Are You Replicating Your Parents’ Income Strategies?

This is an excerpt from my new book, The 4 Minute Millionaire*. If you enjoy it, you can buy a copy on Amazon for $4. Disclaimer: This is not financial advice.

If your mom makes an awesome chocolate cake and you want to bake one, what do you do? You turn to her and ask: “Hey mom, how do you make your chocolate cake?”

Your mom will then tell you the recipe and help you get it right. But when you ask her why she’s doing things a certain way, she might say:

“Well, that’s the way I learned to do it from your grandma, the way I’ve always made chocolate cake.”

Now, think about how you make your money.

Does it resemble what your parents and grandparents have done for years, maybe decades?

Even if you’re not a doctor because your dad is a doctor – which, by the way, is still more common than you’d think – chances are, you’re copying a good chunk of your parents’ approaches to making a living.

If your dad has a regular job, you’re likely to also start your career in a regular job. If your parents own a company, you might feel drawn to entrepreneurship at an early age or at the very least work in the family business.

One, because we might want to have a career in a different field, two, because their jobs might be outdated and on the decline, and three, because we may need less money than they do or want to earn more.

Your life is yours and yours alone. How much you earn should not be limited by patterns you subconsciously picked up from someone else – not even your parents. The first step to breaking these patterns is knowing they exist.

Stay aware of the career and money strategies of those around you, including but not limited to your parents. Observe and contrast how you approach your work and finances with what others do so you can learn, improve, and decide to act differently when the habits of others no longer serve you.

Action Item: Consider your parents’ strategies to make money – which ones seem unlikely to work for you?

Figuring out how to play to your strengths is a long journey. It takes time to identify what you’re good at and then build a system that allows you to use your natural advantage.

What you can do fairly quickly, however, is identify what doesn’t work based on what you’ve already seen. Maybe, your father ran a business that didn’t do so well. Maybe, your mom held too many jobs to be good at any one of them.

What can you learn from your immediate family and closest relatives about money? Take a few minutes to think it through, and remember:

You are on your own path.

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