Flash to the Past
When I was growing up, my dad wanted me to get a college degree so that I wouldn’t follow in his footsteps by creating my own small business like he did (and my grandfather too). Sadly, I was not destined to be a savvy Business kid…
Both my dad and grandfather had fairly successful businesses (my dad still have his business, my grandfather has past away). They were trying to save me from the hours they put in to grow their businesses. I remember my dad, looking at blueprints during basketball games down in a recreation room many a night!
I’m doing the opposite with my kids! I’m actually trying to raise my kids as Savvy Business Kids!
I decided to change direction from my dad because the company employee paradigm from his era no long applies today! Company loyalty (while still may exist at a very small subset of companies), is going the same way of company pensions, they are becoming nonexistent…, extinct…, dust in the wind…
So what have I done to help my kids become business savvy?
- I started introducing basic math early, especially getting them to recognize which coins had more value!
- I bought a game called “Cash Flow For Kids” and to give them an incentive to play, I embellished the game for doing the following. If they won, I paid them whatever they would spin on a spin dial. the had the opportunity to win a 25 cents, 50 cents, 1 dollar, 2 dollars or 5 dollar. So far, I’ve been luck and they haven’t won the highest amount yet ($5.oo).
- I started an eBay business with my son so he could learn that it’s possible to make money at an early age. Ironically, this ended up working really well for me too! We were able to buy a product from a supplier and sell the item on eBay at a pretty decent markup. It was a good experience for the both of us (the taxes did sucked though).
- We put prices on their toys and sold them in garage sales.
- They would occasionally put up a lemonade stand.
- My son has a deal with my dad to mow my parent’s lawn. This actually works out great because he gets paid for mowing, but plays for a bit on the riding lawnmower at the same time (it’s a win-win).
- My son has expressed an interest in selling some of his Pokémon cards on eBay. We will start this adventure next!
- ICarly has inspired son to think about blogging, but we haven’t done anything yet because he’s got too much going on as is.
- My daughter has created drawings for sale (most of which my wife and I bought), and also had her own lemonade stands.
I’m hoping that the small business experiments that I’ve been working on with them will help in the future! I think the lessons in investing and some small business exposure will help them see opportunities that others might miss in the future!
Do you think I’m trying too hard? Do you have any suggestions?
I’m an employee, so any suggestions would be appreciated from any small business folks out there!