that hopefully you've helped lay a foundation where they make good, sound decisions... that they're not chucking caution to the wind, that they've thought this through, that they've still got health insurance, COBRA, something! That they've figured out how they're going to pay their rent? Eat? AND that they've ideally NOT quit their job, until you've had a good vetting conversation....

These Gen Y kids are adults, they're making decisions on their own every day... that's what we want, right?! They're becoming more and more independent. Arguably, they are independent! At least if you ask them, they are. Again, that's the goal, right?

Here's a suggestion: IF you suspect that you may have a kid that's thinking in any of the above directions; rather than wait: don't close your eyes, cross your fingers, pray,... whatever,... that this will all go away or that they'll "come to their senses" and keep their job, especially in this economy... don't do it! Don't wait, have a conversation. Bring it up. Get them to talk about it, think out loud with you!... they just may surprise you. They actually may have thought their decision through and they just may have a plan!

This is my thinking, our thinking: they're young, no mortgage to pay, no mouths to feed (other than their own)...when else is a good time? When will they take a chance / a risk, and try something new, especially if it's their own idea?

OK, I have to admit, this took some time to get to this point, "risk-adverse-mother-that-I-am". I know to some, it sounds good, and to some of you, you're probably thinking, "has she lost her mind????" "I would never behave like this as a parent!" "Take control! Tell your kid they can't quit!" And some of you Gen Yers reading this may be thinking: "I WISH I could quit and start a business!" "I have loans to pay from school" "my parents would kill me!" "There's no way!"

First of all, good luck to you parents who try to "take control." Let me know how that goes. Second, though I'm incredibly risk adverse, especially when it comes to my family, if there's a good, well thought out plan (more than a germ of an idea) and you sense your child's conviction, I mean, what the heck? You've picked them up when they've fallen before, who says you won't pick them up again. This time the pick up may have conditions or a timeline or may come a little later... but let's be real...

The process itself of researching, budgeting, figuring out how to start your own business or going with a start's all a very steep learning curve, but incredibly worthwhile! If they get "hungry" enough, either you'll hear from them (or perhaps, see them) or it will force them to move in a different direction or make a different decision or decide to put together Plan B (maybe graduate school?) or network a little more or market a little differently or switch up their selling technique... but is any of this a real negative? Really?

Have a little faith!


rcerf said...

Have faith! That doesn't mean you need to have blind faith.

Trust that there's a well thought out plan and don't be afraid to ask what that plan is.

If it is a good plan, let your kid know he has your support.

Entrepreneurship is a tough road, a supportive family is incredibly valuable.

Beppie said...


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