Some adult children who still live at home are in fact quite productive. Take Tinny, for example. He started and stopped going to college several times. He had a variety of jobs but found them uninspiring. At age 23 he moved back home. But not to live off of his parents. He began his small business operation out of his parents’ basement. They provided him with free food and shelter on the condition that he would get serious about building a rather unique business.
Tinny always liked cars, especially status makes and high performance models. He realized that there were several unfulfilled needs connected with the types of vehicles he preferred. His grandmother, a millionaire next door type, loaned him $3,000 to get started. She told him that he would have to pay the money back interest free and that he should always wear a suit when making business contacts.
Tinny’s business concept was simple. He realized that many leasing companies had inventories of motor vehicles “coming off of lease.” Most of these companies were good at leasing cars, but not great at reselling them. Tinny offered to sell these vehicles on a consignment basis. He also contacted people who had their vehicles listed for sale and made them the same offer. This was his daytime business. At night he took evening classes at a local state college and majored in finance
Tinny’s hard work and charming personality began to return dividends quickly. He sold his first Lexus to his grandmother and then a BMW to his parents who had never owned a foreign car. Things got a little crowded in his parents’ driveway and on the street with a BMW here, a Mercedes there, a Lexus, etc. Yet none of the neighbors complained. Many of them got a heck of a deal on one of Tinny’s late model cars.
Eventually, Tinny moved his business into an old building that once housed a new car dealership . Today he owns several new car dealerships. Yes, he did pay back his grandmother the money that he owed her. And he always wears a suit, never a sports jacket.
The message is “don’t give up on your adult childtren who may currently occupy your basement.” Tinny would never have become a success today if his parents/grandparents didn’t provide him with low overhead and an interest free loan. In the national surveys that I have conducted, I found that 44% of millionaire women versus 26% of millionaire men have provided cash or forgiveness loans to their children/grandchildren to start or enhance a business.