That's what I thought when I was advising my teen business-wise. My daughter has a very successful YouTube channel where she offers fashion and beauty tips. A little over a year ago, her subscribers and followers were growing exponentially. My daughter had done some videos on how to make homemade make-up, and I asked her if she wanted to contact the big cosmetic lines, Maybeline or Cover Girl, and pitch them a line with her branding on it.
"I'm a genius," I thought. She could discuss the natural ingredients they could put into the make-up, the colors, the fragrances. They'd put her name and logo on the line. There's be a built in customer base with the thousands of young women who followed her on YouTube and those numbers were just growing. It was a win-win. She creates the line, but doesn't have to do any manufacturing or shipping.
"No thanks," she said to me. "I'm just not feeling it." What the heck is that supposed to mean: "Just not feeling it"? What's there not to feel?! You create what you already love to create. You make your audience happy. You make a few bucks. You build your brand. And, you let the big guys do all the heavy lifting.
She was wrong! This is just want she wanted. I knew it so badly that I had already even crafted that letter to Maybeline. All I had to do was send it. She wouldn't have to know. And, if Maybeline gave her a thumbs-up, then I could break it to her and she'd be excited and would jump on the chance. Yes, that's my job as a father, to do what I know is best for my child, even when she doesn't.
But, I didn't. I wanted to so badly. I knew she could be set for life (or at least until I reached retirement age), but I had to fight every instinct to do what I knew would be best, because, well, to be honest, if she didn't want this, maybe it wasn't best. And, if it was best, it would be a learning opportunity. And, when the next opportunity rolled around she would know better what to do. So, I let it go.
A year later, and guess who came a-knockin'? A company came to her and asked her to design a lipstick, put her name on it and her logo. She didn't get to choose the ingredients or fragrance (do lipsticks even have fragrances?), but she created the color.
It was definitely a "told you so" moment, but I kept my mouth shut (except for here on this blog post). I think it's one of the hardest things for us to do as parents, to let our kids make mistakes. And, I wondered why. Why is it so important for us to have them do it right? In my case, at least, it was because I was living vicariously through her. I'd made my mistakes already. I didn't need to make them a second time with her. But that was the problem; like me, she needed to make the mistakes so as to know what to do the next time, to learn from her wrong choices, and to realize that her Old Man may know a thing or two... even about lipstick.
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