Be a Lady, But Don’t Be Nice

So, I’m trying to teach my kids how to be entrepreneurs. I want them to understand the benefits and the mindset needed to be independently successful. That being said, I had to teach my daughter to not be nice. Yes, it seems like a direct contradiction to the title of this blog, but here’s why LIFE SKILLS trumped NICE the other day.

My daughter is always looking for ways to make more money. It’s great to see. Therefore, I’m always suggesting ways for her to make more money. Recently, she decided that she’s into jewelry making and would start making some to sell to her friends and peers. An awesome idea!

Her and her brother made a few beautiful pieces (more beautiful than I had expected, to be honest) and I began to see some potential and follow through. Because she had been working within some limitations in design as she had only two types of beads to work with, and being the zealous crafter that I am, I went out and bought her more materials. I brought back beautiful stones of various shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. A feast for the eyes.


So, a few days ago my friend came over with her daughters.

Because my daughter had already begun to ease off the enthusiasm she’d been riding high on (before I spent my money, of course) I wanted to reinvigorate her drive by making the activity a group one. A circle of friends will surely increase productivity.

My plan worked. Everyone gathered around the dining table and beads were scattered atop it. Everyone was talking and being creative.

Naturally, kids  were starting to get attached to and fall in love with their creations. Keep in mind I say creations in the plural. So I had a decision to make. Do I keep this nice thing going, or do I teach my daughter a lesson in keeping a mind on her business?

I chose the latter. I declared to all the soon-to-be brokenhearted that everyone was allowed to keep only one creation. I let all of the kids know that my daughter had these materials set aside as part of her business, and that if she gives too much away she’ll lose money (and so would I).

See, of course I want my daughter to be nice, to be a lady and gracious. But I also don’t want her to make a distinction between being a lady and being a leader, or a business owner. The two are not mutually exclusive, right? Right.

Yes, I had to shut down some hearts in order to build another day. In the meantime, when they decide to wear their creations, they can let their friends know where they can get their own handmade jewelry.

Now just imagine if schools dedicated time and resources to teaching these skills. I think as parents we need to start pushing for entrepreneurial courses in schools. What are your thoughts?

In the meantime, here’s an article in Inc. magazine about raising kids to be entrepreneurs. Enjoy!






9 thoughts on “Be a Lady, But Don’t Be Nice

  1. No surprise, I am all for teaching entrepreneurial skills and adaptation to our youth! Why you might ask? Because I am a humble Free-thinking Humanist and HUGE on collaboration and teamwork. And there’s the catch right there.

    We cannot be “great” all by ourselves, alone. We need (badly? always?) a team, a village. This condition requires people-skills… in some cases, EXCEPTIONAL people-skills! This condition requires communication skills, articulate communication skills that, oh by the way, definitely require exceptional LISTENING skills! 😛

    All interwoven in these conditions is another exceptional skill-requirement: honesty. And this leads me to one of my favorite and apropos quotes…

    Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile. — Paolo Coelho

    Feelings are temporary. People will soon get over it, including myself! So… be strong, be tactful, be respectful, BUT be honest… brutally honest if necessary.

    You did very well Mom! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Grrrrrr… you wicked literary entrepreneurial Temptress you! My book-list is so long at the moment and now you going saying this!!! >:D LOL

        Off to Amazon to add that one to my Wish List – To buy/read List! 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, But this is the danger when you bring up quotes. Someone’s bound to have been an interesting person to be saying something quote-worthy– an author, a painter, a rascal, a suffragette. You knew what you were getting yourself into.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree! Our kids are leaving school with very little skills. College is not for everyone, so why not integrate vocational programs into every school so that kids have options. Some of our skilled tradesmen/women outperform college grads in pay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, yes and yes. None of my friends have college degrees and they all earn more than me. Besides, our era needs the beauty of crafted things. The earlier they start learning/practicing a trade, the more skilled in adulthood. An we might discover kids who have a real talent that would’ve lain undiscovered otherwise. It makes me sad that no one wants to invest in this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. Many times I have kicked myself for becoming a teacher, when all along I am a creator. I used to make my Barbies clothes and purses out of mismatched socks and shoe strings! Lol! I wish that I had known that creative careers were viable ones. When do we start talking to our kids about alternatives to college and traditional jobs?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh I already have. My kids are 12 and 9 and they’ve been hearing me say for at least 3 years that college is not the only option and that in our day, if you’re willing to put in the hard work and endurance, you can get it done.

          Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to talk to them about life. Like really trying to remember all the time to pass on wisdom. If something happens to me and I’m not here tomorrow, I don’t want everything I’ve learned to go down with me. I don’t want them to struggle more than is necessary.

          Liked by 1 person

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