In How Full Is Your Bucket?, Tom Rath shares how positive support from his family empowered him at a young age:

…when I was eight or nine, the bucket fillers who surrounded me noticed my entrepreneurial spirit… my grandfather suggested starting my own business. I loved the idea and decided to open a snack stand. As always, the rest of my family was thrilled to help me pursue a new passion, and they rallied around this project.

After a few months, this little enterprise was doing well. “Biz Kids” had enough business to move beyond buying from the local wholesale club, and a major candy distributor agreed to give our company a bulk rate and deliver to our location. We eventually moved beyond snacks, expanding into apparel and small merchandise. By the time I was 12, the operation employed more than 20 of my classmates, and we had made a couple thousand dollars in real profit to share among ourselves…


They noticed that I was quite analytical and enjoyed numbers and current events, so they recommended that I spend more time studying mathematics and the social sciences. Even though I was already an A student in those areas, my family realized there would be a greater return on my education if I devoted more time to subjects or which I had a natural passion.

Unlike most of my teachers and my friends’ parents, my parents were not determined to make me well-rounded. Given that my rhythm seems to have been surgically removed at birth, they understood that pushing me to be a better musician was fruitless… As a young student, I found this quite liberating. I didn’t have to try to be good at everything. Instead, I was able to strive for greatness in my areas of natural talent.

How cool is that?