with risk comes rewards?

In trying to teach my 11 year old son how someone can become financially wealthy I had to really think about how I wanted to explain myself to him. I could have used any number of stories of how people work hard, study hard, and then it all pays off but I found myself looking for something simpler to try to convey how I see the climb to success.

I began looking at what I define as the “bottom”. All of us have earning potential. If we choose to share our effort with another we can expect compensation.


I called this service. We can earn rewards from providing a service to an employer or a customer. The amount of the reward is in a range with some minimum with a theoretical limit without having greater learned capacity or risk taking.


The next layer in the climb to wealth that I thought of was our ability to use our mind and our choices to develop it. I realize that everyone has intelligence, and I am not suggesting that some do not, but I believe that everyone makes a choice to develop their intellectual capacity differently. I think without choosing to develop your intellectual capacity puts limits on your potential for rewards and is factor in the final product of your effort.

$$$ RISK

The last layer is the tricky one because it is about how much of your money, time, reputation, etc are you willing to risk on your intelligence in making decisions with your service. The greater risks you take, the greater the potential reward but also the greater potential lost. It is this element that is the clearly defining factor for the super wealthy. In some cases the personal risk is managed by finding others who put more stake in risk than they have in their own intelligence and look to share the reward. In the end, no one gets rich on their own and thus risk is about collaboration with others to build but it can also be about loss as relationships can be jeopardized with the process of risk taking.

My question to myself then was whether the statement that


is a) accurate, b) sufficient for an 11 year old and c) whether I am comfortable with my own plans for the future with this formula or not.

I think personally I am at a phase in my life where my risk taking is low because I do not want to risk my time with my family. I respect others who choose that or choose not to risk their personal time for their hobbies or entertainment but I struggle with those who expect rewards but neither develop themselves or take risks.

Anyhow, this is just one person’s thoughts, out loud, on the internet……