Monday, January 13, 2014

Setting your kids up for success with money matters...

Over the years I have spoken to so many parents that tell me they feel like an ATM machine for their kids.  Kid wants to go to lunch with his friends, ask for money.  Kid wants to go to prom, ask for money.  Kid wants to go to the movies, ask for money.

Now this is all great if you want to turn your kids into beggers.  But if you want your kids to develop money management skills, this is NOT the best way to help them handle finances.

Luke 17, Austin 20, Judy and I, Andrew 23 and his wife, Sierra
Our kids didn't really spend any money before they got their licence.  So when they turned 16, I brought them to the bank.  We established a checking account with a debit card.  Plus we established a credit card for them.  Each one of my kids had a little money saved over the years from birthdays and odd jobs.  So we transfered that money to their new account.  And they get a monthly check for $200 from us.  (You might think that is too high or too low.  The amount is not as important as the skills you are teaching them.)

Our kids did not get jobs in High School as they were all athletes and good students spending their time doing that.  If your kids have jobs, more power to you!

With that money, they were responsible to pay for all of their entertainment.  They had to pay for the gas in their car.  They had to pay for the movies or lunches with friends.  If they wanted to go to prom, they had to save up.

Each month, they got the bills for the credit card.  And they had to manage their checking account.  Each month, they would have to make decisions on what they would and would not do based upon their bank balance, not mine!  When I go to the movies, I always get popcorn.  When they go to the movies now, they skip the popcorn.

Fast forward to college. 

When they graduate from High School, the allowance ended.  They needed to get a job and pay for their entertainment on their own.  (We had the means to pay for the schooling, fortunately.)  During the summers and at school, they found ways to make those ends meet with different jobs. 

My oldest son finished college in 3 years.  And my next son is on that same path.  They are motivated to get out into the world and begin their lives. 

Yes, perhaps they are missing out on the fun of college life, but I am hoping I prepared them to live independently.  A pastor friend of mine once told me, "Our job raising our kids is NOT to protect them, it is to PREPARE them."  That thought has always rang in my ear and helps me as I negotiate parenting my 3 men.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The REAL key to achievement!

This past year at Mirabella, we started the year hoping to open 1,000 salons and achieve $7.8 MM in sales.  Currently we have only 1,400 salons selling our product and our sales were barely over $6 MM.

Those are some HIGH goals!  I like to reach high.  What is the worst thing that happens?  You miss them?  No problem.

The challenge with that for the organization is that if you set goals that are potentially unattainable, it demoralizes your team and has a negative affect on morale.

While I was reading the book The Element by Ken Robinson, he talked about the teaching profession.  In this profession, they classify the steps to education as:
  • Curriculum
  • Pedagogy
  • Assessment
The school administration sets the curriculum for each subject.  Then most schools set goals for how well the students should learn the subject, assessment.  They miss the most important step which is pedagogy, or how to teach the subject.  What are the actual activities that a teacher must go through to make certain that the curriculum accomplishes the assessments that school wants to achieve.

Much is made of the standardized tests that students take.  Those assessments could be valid.  But the real question is, if the method of teaching was altered to help EVERY student learn the curriculum in such a way that everyone got it.  Everyone's assessments would be close to the top.

I am not in that business, so I cannot know if that is true.

But it made a profound impact on me in my company!

Thinking back to those enormous goals I set for the company.  What was wrong?  I set goals-- curriculum.  And I set goals-- assessment.  What I didn't do is pedagogy (I like this word!).  I didn't change the activities of our company to achieve these goals.

In 2014, we realize our success is based upon distributor store success.  So our activity is to be at 4 meetings per year to speak with all 700 of these store managers.  Our other activity is events.  We know that if salons will do events in their salons, they will sell a lot that night.  But more importantly, they will bring the focus back to our makeup within their salon.  And every day for a little while they will sell more.

In 2014, we are pedagogy based.  I still set goals and will do assessments each month on how we are doing.  But the big change is we are changing the activities.  By making good activities, we should have good results!

Go Mirabella!