Suzy Welch works in management auditing and as an author and CNBC commentator, but she’s also a mom, and she has some amazing advice regarding what parents can do to help their kids have fulfilling lives.


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“That’s a tough question,” Welch told CNBC Make It. “And I can really only answer with what worked for me.”

Despite their mom’s highly public and influential career, her kids are like all other kids and they “whine about the unfairness of life, or how hard it was to make new friends at school or how much extra work it took to get an A instead of a B or a C.”

Welch says she responds by reminding them of something very important: “Everything good is hard.”

“They didn’t love hearing that,” she says. “But pretty early on, even by middle school, it began to make its own case and they began to see for themselves how a boatload of effort did tend to pay off.”

Welch’s kids are now grown, and they all have rewarding jobs (of course with good days and bad days), so the advice did pay off, it seems.

“Believe me, I know all too well how impossible it is to control what your kids do at school or how they fare in the real world,” she says. “Life happens, but don’t discount the importance of your influence on their career trajectory.”

Welch thinks that parents need to show their kids the way and set a good example, sharing that “when it comes to achieving lasting success, there are very few shortcuts.”

“Hard things are hard for a reason,” she emphasizes. “They’re worth it.”

It’s always easy to complain about how things aren’t fair — even as adults we deal with that. We’re jealous of our friends who have easier jobs or make more money or a better apartment. But sometimes things are most worth it when we have to work hard to get it — like working out to stay healthy, for example! — and keeping at it makes those rewards at the end mean even more.