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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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Raising A Designer: A Mother’s Insight

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Baby feet and hands

If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have any money in the bank, your wallet and some spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. [full quote]

Although I can not confirm the integrity of these figures, I still think it makes a valid point; we are extremely fortunate and it’s something we shouldn’t take for granted.

I’ve come to realise this even more after reading through an interview that was conducted with my mother for an upcoming book titled ‘Raising CEO Kids’ being compiled by Sarah Cook of the website Raising CEO Kids.

Sarah sent my mother along ten questions that delved into my past; how I was raised. Although the interview was positioned to give advice to other parents, I found it extremely insightful and thought it was worth sharing here.

The interview reveals some unpublished facts about myself such as the jobs I had before I was a designer, my pitfalls of growing up along with various other insights.

It just goes to show, no one has got to where they are just by themselves.

1. When did you notice that Jacob was interested in making money/being in business?

Jacob’s light bulb moment: A realisation if you want to have extra things in life, you need to work for money to pay for them.

In primary school Jacob delivered newspapers and at the beginning of high school he worked part-time at a local butcher. Not liking this too much he started “buying and selling” on E-bay importing products from China. This was very successful and he quit working at the butcher shop. This was when he was about 15-16 years old.

At the same time he was designing cards, invitations and websites for friends for free. Referral work started rolling in. He charged small amounts and his business started to grow.

2. How did you go about introducing him to mentors?

I involved him in playing sport. From an early age (5 years old) Jacob started with T-ball, then to baseball. He was a natural sportsman, he played soccer for 14 years, as well as rugby league for 2 years and later represented Australia in the Under 21′s European Handball team. His mentors were his sports coaches, managers, physiotherapist and high school deputy principal. A bad injury took him out of sport for a year, which allowed him to focus on other areas, such as design.

Rugby League

My rugby league team in action; the Brisbane Broncos (in maroon).

3. Are you or Jacob’s father in business and if so, do you think this has given you an edge in raising a CEO Kid?

Having parents involved in business, I think definitely gives an edge. Jacob’s Dad and I run our own separate businesses, working from home. Jacob has seen firsthand the benefits and the flexibility of this work/lifestyle balance, although I hear he absolutely loves his new job in New York. [You can read why here.]

4. What did you to do support him along the way?

His Dad & I made time to attend his school activities, take and watch him play sport, asked him “How was his day?” “What’s he been doing?” Encouraged him to be himself, be proactive, and achieve his very best… Always! Plus disciplined when and where necessary.

5. How do you/did you help Jacob stay balanced in all the other things he was doing in life?

I put on my “mother hat” and give him a lecture… too much socialising/drinking, skipping meals, not doing chores, spending too much time on the computer, etc.

6. What role besides that of parent do you / did you play in Jacob’s business?

As a business owner, I encouraged him to speak to a financial adviser, taxation expert, get an accountant, research investment portfolios to ensure his business foundation is solid. When in Australia (he left for New York on Jan 10) I offered feedback on his creative designs, proofed, edited, talked about business strategies, etc.

Dumbo NYC

Where I work: Dumbo, Brooklyn, New York City, USA. © Photo by Pablo Marques

7. What were some of the challenges that you all faced in helping him become the success he is today?

To be honest I can’t say there were any major challenges we all faced. There was a time in early high school but we worked through it. Naturally Jacob did have challenges setting up a business but he got through them, learning from his mistakes.

8. Is there anything you would have done differently that you would be willing to share with other parents of CEO Kids?

Stricter discipline pulling his weight in doing household chores.

9. Share your TOP 5 tips that every parent of a CEO Kid should implement.

  1. Being open-minded to your CEO Kid’s needs and opinions – we’re all very different.
  2. Encourage commitment to excellence – do things well and do not take short cuts.
  3. Allow them to experiment, take risks and learn from their mistakes.
  4. Teach them the importance of values – integrity, ethics, and honesty – giving back.
  5. Problem-solve by “Thinking Inside the Box” – work with what you’ve got and ask, “How can it be done differently?”

Jacob: My mother is an event + wedding planner based in Sydney, Australia. I’ve recently set up a blog and Twitter account for my Mum so if you’re into anything related to weddings or events, feel free to follow.

Baby feet photo by krm728.

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