Last Friday, our country woke up to the devastating news of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. For me, it was hard to concentrate on anything but the media coverage of this terrible natural disaster, and hoping and praying for the safety of those affected. It is in times like these, that we are thankful for the little things in life, and take pleasure in what we have around us. I took comfort in my 2 boys and the opportunities that are in front of them. The boys’ creativity, vibrancy, and outlook on the world is so reassuring. I decided to reflect a bit on these 2 mini-entrepreneurs.
A few years back when my older son was in kindergarten, I had a good friend that worked at his school. This friend lived right near a place that sold my fave low-fat brownies (I know – they were probably 1000 calories a piece, but that is another blog). It was a great set-up: my friend would get a week’s supply of low-fat brownies, put them in my son’s backpack at school, and I would have my most indulgent nighttime snack all week-long. It was my own personal low-fat brownie underground operation. UNTIL, one day in the carpool lane, I received a phone call from another mom saying she owed me money for the chocolate treat?!?!? I had NO idea what she was talking about until I pulled up further in line and my son got in the car.
Guess What? My son, who was 6 years old at the time, decided to turn the carpool waiting area into an entrepreneurial venture. He opened up the packs of brownies (2 per pack) and sold 1 brownie for a dollar each! At the time, there were still vending machines at school. so some kids had money for snacks, and for a few close friends, he issued credit. When I suggested that he return the money, he said “No Way!” He argued that the kids had their brownie and ate it, and it was only fair he keep the money. What he did not account for was that I was his financial backer with the brownies, and he would have to take the initial investment out of the gross (his first lesson in biz). This was the day when I realized that I was dealing with a kidpreneur.
My older son is lucky to have a little brother that is never afraid to speak his mind, thinks out of the box, and acts as a “profit coach” of sorts. Together, the two boys make up a great pair – one is very serious and “crosses every T and dots every I”, and the other brings the ingenuity and creative thinking. They appear to be on equal footing in their biz ventures because each one holds a different skill set, and they realize that! This is another valuable lesson in business for them – know your strengths and weaknesses and align yourself with someone who can fill your gaps.