Many of you know I have five daughters. I like to joke that I live in an estrogen-rich environment.
Like any group of siblings, they all have ways in which they’re very different and ways in which they’re very similar. One way my daughters are all alike is that they’re very entrepreneurial. Is that a case of nature or nurture?
A new study about why wealthy parents tend to have kids who also grow up wealthy confirms that nurture is the biggest factor. After comparing the net worth of adopted and biological kids in Sweden with their adoptive and biological parents, researchers found “a substantial role for environment and a much smaller role for genetics.”
The example of my daughter bears this out. There are no Hyatt Entrepreneurial Genes, but there is a Hyatt Entrepreneurial Environment. In thinking through the elements of that environment I identified four that have a direct impact on building wealth.
- Impulse control. The researchers found that one of the main contributors to why wealthy parents have wealthy kids was likely showing them to manage money, especially saving. When I saw that my mind immediately jumped to impulse control.
Saving money is all about impulse control. When Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld tried summarizing why some groups get ahead in life and others don’t, they identified impulse control as a major factor. And it affects more than saving and investments. Impulse control is a major ingredient in goal attainment of any kind.
Hustle. Another area impulse control matters is hard work. My daughters have always watched me hustle—sometimes too much. I spent years putting everything I had into my work, to the detriment of my family and my health. A trip to the emergency room showed me how imbalanced I was. I immediately made several significant changes that not only kept me strong, but also strengthened my family.
I still hustle, but I’ve learned how to stay focused on what matters most. And what encourages me most is that my daughters learned the same lesson. They’ve all discovered how to work hard while taking care of their health and families.
Self improvement. Part of that learning, for them and me, is about self improvement. I got this from my dad. He taught me to stay focused on personal growth, and this has always been part of what drives me.
This can get out of whack as well. But when it’s balanced with life’s priorities, it’s a key ingredient for improving not only yourself, but also your circumstances. Constantly learning new strategies and approaches to self-discipline, work, productivity, finances, and so on, means making gains while others are content sitting still.
Gratitude. This has less to do with achievement and more to do with staying grounded. But there are major benefits from maintaining an attitude of gratitude. And gratitude offers a special set of advantages at work.
The truth is that nothing holds people back like a sense of entitlement or perceived scarcity. Once we past those traps, we start noticing opportunities and abundance that we otherwise miss.
Wealth isn’t everything. But I’d rather have it than not. My entrepreneurialism has enabled me to build and share and grow in ways I never could otherwise.
And it’s exciting to see how lessons I learned growing up have transferred to my children, and how they’re already teaching their own kids.
Watch the Replay
I discussed this post LIVE on Periscope with hundreds of my readers. I answered questions and offered additional thoughts about this topic.
Question: What wealth-building skills did you learn from your parents?