Parents Payroll So Tempting

If you were watching a lot of our social media this Spring, I rode this tag really hard – “Get Off Your Parents Payroll, Get On Ours”. It has been a fun way to look at hiring, parenting, growing up, learning work ethic and becoming successful. Parents and children, this is what it looks like from where I’m sitting….

Over the last 15 years, I basically have two kinds of employees:

  • 1) Ones who were kicked off their parents payroll at a young age
  • 2) Ones that are 21-26 and still on their parent’s payroll.

Those that were kicked off: drive the so-so cars, live on so-so side of town, work the hardest, and are grateful for the opportunity. Those still on their parent’s payroll, drive very nice cars, have their childhood bedroom, have a lot of social conflicts, and spend more of day telling everyone what they plan to be, instead of simply working hard at what they are. They are very good people, they just don’t have the grit that often leads to success.  

Justifying Parents Payroll

parents payroll
Parents Payroll Makes Decisions

Then one day everything changes, the parents who propped up their children’s lifestyle turn on them, “you need to figure out what you want to do with your life”. What parents really said was: “since I’m the payroll propping you up, I expect you to get a real job, I have the control, because I pay the bills.” These kids, honoring their parent’s payroll, put in their two week notice. A formulated bullshit story about a bigger and better opportunity is always what comes next. They claim it’s all their decision, and they leave us high and dry mid summer, secretly fired by their own parent. A parent who is afraid to tell someone at the neighborhood cookout that their child still works at the lowly local golf course.  

If you look at all my long term employees, every single one of them was kicked off their parent’s payroll at a young age. They had to make a life for themselves. No one had leverage over them, no one made them feel guilty for where they worked, no one propped them up, then coerced their decision making. Some have had to eat dirt and sleep on the floor just to get here. Then ate more dirt just to rise up the ranks. To the parents who terminate my employees every summer, it’s Ok if your kids work at the local golf course. I turned out Ok. To the children reading this. It’s hard to say no, but stop taking the money. When you stop, you will feel the pressure to pursue a life of your own. You need that pressure, trust me. That life might be in golf with the rest of us. We would love to have to stay.


  1. Steve March 31, 2020
    • Nick Stephens, PGA April 1, 2020
  2. Dan March 31, 2020
    • Nick Stephens, PGA April 1, 2020
  3. David Buettner March 31, 2020
    • Nick Stephens, PGA April 1, 2020

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