How do you ensure your children aren’t living in your basement when they’re 30?

This was going to be the year he was to graduate. He decided after his freshman year, that college wasn’t for him. So a year ago I gave him a date for moveout—August 2016. He had a year to plan, talk to friends, set up living arrangements with his best buddies—whatever. He didn’t have a fulltime job, but he was paying for all—and I do mean all—of his expenses at home—

  • rent
  • utilities
  • his portion of the food budget
  • clothes
  • shoes
  • his car related (insurance, gas, repairs, taxes, anything)
  • cell phone and air time
  • health insurance
  • all his entertainment
  • everything related to him

If it cost money for him to live here, he has to pay it. Why? Because it was good for him to understand what life costs so he will be prepared. He’s a good kid—I really love him—which is why I’m not making it easy on him. But he’s not going to stay in my basement and not get out and tackle the world—make a difference.

You should have seen him the first time he understood compound interest. It was like discovering ice cream for the first time. He’s faithful to pay his bills twice a month. He has to say no to some things so he can say yes to other things. Being an executive coach with the John Maxwell Team, I have all the personal growth and leadership principles he could ever want. The good news is, he really likes helping people discover their personality, lower their stress, and increase their productivity—and he just got certified to teach the DISC Model of Human Behavior (I am a human behavior specialist with DISC). He will be helping people everywhere get their lives back. Plus, he’s doing it because he likes it—not because I do similar things. I couldn’t be prouder. But—he still has to move out. For his own growth.

Now maybe you’re child isn’t like that—they are moving toward their goal at breakneck speed and you’re paying all their expenses while they get launched. I get that. But for those that are not moving towards a decent goal, it’s time to get them moving. Out. They’re not going to get there when mom and dad are paying for them to be stuck. I coach executives that are stuck. It’s not pretty. But the coaching success rate is almost 100%.

What’s the issue? Well, you can blame it on permissive parents, being the baby of the family, hard times out there—but the bottom line is, they lack the initiative and intentionality to get going. Why? Because we don’t teach them intentionality. We teach them academics. We teach them values. We teach them ethics. Morality. But we don’t teach them to lead themselves.

Well, actually, that is what I do—I teach leadership and personal growth. Most don’t understand the laws of leadership. Most don’t have a personal plan for growth. Do you? 98% of the people I talk to don’t have a written plan for personal growth. I mentor lots of youth because many don’t know how to get started. My dad used to always say, the toughest part of getting started… is getting started. He didn’t know how right he was. Or maybe he did. 80% of us are not self-starters. More to the point, we’re not self finishers.

That’s why I started the Advanced Leadership Academy—to help young people learn to lead themselves and get much further, faster. If I can have an impact on someone 40 years old, think of the impact on an 18 year old—they will have an additional 20 years to change the world! I want them to learn all the things we didn’t teach our children when they were young. Here are some of the the things I teach in the nine month teleconference mentorship program—see how many you think your students will need—and already understand and apply.

• Intentional Living—making everyday count
• Personal Awareness—know yourself to grow yourself
• Understanding Your Personal Values—do you know what you stand for?
• The Toughest Part Of Getting Started—how do you get going every day
• Reflection and Change—how do you daily reflect and make changes?
• Consistency
• Self-Discipline
• What Do You Really, Really, Really Want?
• Take 100% Responsibility For Yourself
• Environment and Bad Company
• Life Plan
• Daily Planning/Life Planning
• Financial Budgeting & Investing
• Failing Forward
• Mastering Fear
• Character Development
• Setting and Achieving Goals
• Making Trade-offs
• Give Up to Go Up
• Inculcating Curiosity
• Asking Great Questions
• Dealing with Hard Things
• The Proper Place of Passion & Purpose
• Life Mentorship
• Life Coaching
• Communicating
• Shattering Limits
• Growing Others
• Connecting with Others
• Gaining Influence
• Winning with People
• Eliminating Procrastination
• Time Management
• Knowing & Breaking Limitations
• Developing Systems to Accomplish
• Planning for Needs
• Everyone is a Salesperson
• Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn
• Adding Value to Others
• Serving Others
• Don’t Give or Take Excuses
• Building Trust
• Don’t Enable—Empower
• Respect
• Intuition
• Kindness
• Defining Your Target
• Peak Performance
• Inner Circle
• Confidence and Security
• Mission
• Vision
• Feedback
• Team Building
• Momentum
• Priorities
• Sacrifice
• Timing
• Handling Explosive Growth
• Limiting Beliefs
• Eliminating Baggage
• Bringing Closure
• Getting Over Yourself
• Perpetual Student
• Risk
• Pay Yourself First
• Self-Starting
• Balance
• Accountability
• Tenacity
• The Mind
• As A Man Thinks
• Getting Hired
• Finding the Right Fit
• Lean Living
• Reasonability Test
• Crucial Conversations
• Entrepreneurship
• Transformational Thinking
• Thinking Big
• Understanding Marketing
• Focus
• Integrity
• Illegal, Immoral, Unethical
• Pareto Principle
• Public Speaking
• Cultivating Creativity
• Strategic Thinking
• Understanding Bottom-Line
• Influence
• You Read, You Lead
• Motivation
• Getting Up When You Can’t
• Be Present In The Moment
• Define & Refine
• Applying Knowledge
• The Success Formula
• Exceeding Expectations

In my experience, everyone needs most of these at different points in life—and many of them all the time. If you want your children to be prepared for taking on life in today’s wild-and-getting-wilder-culture, this mentorship program will give your students the tools they need to succeed in college, in their career of choice, in their relationships, and in their life. An hour a week. Check it out here.

Don’t look back 20 years from now when they’re struggling and wish you had given them more tools. Teach them these things now. Or let me do it. It’s an incredible opportunity. Take advantage of it while it’s available. I wish I had this opportunity when my kids were 17. If you have any questions, please ask below, on Facebook, or email me at — and send your friends with 16-19 year old students a link to this page or the main information page—

High School Student Mentorship

Make it a great day!

Author & Executive Coach

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or from my mom...

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