I became a single parent when my son was five years old. The details are not important, and even though it wasn't always easy, I wouldn't trade that time with him for anything in the world. I wanted him to grow up with the same values my parents tried to instill in me, so I took advantage of a situation that I thought was perfect for teaching him the value of money. After his birthday, he had a small stash hidden somewhere in his room, and when he asked me to buy him a new pair of skateboarding shoes, I told him my limit was $49.95. I had already checked out the prices online, and when we got to the store, he was a little disappointed to find out they cost $54.95.
"I really want these, Dad," he said.
I didn't want to hold out much longer. I could hear something in his voice tugging at my heart in a way every parent would understand.
"Okay," I said. "I'll buy them for you, but you'll have to give me $5.00 when we get home."
He didn't think twice about whether or not he could manage that, so I bought him the shoes, and collected his share of the cost that afternoon.
A few months later, I came home from work to find him at the kitchen sink. He had one of the shoes in his hand, and was holding it under the faucet and scrubbing the tip with a nail brush.
"What are you doing?" I asked him, noticing that the other shoe was sitting on the counter in a pool of water.
"I'm cleaning my shoes," he said.
"Why?" I asked him. They looked no different to me than the day we bought them.
" Are you kidding me?" he said, with a look of disbelief.
"I paid five bucks for these shoes!"
Today he owns his own business, with over 20 employees, designing and making the equipment that produces CBD oil. It’s the latest thing, and the business is growing. As part of an expansion project, he recently sold 35% of the shares to the company for 1.3 million dollars. That’s a lot of shoes.