When it comes to teaching kids about money, there are three parts. These are:
Part 1: Earning money
Part 2: Saving and growing money
Part 3: Spending money
When talking to my daughters I spent nearly all of my time on part 2 (saving and growing their money) as this is something most people struggle with. As they are getting older and I witness them saving and growing their money by following the 3 Rules of Wealth, I have started to spend more time talking to them about part 1 (earning money) and part 3 (spending money).
In this particular blog, I focus on part 1 (earning money) as I share three real-life stories where people have used creativity to solve problems.
Creativity will be the source of wealth in the future
When talking to my daughters about earning money, I like to share stories of when people have made money by being creative. I believe that in the future simply ‘knowing stuff’ (standard education/logic) will be less valued as computers will be able to know and use information better than humans. I, therefore, feel that compared to the past, being creative and solving problems will be more highly valued than at any time in the past.
I, therefore, want my daughters to grow up looking at the world by being creative. I want them to enjoy the arts (writing, drawing, painting, drama) so that they start to think of new ideas. Whilst they might not become an artist or writer, practising these skills will free their minds to come up with new ideas and be creative.
It’s with this creative mindset that they can seek out new ideas or new ways to solve problems. If they can do that, then I believe they will be highly valued in the world they are growing up.
To help my daughters to understand the power of creativity in the business world, I shared 3 short stories about how creative people took a problem and turned it into an opportunity.
Three problems that were turned into opportunities
ONE: A New Medicine
A big pharmaceutical company was looking to create a new medicine to help relieve colds and flu. After several tests, they got it to the point where it was doing what they wanted it to do. However, there was a big side effect. It was making people feel tired. They couldn’t have people taking the medicine and not being able to function properly.
The team were disheartened as it had taken them so much time to develop and a lot of money and now had to start again. Just as they were about the restart someone from the marketing team heard about what was going on and came up with something very creative.
He said they could promote the medicine for people to take before they go to bed. Not only will it help make them feel better but also help them get a good night’s sleep (which is an important part of recovering from an illness). They branded the medicine ‘Night Nurse’ and it went on to be one of the biggest-selling medicines.
TWO: The Perfume That Smelt Different
One of the big perfume companies was creating a new batch of its most popular fragrances in a huge vat. However, for some unknown reason, this batch was different. Its fragrance was slightly different from its standard product. This was a big disappointment as they couldn’t sell it as each bottle smelled the same to protect the image of the fragrance.
As they were about to empty the vat and start again, someone from marketing (again) had another idea. They said that as this batch still smelled nice and similar to the standard product, they should sell it as a limited edition premium version of the standard product.
That’s what they did. They sold it for a limited edition premium version of the standard perfume. With a bit of creative thinking, they went from throwing the perfume away to capturing a money-making opportunity.
THREE: Managing delays to save money
Years ago the London Underground train service was getting lots of bad reviews due to the delays people were experiencing. The delays were causing people lots of stress as they never knew if they were going to get to where they wanted to get to in time The city wanted to solve this issue.
The people in charge felt that this was a big problem and would require buying more trains and upgrading the stations (the logical solution). This was going to cost them millions, maybe billions and would take many years. This certainly wasn’t going to stop the bad reviews in the short term.
It was then that someone creative went back to why people were complaining. They learned that people felt anxious as they didn’t know when the train was going to arrive, or if it was going to arrive at all. They then suggested that the city simply add electronic signs in each station to let people know when the next train was going to arrive, even if it was delayed.
Turns out that this simple change took away people’s anxiousness and the complaints dropped significantly.
Whilst the city still needed to spend money to add more trains and upgrade the stations, they implement the changes in a much more streamlined and cost-effective manner. Saving the city millions of pounds.
Compared to the past, I believe that those with the highest earning potential will be those who are creative and see problems in a different way. Like in the stories above, it wasn’t the smartest people but the most creative that saw the opportunities others didn’t.
I hope you help your kids explore their creative side and grow up solving new problems in unique ways. I’m sure they will find many different ways to earn money. If they use this money to follow the 3 Rules of Wealth, then I have no doubt they will grow up financially healthy and wealthy!
If you enjoyed this blog, please do share it with other families so they start talking about money at home. Together we can slowly change the taboo status of money.
Thanks for reading!
p.s. At the very start of this blog I mentioned there are 3 parts to money (earning, saving, and spending). You can help your kids learn about all three parts by reading the award-winning book Grandpa’s Fortune Fables.