The Magic Paper Route

There is a magical correlation with the amount of successful people that started their careers as a kid on a bike slinging papers.  Truett Cathy, Sam Walton and Alton Wingate are three great examples that began their careers with a paper route.  Sam Walton found it so valuable that he made all of his kids start their careers with a paper route as well.  Here are a few reasons why I think the paper route is such a valuable lesson for kids:

1) A paper route teaches a valuable lesson in earnings known as the "piece rate."  You get paid for what you produce, not how many hours worked. Unlike an hourly wage, the piece rate creates a drive for hard work and productivity, because the harder you work, the more you get paid.  

2) A paper route also stimulates innovative and entrepreneurial thinking.  As soon as you grasp the concept of getting paid on production, you immediately start thinking about how you can produce more in less time.  

3) A paper routes proves that kids are never too young to begin understanding the fundamentals of business and the free market.  It gives them a head start and competitive edge over their peers.  

Sam Walton said, "I'd hate to see any descendants of mine fall into the category of what I'd call the 'Idle Rich.'  I really hope that somehow the values both Helen and I, and our kids, have always embraced can be passed on down through the generations. And even if these little future Walton's don't feel the need to work from dawn on into the night to stay ahead of the bill collector, I hope they'll feel compelled to do something productive and useful and challenging with their lives."  

Of the many things that we teach our kids, values and a paper route definitely deserves a spot in the curriculum.  

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