"Those Big Lumps In Your Path" Brynne

Meet Brynne! She had a tough time in her Kid Entrepreneur Program and has to make some tough last minute choices on her business. But her resiliency muscle was flexed and the payoff was HUGE for her.

"My name is Brynne and the name of my business is Wooden Wonders. My favorite part of the program, it was honestly, it was really hard when things kept popping up when I was under a lot of stress during the time where I was preparing. I had to come up with a last minute resort but my favorite part was the best feeling when you overcome that and when a customer comes up, and all you’ve been through is just for this one moment where you're selling. It's amazing! When like yes, OK here's your money, feels awesome because you know all of these things you struggled through. It's the best feeling when you get over them and this customer comes up, not knowing what happened, but they still want to buy stuff from you. There will always be those big lumps in your path and it'll be hard to get through them but you will and it’s the best feeling after that. They should take this program 'cause it teaches them, it's really fun of course, but it also teaches them to get over these big struggles and it will all turn out OK if you just keep working through it."

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Kid entrepreneur programming is offered by Build a Biz Kids, a local non profit society focused on helping kids to develop and strengthen their essential soft skills. Students gain confidence, and learn foundational skills such as critical thinking, resiliency, financial literacy, leadership, decision making, self awareness, communication, public speaking, and so much more! Find out more about us and our incredible students at http://BuildaBizKids.com

 


Let Your Kids Impress You

Assumptions have always been my weakness. I make too many. I try to predict other peoples reactions or how a scenario might play out so I can prepare for whatever the next steps are ahead of time. When I am correct, I save time and effort, plus experience internal satisfaction, as we all do, that I got it right!

But for the times I am wrong, sometimes there is frustration or annoyance because my plans have fallen apart and I have to reorganize "the game plan". A simple example is planning how much food to make when company comes over. Too much or too little. Rarely my assumptions are correct.

But what I absolutely LOVE, is when my assumptions are wrong and the results are AMAZING. That is exactly what happened to me last week.

This summer, Build a Biz Kids launched our Inventor's Paradise 1 Week Summer Camp and it was amazing! Everyday the students left so excited about the ideas they came up with and the prototypes they were able to design from scratch, all based on their imagination.

On the first day, the last activity is to capture a pink fluffy monster who is hiding out in their closet, eating marshmallows and chewing holes in their socks. That little rascal! Their job is the design a trap to capture this pink fluffy monster using materials they are provided. Well, to plan this camp, you need to make MANY assumptions because you want to ensure you give them all supplies that they can work with and not limit their imagination. At the same time, you don't want to bring the entire Michaels Craft Store to each day of camp. So, I thought, if I were them, how would I make a trap.

My first thought, Tissue Boxes! Of course! They will want to capture a monster in a box with whatever mechanism they come up with but a box would be the main part of their trap for sure! Throughout the months prior, I ensured that I could collect enough tissue boxes for everyone as well as other supplies like paper cups, string, elastics and so much more. I wanted to make sure they could really let their minds wander.

Well, the day came and the facilitators explained their task. Catch That Monster! And they did, Oh Boy did they ever! And guess what?! Only ONE of them used a tissue box. Other than that, each student did something completely different and amazing! I was so impressed.

In fact, each day they came up with cell phone holders, robotic claws, and even arcades games, all made by their own two hands and vivid imagination. It was truly one of the most fun camps ever and we can't wait to make a few tweaks and run it again next week. In fact, we have 3 more Inventor Paradise Camps left this summer.

You can find the 2019 Summer Schedule and additional details here. 

So, I guess there is a bit of a lesson here, for me anyway. Planning dinners are hard; stop trying to get it right. And, Kids have different, more dynamic imaginations than you. Don't place assumptions on what they WILL do. Don't set limitations on what they CAN do. Just give them the space, and they will impress you every time.


The Slimers! Meet Nate, Miranda & Vince!

"That problem is already solved", "I already have something like that", "No one needs another one of those on the market".....

Yup, we have all found ourselves saying something like that before, I'm sure. Another onion chopping thingy or a new kind of water bottle, there seem to be so many products that all solve the same problem.... or is there?

Meet Nate, Miranda and Vince who I am calling our 2019 Slimers!

Slime is nothing new. We had it as kids and now our kids have it too. Kids love it and for many, they can find relaxation and therapeutic relief from holding it.

In our Fall Semester KidPreneur Program, we had multiple classes running and, of course, a bunch of kids wanted to do slime. It ended up that on Market Day, we were going to have 3 Slime Businesses. Oh no! Of only 18 vendors, 3 would be slime. Wouldn't that make the market boring? Why would someone buy slime from more than one vendor? Or if faced with the choice, how would a customer choose between which KidPreneurs business to support?

Never underestimate the intelligence of a True KidPreneur and their business savvy.

One of the most common questions we get from parents when considering placing their child into a Build a Biz Kids program is, will my child need to enter the program with a business idea already? Or do you help them with that?

The answer is either or works fine. From experience, we have found that our students are one of 2 types: They either have TOO many ideas that we need to help them choose the perfect one to start with. The other type is one who has no idea what to do as, after all, this is the first time they have ever thought of starting a business. In these cases, we give them loads of ideas and encourage them to "Make It Their Own" by asking questions like:

  • Who will your customer be? Adults? Kids? Boy's? Girls? Etc
  • How much effort and time do you want to put into making them?
  • What price point do you want to sell at?
  • What is something you could do differently to make this more fun? More useful? Standout more?

For example, maybe they decide to make soap. Well, they could make them shaped like the flowers they scent them with; great for adults. Or place a toy in the center of it so kids want to wash their hands more; great for kids.

Getting back to our slimers, Wow! they definitely took that to heart and ended up making 3 incredibly successful slime businesses that all stood out from one another.

Meet Vince & his Squishy Business! Vince decided to go with a cool theme and boy did he run with it! He did glow in the dark slime. His display has a dark box and black light to show how they glow, plus he had them in a Light Bulb container so you could understand what made them amazing without having to say a word! They looked so cool and were definitely something you don't see every day. Kids Loved Them!

Meet Nate and his Fluffy Slime Business! Nate took a different angle. He understood that not everyone can play with traditional slime because they break out into a rash from the ingredient, Borax, that is usually in it. Nate's solution! Borax Free Slime which also makes it super fluffy! He had an awesome display with lots of height and a sign that you could see from across the room. At just 7 years old, Nate ran his booth all by himself and made his parents very proud of him.

And last but definitely not least, Meet Miranda and her Slime Bar! Yes, that's right! She had a slime bar! Talk about covering your bases lol. Her bar consisted of 3 stations. Step 1 - choose your base, clear or white. Step 2 - choose your "add ins" like foam balls or glitter. Step 3 - Choose your colouring! Great ideas right?? Not only do you get custom slime, she was teaching other kids how to make it themselves as well.

3 Slimers, all with completely different slime businesses. Isn't it a kick in the pants when kids "get it" and sometimes us adults don't. They were not worried at all about having other slime there and loved seeing what one another had come up with.

These KidPreneurs are pretty amazing but what we may have not realized that they learned in such a fun way, is that no problem is ever completely solved. There is always another group of customers within a market who can be served better. And most of all, never shy away from competition or have a mindset of scarcity. If you are willing to work hard and listen to the people you want to help, there is more than enough success and FUN to go around!

 

Interested in our next semester of programming? Find out more here
Fall 2019 KidPReneur Programs are designed for students ages 7-12 years. Programs available in West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Downtown Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster, Maple Ridge.
To Register for a program next semester, View Our Schedule Here.
Also Available are Summer Camps


What Will My Child Learn From Entrepreneurship?

It's a great question. If I spend my hard earned dollars and place my child in an Entrepreneurship Program, rather than something else, perhaps more conventional, what will they learn? What will they get out of it?

It really is a great question, but it also really depends. Here is what I mean:

Meet Jake. Jake is an incredible kid that we had the pleasure of working with last fall in our KidPreneur Programming. Jake is full of energy, ideas and was excited about what he was about to embark upon. This was Jake's first semester with us.

During his first program, Jake commented in his interview that he loved building a business. He liked working with money and he liked designing his product, which was a dog leash. "That's great", you might be saying. Jake had fun. But what did he get out of it? What did her learn?

For that answer, we could ask his parents. In their interview, they were so happy to find a program that Jake took an interest in, as well as ownership of. He wasn't a big into sports or other conventional kid activities. This was something where he could express himself, make BIG decisions and see the fruits of his labour, not just in money, but in reactions from the general public, his peers and his own internal satisfaction.

How do we know so much? Aside from the obvious answer that we try to ask each student and parent for feedback and insight, we know because Jake came back to take the same program again and this time he did things differently.

His first product, dog leashes, was at the higher end of the price range at $12. For that reason, he noticed that he didn't sell quite as much as some of his fellow classmates whose products were in the $3-$8 range. He also noticed that the food items were selling out at most booths. With observations like these, he rolled up his sleeves and made a plan.

Jake's Giant Cookies were born and THIS business was a HIT! His GIANT Cookies were one of the first booth's to sell out and that was as much as any entrepreneur could hope for.

At Build a Biz Kids, we know that our students are more receptive when other students teach them, as opposed to adults, so whenever possible we try to create opportunities for that to happen. When a student returns for a second or third semester, we offer them the opportunity to choose a class where they feel they can add the most value and teach a portion of class. Jake LOVED Market Day, which is interesting because he didn't do as well as he had hoped the first time around, but he learned a lot and was keen to share it. He spoke of how to prepare for the day, what to bring and so on, as well as how to talk to customers to get a sale. The advice was great for the other students to hear but what an incredible opportunity for Jake to be a mentor in his class.

So, when a parent asks us, what will my child learn, it really is hard to say. We can answer with things like financial literacy, problem solving, public speaking, build confidence and leadership, but it really depends on your child. Each student loves a different aspect of class, a different stage in building a business. Some love the creative outlet in product design and marketing, others love the challenge of speaking with the general public and seeing what reactions they can get out of them. Others just love the idea of making their own money. But they always learn something. EVERY Child pulls real world life skills and builds resilience that can carry them through into any activity they venture into in life.

That is what this program is about. It doesn't matter if your child becomes an entrepreneur when they grow up. That's not the point. The point is the give them the space to make decisions that impact, for better or worse, something they care about. Something they are calling the shots on and taking full ownership of. This is life. We are just exposing them to it a little earlier in a safe environment rather than thrusting them into it after high school graduation when real debt and consequences can be more significant.

 


Our Box of Good News

This last News Years our family started a new tradition. It was something you may have seen on Pintrest or other idea boards. It’s the Jar of Good News!

For those of you unfamiliar, this is a jar where you place your happy moments and accomplishments that you experience throughout your year and then on New Years Eve, you go through them one by one to reflect & relive those moments all over again. Neat right?

Here’s the thing. Last year we did pretty good with writing down our memorable moments. We had lots to celebrate! Build a Biz Kids launched and took off, our 9 year old (at the time) got to check his BIGGEST DREAM off of his bucket list (to drive a go cart all by himself) and overall, it was a great year. We even squeezed in moments of gratitude for each other when the other wasn’t looking. A few times I teared up reading little notes with moments of impact that I had on my partner that I didn’t know had happened. Sometimes you don’t realize what a positive impact you have had on someone unless they tell you.

We loved this “tradition” and wanted to do it again this year.

However….

We haven’t continued. Why? I really have no idea. Maybe the box isn’t staring at us in the face as easily (things get a little messy at times and the box get’s covered or moved). We have certainly had a LOT of incredible moments that we would love to celebrate more. But, as the days, weeks and now months go on, nothing. Zip, Zero, Zilch.

I am already sad to think that next New Years won’t be as full of awesome memories, but something more terrifying actually came up for me when I realized how these happy moments were passing us by. If we aren’t even willing to right a tiny little note and place it in a jar while we are on a HIGH from excitement, then when are we making the time to take pause and appreciate our accomplishments? For ourselves? For our kids?

Our son worked SOOO hard to make it into Majors with baseball and he made it! He not only made it, he has struck out multiple players in pitching, gotten a double plays, and now he is working towards All Stars. Since games are back to back, these incredible accomplishments are just disappearing on us. Sure, as the year goes on, he will do these incredible plays more and more. But if we don’t reflect on where he started, how will he ever appreciate where his hard work has gotten him?

And us?! Well, of course we are even worse. Build a Biz Kids is growing from just a few cities, to nearly the entire Lower Mainland in September. Our students who have graduated have gone on to do even more great things and be a part of some pretty cool, impactful opportunities. The charitable funds we have been able to raise and give to charities continues to grow, but if it weren’t for this blog, who knows when we would really “make the time” to sit down, reflect, celebrate and appreciate our hard work and what it has brought to our lives and so many others.

So, needless to say, after this post I will be writing down a lot of little notes to place in a box but what about you? Are you letting life pass you by without stopping to give yourself appreciation? Reflecting on your growth and what is working and what is not? What are you demonstrating for your kids about working hard for pleasure, not pain & exhaustion?

Take a moment tonight when you tuck your kids in and ask them what they worked hard on today. Ask them what they want to accomplish tomorrow. Help them feel those positive tingles of accomplishment, while connecting the hard work that got them there.


Coming to a City Near You!

Build a Biz Kids is Growing!

That's right! We are expanding from 3 cities to 10 this fall! If you live anywhere in the lower mainland from Maple Ridge to West Vancouver, we will have a venue convenient for you and your KidPreneur this fall, 2019!

Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing each cities dates & venues and opening up registration.

Stay Tuned and get ready! Your KidPreneur is going to amaze you with what they are capable of this Fall!

 

To be the first to know, be sure to Sign Up for our Newsletter and Like Us on Facebook!


Meet Violet, One of Our Boldest Students Yet!

Have you seen Violet's business? If you have been anywhere within a few feet of it, I bet you have. How do I know? Because Violet is incredible at speaking to Every New Potential Customer who walks by her table and won't let you walk away until you hear about her budding business!

While all of our students are excited to build their business and are nearly bouncing off the walls the night before a big Market Day, Violet really focused on her training and understood that it isn't enough to just set up her booth and hope people come running. It isn't about a shy child vs one that is not. It was about her focus on getting the job done and working through what works best and what doesn't. Violet wanted to be successful and continues to practice this skill.

For all of our Build a Biz Kid Graduates, we offer additional opportunities to build their businesses and learn new skills. Violet jumped at the chance to participate in a real adult Market hosted by the Tri Cities Collective in Port Moody.

Her first Market Day was a part of her program with Build a Biz Kids. She set up shop, spoke to customers, made some sales and had a lot of fun. when she came to set up for her second market, Wow! Violet didn't just set up the same business and hope that things went better. She improved her business, she observed other students businesses on the previous market day and then tried some new approaches.

The first thing she did was expand her product line strategically. Violet sold handmade jewelry using up-cycled materials. She offered earrings and bracelets with reasonable price tags. She had a beautiful display with all of the colors everything came in for easy view and clearly marked information with prices.

So what did she add? A simple, low cost matching hair pin. She consciously thought of price when making these because she wanted an easy up sell or low cost item for someone who didn't have enough money to buy a full set. By the end of the day, we asked how it went and, low and hold, her hair pins were the best seller.

We try to make a point to interview each student at their market to understand how they are processing the day. This market was different. They were set up next to adult vendors selling competitive products who do this for a living. That's some steep competition so we asked her how she felt about it. “It’s cool and doesn’t feel competitive because none of them are anything like my products." YES! That's exactly the mindset we hope to instill in each KidPreneur. What you are doing is special and unique; just focus on your customers and your business model. There is enough room for everyone.

We asked Violet what she learned at this market and what she might do differently at the next one. She noted that her earrings weren't selling as well as she liked, but her bracelets were. “For the next market, I might make some adjustments like a better display or lower the price.” The learning process is never complete in Entrepreneurship and Violet is a Real KidPreneur taking this approach.

It can't be underestimated how much resiliency is developed by placing our children in these kinds of real world situations. By giving them the right mindset before embarking on something so BIG in their worlds, Violet saw a lack in sales as an opportunity for HER to improve. Not to complain about how the world is not giving her money or treating her nicely. This attitude will serve her in all aspects of her life as she grows into an incredible teenager and adult.

Violet gave some quick advice to other kids wanting to start their own business. “Know where you are going to sell and your target customer and don’t make too much product or you’ll be selling to your friends forever!” That is fantastic advice Violet! See you at the next Market Day!

To find out how you can register your child for one of our KidPreneur Programs, visit our website.
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