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Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Exceptional Adults


Raising a successful, fulfilled adult is perhaps one of the most challenging endeavors a parent can undertake. To gain insight into effective parenting techniques, the author of the book “Raising an Entrepreneur” interviewed 70 parents of remarkably successful adults. Despite their diverse backgrounds, these parents shared four core principles they followed to help their children achieve remarkable outcomes in life.

1. Valuing Hobbies as Mental Exercise

Parents of accomplished individuals never viewed their child’s hobbies as trivial or a waste of time. These activities, whether it was sports, music, or even video games, were considered valuable experiences that kept the child mentally engaged. Take Radha Agrawal, for example, the founder of Daybreaker, a global morning dance movement. In her formative years, she passionately played soccer. Supported by her parents, she honed qualities like grit, resilience, and teamwork, which she later applied in her entrepreneurial journey.

2. Empowering Children to Make Choices

The temptation to make every decision for your children can be strong, particularly since parents usually have their child’s best interests at heart. However, the parents interviewed emphasized the importance of empowering their children to make their own choices. Ellen Gustafson, co-founder of FEED Projects, is a case in point. Her mother always encouraged her to think critically, advising her to be cautious but not fearful. This helped Ellen make informed decisions and build a strong sense of independence.

3. Prioritizing Happiness over Financial Success

While education and career achievements are important, these parents never put pressure on their children to chase high-paying jobs at the expense of their happiness. The belief is that someone who is passionate and works hard in their chosen field will find a way to make a fulfilling living, even without a traditional degree.

4. Teaching Financial Literacy

Though the parents did not push their children toward wealth, they did emphasize the importance of financial literacy. Joel Holland, who sold half of his company for $10 million, credited his strong work ethic and understanding of money’s value to early life lessons from his parents. They taught him to earn, save, and value his money from a young age, skills that later became the bedrock of his entrepreneurial success.

At the core of these parenting principles is the concept of empowering children to become independent, critical thinkers who can navigate the complexities of life. The lessons from these exceptional parents serve as a blueprint for raising not just successful individuals, but well-rounded, capable adults.

Written by
Tara Joshi

Tara is a food blogger and a mom committed to sustainable living. She writes about various facets of family life, including plant-based nutrition, ethical consumerism, and eco-friendly practices for households.