About the Episode
Many parents raise their kids the best way they know how, which often means they will provide their kids with generational opportunities when they own their own businesses, expecting their offspring to take over when they decide to retire. Listen in to see how generational careers can be restricting for growth..
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How’s it going, everyone? I’m Rick Jordan, I’m glad you’re here with me today, hey, share this out with three people today, I hope this changes your life today. I know it’s gonna change your life today, because today we’re going to talk about doing what you want to do rather than what your parents wanted you to do or still may want you to do. It’s an interesting concept. Because when I was growing up, meaning like a kid, teenager, and below, I never really had this forced perspective on me, my parents never really said, “Oh, we want you to do this, or you need to do that.” But needless to say, I’m really grateful for that, and that upbringing, because I take a look around. And I hear from a lot of people, different phases in life don’t really matter if you’re 15 years old, or 35 years old, or 55 years old. A lot of phases in life. It’s like, “Oh, I became a doctor or I became a lawyer, I became a carpenter, because my dad’s been a carpenter for years, and he owns a carpentry business, so I just expected him to be in this or my father was a lawyer, even a teacher,” you know, there’s like generational teachers, those types of families that exist and it’s almost like expected of you, because that’s what this family does. If you’ve been there, I mean, just stick your hand up right now, wherever you’re at, because I see this around a lot, and I get into these conversations, you know, around kids doing what you want, you know, versus being forced to, and parents imposing their own crap on it.
I had an interesting conversation with my mom the other night, and we talk on the phone a lot more often than we actually see each other in person, because I’m traveling a lot. And she had taken my youngest out to dinner, it was pretty awesome, and her feedback from that dinner was that it was for Alec’s birthday, her feedback for that dinner was, “Wow, he really knows a lot about a lot of things, and he’s way more mature, like beyond his years than he is right now.” He’s 12 years old right now. He just turned 12 Several weeks back earlier this year, and she informed me she said like you were always like that to yourself when you were young, and now she even listens to the show, which is awesome. Yeah, my mom is my fan. Everybody loves having your mom’s your fan, right, and she’s one of many, of course, in 50 plus countries that she listens to while she’s on the treadmill. She’s like, “Oh, my gosh, you were well versed in so many different things. It blows my mind how you remember all this stuff! And you must read a lot. You must research a lot of things.” I’m like, “Yeah, I do.” The reason why my son, my youngest son, and all my kids, for that matter, are the same exact way is because I expose them to pretty much everything possible in this world. I’ve always said if they’re not old enough to ask the questions, they’re old enough to know the answers, that’s been my style of parenting. No matter what.
It’s never been, hey, keep them safe. By limiting their access to the world. Keep them safe by restricting knowledge until they’re quote unquote, old enough. You remember that phrase? You probably have heard it from your parents or an aunt or an uncle or whoever that has always been like, oh, well, I’ll tell you when you’re older, or you’re too young to know that, you’re too young to see that, you’re too young to hear that. The problem with that mindset as a parent is your kids are going to hear it anyways, and if you think back then you know, maybe you’re in your mid 20s right now, if you think back 10 years ago, you probably discovered some things on your own that your parents wish they had told you because of one of these limitations, these self limiting beliefs that they had this inability to think that you were able to handle whatever it is that you were curious about at the time, and I’m sorry, I am sorry you went through that.
You know my parents had their share of that where they would tell me”Oh, we’ll tell you when you’re older, you’re not old enough to understand this yet.” But the thing that they did not do was say “You need to go down this path like you need to go to college, you know, your dad was a band director you know he has a music degree you need to do that or my mom had a education degree she a teaching degree with a specialty in mathematics. You need to go down that path, you absolutely need to do what we did, you need to go to college like we did,” which I ended up not going to for two weeks, and then I said screw this. This isn’t my gig, and then I went to work in retail, never looked back, never regretted it whatsoever, and one thing that my parents, and I’m very grateful for, is that they never imposed that belief on me, even though they felt strongly about higher education. That was one of the ways that my mom actually differentiated herself by excelling in education because she was the youngest of seven, and it was pretty awesome.
But there were things that they would say that they will, Oh, you’re too young for that. Or I’ll tell you when I’m older. So in this conversation with my mom on the phone, about my son, she comes up as I’m saying this, I’m like, “Mom, the reason why my kids have so much knowledge around things and why they’re so mature, and quote, unquote, ‘beyond their years,’” as some people have called them. I’ve even had them in front of billionaires to where they’ve come up, you know, with my oldest son with Naveen Jain, who’s a friend of mine, came up to me after conversing with my eldest son when he was 11, that I didn’t know kids that age could be that coherence, made me feel really proud as a dad. And it’s because I’ve never held back and exposed them to things. I’ve never held back in answering their questions when they’ve had them. I’ve never thought that they were too young to experience anything that might be on their minds.
Now, of course, there’s certain things because I don’t just go throw stuff at them and be like, “Hey, take a look at this.” You know, it’s more like paying attention to them, and learning your kids, and seeing how they respond to certain things in the world and what they’re curious about, because they’ll show you when you pay attention, they will absolutely show you when they pay attention. Because if you don’t do it’s going to be very easy for them to get access to that information from somebody else, and what’s even worse, it’ll be through that person’s filter. Whether it’s an aunt, an uncle, a teacher, a stranger walking down the street, something they’d see in the grocery stores while walking by, you know, or something on a magazine cover, yes, magazines still exist or something that they pop up on YouTube, they’re going to see it and be exposed to it, whether you think you have control over that or not. So from a parent, the parent right now, if your kids are old enough to ask the questions, they’re old enough to know the answers.
In this conversation with my mom, she starts apologizing to me, and saying, “I’m sorry, when I was a parent, when you were young. I didn’t know any better. You’re always curious. But I always thought that there were some age limits around things, and you know, I was brought up that way too, Rick. So I just did what my parents did, I didn’t know any better.” I’m like, “Mom, hold on. Like, it’s not your fault,” and for you listening right now to where your parents did this with you to where they almost like put you in a box, put you in a shell kept you isolated from things or kept you away from knowledge, or even, like dampen your curiosities about things, or you want to search out new knowledge and they were like, “No, you’re not old enough for that.” Give your parents a break right now. Because they probably didn’t know any better, and that’s okay. What you can do right now is you can actually break free of that, and you might be in your 50s listening to this, you know, odds are you might be in your 30s right now, listening to this, and you may have fallen into that because your parents didn’t know any better. Either one of those two scenarios to where it was your parents restricted information from you, or your parents, because of generational things said, that’s what this family does.
This family goes to college. This family is a family of teachers. This family is a family of doctors, your father was a lawyer, your grandfather was a lawyer, you’ll be a lawyer to your dad who owns a carpentry business. He owns a construction business. Your mom owns a beauty salon, she’s a hairdresser, she’s a stylist, this is what we do, this is what you’re going to do. The really cool thing is that you have an opportunity to have compassion on your parents, and two, you have an opportunity right now to actually go after what you want. That’s so amazing, because you can shift it right now. Because even if they said you go to college, you know, and I feel bad for everyone that goes to school thinking that they have to choose what they want right then because they pick a major, and then that major is what they’re supposed to do for the rest of their life.
It’s insane to me, when you’re just like 18 or 19 years old, because there’s so much of this world to explore without limitations that are being placed on you or really it’s a choice of your own. To place those limitations on yourself because you’ve accepted what other people have told you that you’re supposed to do from their filter of life. You don’t have to do that. I’m giving you permission right now you can blame it on me. Your parents tell your aunt, your uncle, whatever, that you know, I listen to this podcast, “You know what I’m blaming on Rick Jordan, because he’s the one that told me that I could do this,” blame it on me, I don’t care. That’s fine. I’ll take it. As long as you’re happy. Another thing about kids that I’ll tell you here as we round this out, because when you go to college, even if you pick a major, you know, it’s something crazy. It’s like only 26%. This was a couple years ago, when I looked this up, it’s only like 26%. So one out of four college graduates actually end up in the field that their degree is in.
Did you hear that? Only just one in four, approximately, who have a college degree, actually work in the field that they studied for, and got a degree in? That’s stupid. Why is that because it’s impossible for me to know and choose. At that point in time, generally speaking, what you’re going to want to do for the rest of your life and say that this is the only thing I’m ever going to be interested in. professionally, personally, growth, everything this is it. That’s a stupid way to walk through life because everything always changes. Please don’t limit yourself on that. Because there are going to be things even 10 years from now. They’re gonna be like, “Oh my God, that’s incredible.” It’s okay to quit your job. It’s okay to take a hard left turn, it’s okay to about face and even maybe go back to college, if that’s what you need to do. Or start something fresh. That just puts a fire in you, that lights you up. It’s okay to do that. Give yourself permission to be curious, and even more.
So, if you have kids right now, if you ever plan on having kids or you just end up having kids, give your kids permission to do the same because you will never be good at only one thing. There’s so many opportunities for you. I’ll end this with the story of my eldest son because he swam for years, right? He’s almost 15 years old right now. He has been swimming for years. Badass swimmer, oh my god, ever since he was five years old, the dude was diving down to the bottom of the pool and the deep man was picking up rings, no big deal of freaking fish, right? And it transcended over into competitive swimming to to where he could just crush things, you know, but then it got to just a point where he’s like, You know what, this just doesn’t interest me anymore. He still likes swimming. But he didn’t like the team side of it and decided to pursue some other things.
Actually, he’s pursuing a lot of things in technology and filmmaking and coding now, and that’s taking up a lot of time, in addition to theater, musicals. It’s awesome because you know what he’s like, and that didn’t exist when he started swimming. Those things weren’t around him when he started swimming, and now ended up being five years later. He’s like, wow, this is pretty cool. But I see that I can’t do both because of time. They both are very demanding. I mean, swimming was like five nights a week, at the level that he was at. This is a club that trains Olympic swimmers that he grew up into pretty much to this high level, an hour and a half, five nights a week. That’s a lot of demanding time for like a 13 year old. Not to mention a lot of demanding time, and transportation from parents will tell you that much. But then all these other things like theater came into his life and coding and filmmaking, and that’s what he’s pursuing now, because it’s another interest that he’s curious about, and it’s pretty amazing. It’s awesome.
So if you’re at a stage in life right now, where you’re like, Man, I’m curious, but I got all the stuff that my parents told me that they expect of me, the only expectations that you need to worry about are the expectations that you have on yourself. So your parents might have expectations of you. But if you allow those to affect the expectations of yourself, you’re screwed. Because now you are actively choosing to put yourself in that box that your parents handed you to. Don’t put yourself in that box. People say oh, you put other people in this box and everything is wrong. It’s your choice to step into that box and stay in that box and not break out of that box and say that that’s my home for the rest of my life. That’s your call. It’s nobody else’s.
That’s the truth, and the truth is a good place to start. This was gonna move you because today you can make that shift, if it’s a shift you want to make or you can actually even forgive your parents because they might not have known any better. Or you can just say, “Screw it all. I’m just gonna move forward in life,” because I have never let anybody put me in a box and I’m taking a look around and I see all these other people who have placed themselves in boxes that were made by other people, and they choose to stay there, and I’m glad that’s not me. If you’re any of those today, you can change right now and it’s okay. Because you’re never just good at only one thing, and you will never be curious about just one thing. Life is amazing and expansive and incredible and has so much to offer you. You just have to take your blinders off and not choose that box of somebody else or yourself anymore.
- Generational Careers in Families
- Is your Mom a Fan of Yours?
- Exposing your kids to the world
- If they’re old enough to ask, they’re old enough to know
- Parents Picking Their Kids’ Lives