Creating the Next Generation of Financially Literate Citizens | Rob Phelan

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Today’s episode features Rob from The Simple Startup.

Rob had an interesting childhood were he got most of his early education in Ireland.

This gave him an opportunity to be exposed to unique learning environments that don’t typically exist in the United States.

Now Rob is leading by example and teaching his own students these valuable lessons of personal finance and entrepreneurship.

He has also taken it one step further by creating a workbook that can spread these lessons to everyone.

Listen, learn, and let us know what you think about Rob’s amazing lessons.

Episode Summary

Rob’s Upbringing

  • Rob feels like he had a lot of great influences early but didn’t bite on the advice
  • In his elementary school in Ireland, he was involved in some saving focused programs
  • About two years ago he started getting involved with teaching financial literacy with younger kids
  • Rob was born in the United States but was in Ireland most of his life until age 21
  • He comments that you don’t see the drive for FI in Ireland that he’s seen here
  • We discuss differences in pension systems and wages between Ireland and America

How Rob Became a Teacher

  • He had several options to choose from between sports medicine, architecture, and teaching
  • Rob mostly went with teaching because he got the summer off and he loves getting outdoors
  • Even the subject he was going to teach just sort of fell into place
  • Rob actually started teaching in 2014

Taking Money to the Next Level

  • Rob admits his wife was better with money when they first met
  • That gap he was noticing drove him to take money more seriously
  • Within 12 months of marriage, they paid off all of their $20k of debt
  • After his debt was paid off, he started focusing more on financial independence

Origins of Rob’s Love for Entrepreneurship

  • Rob’s high school in Ireland offered him a gap year that is all around self-development
  • His business teacher made them actually start their own businesses
  • The kids were in charge of the full cycle
  • Rob says it was basically the Lean Startup Model
  • Finding something that can be started with resources you already have on hand
  • That first business was selling baked goods which sold at school
  • They profited about 500 Euros
  • The group actually had their own custom stall and custom aprons

Educating the Next Generation of Financially Literate Citizens

  • Rob asks his students on a skill they’d like to learn but never have
  • Then he challenges them to learn that skill without his help and prove their mastery of it
  • Something like changing the oil in a car and creating a YouTube video teaching others to do the same
  • Then he started a club called The Millionaires Club
  • This club is fully self-funded without fundraising
  • They get their money via business they run themselves and can keep 10% of the earnings
  • As he started building out resources and structures for this he decided he should build a workbook
  • This workbook is an actionable workbook that’s very interactive and not just something you read
  • He calls it a how-to guide around starting your first business
  • It’s really targeting teens and young adults
  • This workbook covers the full lifecycle
  •  Finding a need, building the business, handling the finances, and pitching it to others


Key Takeaways

  1. The Lessons are versatile: Whether it’s business, personal finance, or responsibility — these type of lessons can apply and improve lives in many areas
  2. Think outside the box: Rob didn’t let what a teacher normally does define what he was going to do with his students and is seeing the results

Call to Action

If there is a young person in your sphere of influence that you can encourage to try a project or a small business, then help push and guide them through that experience. If not, try a self inspection and consider starting up a trial run of a business with extremely low startup costs to see if it’s something you’d like to take further

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Rob’s Information

Robs Website: The Simple Startup

Rob’s Book: The Simple Startup

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