Lessons from the private sector can help us manage our families in a more business-like manner. The formula is simple: Business is deliberate. Deliberate is effective. Deliberate + Effective = Defective.
The first step toward more business-like parenting is to look in the mirror and wipe it clean. If you can’t be both lean and mean, choose one. You need to throw off the ballast before your kitchen sinks from a lack of liquidity.
Let’s face it: Kids are an investment that break windows but rarely breakeven. Any lingering tax deductions for underage defendants barely compensates for their complete lack of gratitude and depreciation. It’s time to prune those under-performing milk-drinkers from your family tree.
If you want to test drive the thrill of parenthood but have yet to offspring, consider renting instead of owning. Uber-kids offers some really compelling, self-cleaning rent-a-kid candidates. Before you bring a little hoard of high achievers in-house, be sure to check their reviews and LinkedIn profiles. Proceed with caution as five-star kids are hard to find.
If your clever offspring have already sprung, you can reduce your current losses by selling shares in their future earnings. If your little slackers show low potential, consider outsourcing them to increase your return on insemination (ROI).
Depending on how much they like you, outsourcing your kids may be difficult, even slightly traumatic. If your soon to be ex-kids get emotional, be transparent. “Because you’re mine, I walk the bottom-line.” Explain to the kiddos that the leadership team has determined that difficult steps need to be taken for the good of the organization. Most kids will get with the program once they understand they are a major cost center with no path to profitability.
Everyone says, “kids are the future,” but so is lab-grown hamburger. What has either done for you lately? When you benchmark your kids against a representative group of neighborhood children, you might be shocked to see how badly your brood under-performs. Once you have data, it’s a no-brainer to downsize fixed cost, permanent kids and replace them with variable cost contractors.
Take heart! Family efficiency doesn’t have to be heartless. In recognition of his prior service to the organization, consider offering your soon to be ex-teenage son crash training in weeding, emptying the dishwasher, and other invaluable gig economy skills. Be generous! What about offering two weeks’ severance allowance for every year those texting muffin munchers lived under your roof? Your formerly idle kids can use the windfall to start a business. See? When parents do the right thing, society benefits!
I know that flattening your family’s org-chart may seem daunting, but so did parenthood once. These merit-based strategies will give parents and kids what they deserve. Grit and medication have brought you to this critical juncture where the rubber meets the road. It’s time to up your game, take it to the next level and go forward with confidence.
You may miss your offspring initially but, in the long run, right sizing the family is the almost always the right thing to do.