I can remember when I was a small child how I contemplated the idea of a tree somewhere that could actually grow dollar bills instead of leaves. I think an episode of the Twilight Zone even featured a storyline about such a money tree. At my pubescent age back then, I even considered planting a dollar bill just to see what would sprout?
Eventually, I learned that money, if acquired, would require work... and work took time.
Work + Time = Money
Yet, until recently I would sometimes feel I came up short when dropping such profound knowledge on my own kids. Some days they would still expect mom to dole out big bucks for the latest pair of Adidas or Mortal Kombat video game. And for what?! - Their good looks, I guess. Were they really trying me?
That's when I decided these tech savvy, multi-device using product hoarders were not going to learn the value of work, time and money by osmosis. They needed something to speak to them in their native digital language. They needed an app that would motivate them to earn some of the things they had. And since earning is a two-way equation, I could benefit too. Finally, more help around the house and getting assured their schoolwork was up to snuff, was on the way.
I began developing Earnster, a digital platform that would empower teens who were really ready to be empowered. If the teens 'yearned to earn' not just material items, but character building traits, like responsibility, independence, trust, then I would know they understood the value of work, time and money. Therefore, I did not consider needing to avoid the mompreneur guilt that Christine St. Vil @ChristineStVil of Moms N Charge says many moms endure to launch their businesses. Instead, I believed I would teach my children by example. If I could overcome the odds of getting Earnster off the ground with my teens by my side, then they would surely learn a multitude of lessons.
As my teens get older they're expecting the mom-tether-rope to loosen. But, as their independence increases, so must my confidence in their ability to handle newfound freedoms. I don't want to worry if they'll utilize good judgment when riding a city bus with their friends, or making a good purchase decision or helping someone in need.
The Earnster app is designed to give tweens and teens enough rope to prove themselves by demonstrating a strong work ethic, good negotiation skills and delayed gratification.
After validating Earnster with hundreds of teens, tweens and parents, I'm excited to hear from our early adopters. TerriAnn van Gosliga from @cookiesandclogs says in her May 10th article entitled, FINDING COMMON GROUND TO BETTER COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR TEENAGER, "By having things that we can both (parent and teen) relate to, conversation can become more natural and engaging. Instead of a battle of wills, it becomes a safe environment to bond and chat casually."
My hope is a product like Earnster can be the tool that brings teens and parents together in a way that not only builds a communication channel, but builds common values based on a clear understanding of the work, time, money dynamic. I envision Earnster holding both teen and parent accountable -- teens completing tasks and parents rewarding their teens with the fruits of their labor -- they'll establish an unbreakable bond based on deeds and actions, and not just talk. Only time will tell.
Keep checking earnster.co for official product release dates. And don't forget to add your name to our mailing list for all of the updates.
Until next time...
Founder/CEO, Earnster Inc.