Wouldn’t it be nice if your kid grew up to become an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs, in my view, are not just founders of for-profit businesses. They are resilient, hard-working people who start something, who come up with ideas and bring them to life, and who turn passion into projects.
As research for my book, “Raising an Entrepreneur,” I interviewed 70 parents who raised highly successful adults about how they helped their children achieve their dreams.
What I found is that communication plays a big role in a child’s future entrepreneurial spark. Here are four phrases these parents never used when their kids were young:
The parents all stressed the importance of responsibility and accountability. They wanted their kids to take ownership, fix problems, learn from mistakes and be more confident as they got older.
But it’s not just about homework. John Arrow dropped out of college a few credits before he graduated to start Mutual Mobile, a technology company that has generated more than $200 million in revenue.
When he was in fifth grade, he and his friends wrote a school newspaper, which sold out immediately. But they failed to do the fact-checking. The principal was furious, and his friends got in trouble with their parents. But John’s parents laughed and told him to fix his mistakes.
“Knowing my parents would support me, even when an authority was against me, made me double down and work harder to show them they were right to believe in me,” John said.
“Never hand out free cash,” one father told me.
The parents I spoke to all came from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, and taught their children the value of money. Even the more affluent kids had to work to spend money.
Nyla Rodgers is the founder of Mama Hope, a non-profit that funds and advocates for community organizations. When Nyla was in high school, she wanted to go overseas with her French class.
But instead of paying the full amount, her mom said she had to earn half the cost of the trip. With no other choice, Nyla babysat, mowed lawns, walked dogs, taught swimming and did data entry.
“I worked 15 hours a day, seven days a week to raise the money. By the end of the summer, I’d raised enough to go. That’s what started my entrepreneurial journey,” she said.
Many of the parents I talked to didn’t understand their kids’ passions, but they all gave them a lot of time to dive into it.
Some kids pursued their passion in addition to being great students. Others put all their energy into their passion and weren’t so great in school. The parents supported them regardless.
Jon Chu, director of blockbuster hits like “Crazy Rich Asians,” had a passion for making movies from the time he was in second grade. His immigrant parents ran a restaurant, and they hoped he would achieve the American dream by working hard, but it never occurred to them it could be in film.
In high school, Jon’s mom got upset one night when she found him working on a video instead of his homework. He started crying: “But this is what I love! I want to do it my whole life.”
When she picked him up at school the next day, she had filmmaking books she’d gotten from the library. “If you want to do this,” she said, “study it, and be the best at it.”
Growing up, the future entrepreneurs were never taught the life goal was to be rich. Instead, it was to succeed, to do better, to improve, and to create something great.
The parents understood that their kids would never be happy if they were plugging away at something they didn’t enjoy, and that they would never excel at something if they didn’t work non-stop at it, and that they would never work non-stop if they didn’t love it.
So they raised kids who put their passions into their businesses and made better products and services. The kids trusted that, in all likelihood, the money would come. And even if it didn’t, it’d still be better than working hard at something they hated.
As a result, they grew up with a sense of purpose and wanting to make a difference in the world.
Margot Machol Bisnow is a writer, mom and parenting expert. She spent 20 years in government, including as an FTC Commissioner and Chief of Staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and is the author of “Raising an Entrepreneur: How to Help Your Children Achieve Their Dreams.” Follow her on Instagram @margotbisnow.
Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather crypto scam lawsuit dismissed
A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit by investors against the founders of the cryptocurrency EthereumMax, as well as celebrity endorsers including Kim Kardashian and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. over their promotion of the cryptocurrency on social media.
Investors who bought EMAX tokens alleged they had suffered losses after taking the word of the celebrity influencers about the value of the crypto. The suit claims the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to artificially inflate the value of the EMAX tokens.
Judge Michael Fitzgerald wrote that he recognized that the lawsuit’s claims raised legitimate worries about “celebrities’ ability to readily persuade millions of undiscerning followers to buy snake oil with unprecedented ease and reach.”
“But, while the law certainly places limits on those advertisers, it also expects investors to act reasonably before basing their bets on the zeitgeist of the moment,” wrote Fitzgerald, of the Central District of California.
The judge found that the plaintiffs’ allegations were insufficiently backed, especially “given the heightened pleading standards” for fraud claims, according to his ruling in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
In addition to Kardashian, Mayweather and former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, the defendants in the case included Steve Gentile and Giovanni Perone, the co-founders of EthereumMax, and Justin French, a consultant and developer for the cryptocurrency, court documents state.
Fitzgerald in his ruling said he would allow lawyers for the plaintiffs to refile their suit after amending some of their claims under a number of the statutes cited in the original complaint, which included the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO.
“We’re pleased with the court’s well-reasoned decision on the case,” Michael Rhodes, a lawyer for Kardashian, told CNBC.
The dismissal came weeks after investors in fallen crypto exchange FTX filed a class-action lawsuit against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and celebrity advertisers for the company, among them NFL superstar Tom Brady, for allegedly overstating the value of the crypto tokens in promotional messaging.
And the ruling came two months after Kardashian agreed to pay $1.26 million, and not to promote cryptocurrency for three years, to settle claims by the SEC for her failure to disclose a $250,000 payment touting EthereumMax on her Instagram account.
Fitzgerald in his ruling Wednesday said the EthereumMax lawsuit reflects a broader conflict surrounding celebrity and influencer promotional schemes.
“This action demonstrates that just about anyone with the technical skills and/or connections can mint a new currency and create their own digital market overnight,” Fitzgerald wrote in his dismissal.
Investors sued EthereumMax and its celebrity advertisers in January after a slew of influencers started snagging sponsorships to promote cryptocurrencies to their millions of social media followers.
Kardashian’s Instagram post in June 2021 had written, “Are you guys into crypto??? This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends told me about the Ethereum Max token.”
Her post included “#ad” at the bottom, indicating she had been sponsored. But it did not disclose her $250,000 payment from EthereumMax.
Mayweather promoted EMAX at a boxing match and a large Miami bitcoin conference in June 2021.
But by January, the cryptocurrency had lost 97% of its value.
Fitzgerald at a hearing last month indicated he was inclined to dismiss the case.
Bloomberg News, in an article about that hearing, said that an attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit asked the judge to allow him to revise the suit’s racketeering claims to show how the statements by the celebrity defendants harmed the investors.
“If plaintiffs had known the true facts related to the promoters’ financial interest in the tokens, and that they were being paid to shill these tokens, they wouldn’t have paid as much for the tokens as they did,” the attorney, John Jasnoch, told Fitzgerald, according to a transcript cited by Bloomberg.
Cathie Wood says the Fed is making a serious mistake as bond market flashes worst signal since 1980s
How the U.S. became a global corn superpower
The United States has just about 90 million planted acres of corn, and there’s a reason people refer to the crop as yellow gold.
In 2021, U.S. corn was worth over $86 billion, according to calculations from FarmDoc and the United States Department of Agriculture.
According to the USDA, the U.S. is largest consumer, producer and exporter of corn in the world.
“We’re really good at [corn production],” Seth Meyer, chief economist at the USDA, told CNBC. “And that’s why you see big acres, big demand, export competitiveness.”
It’s not just what we eat.
“We turbocharged the value of corn through the application of science,” Scott Irwin, agricultural economist and professor at the University of Illinois, told CNBC.
Corn is in what we buy, including medications and textiles, and corn is turned into ethanol, which helps to fuel cars across the nation.
The rest of the world relies on U.S. corn, too.
At $2.2 billion in 2019, corn is the most heavily subsidized of all crops in the country.
“A lot of these subsidies … do get embedded into the cost of farmland and they essentially bid up the price of farmland marginally,” Joseph Glauber, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and former USDA chief economist, told CNBC. “So the benefits accrue largely to those who own land.”
The federal crop insurance program’s net spending is forecast to increase to nearly $40 billion from 2021 through 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
At the same time, farmland values have reached all-time record highs.
“Do we get the corn acres because we’ve got the support, or do we have the support because we have the corn acres?” Meyer said, posing the chicken-and-egg question about the nation’s grain superpower.
Watch the video above to learn more about how corn fuels the U.S. economy from its people to its vehicles, the power of the corn belt states, the role of subsidies and where government policy for the industry may go from here.
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