Never Tell Your Child They Are Smart

That's right! No catch. No bait and switch. Truly, never tell your child they are smart.

I, like many parents, have an innate fear that I will screw up my child in some way. One day, I will say that one thing that completely screws them up. I will be having a bad day, my patience will be low and BAM. It will fly out of my mouth and I will never be able to take it back. Their confidence will plummet, they will throw it back at me when they are 18 and angry at me, and any sadness they have, I know it will because I failed them that day.

Well, that may happen, but I have something significantly more scary to share with you. In fact, you have almost with certainty, already "screwed" them up and it was during a moment that you were calm, thoughtful and even fully conscious of the words coming out of your mouth. You deliberately said these words with the intention of helping them, boosting their confidence and making them smile.

One of the greatest books I have read on parenting is not really a parenting book at all. It's called Mindset and it's by Carol Dweck. I read this book upon recommendation by someone I trust and it is one that I believe every parent, employer/boss, teacher or influencer of any kind should read. In fact, even if you are not an influencer to others, you are to yourself. You determine your own values, self worth and potential. The trouble is, most of these "decisions" that you made around these topics, were suggested to you by others, and you adopted them to heart.

Do you remember that time they got an A in spelling and you told them how smart they are?
Or what about that time she hit the baseball and got a home run and you told them they were the best player that day?
Oh, and what about that time he did that school play and you told them, "you're a natural! I can't believe how great you are at that. I am so proud of you!"

Well, If you have said any of the previous statements, you have screwed up your kids. Crazy right?!?! I know! It scared the poop out of me so I wanted to understand why.

To save my typing and missing some key points, I very strongly encourage you to watch the video below. It is a summary of a study on Praise for Intelligence vs Praise for Effort and the INSTANT ramifications of it. If you have a Fixed mindset yourself, which most of us do, this will be troubling. But if you have or want to develop a Growth Mindset, you will find this incredibly empowering and want to learn more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWv1VdDeoRY

This was such a simple study that was all done in one day that had such dramatic results, for better or worse. Can you imagine days, weeks and months of this subtle change in praise and the positive results that could come if they heard it from teachers, coaches and of course, parents?

Build a Biz Kids trains our facilitators in a growth mindset and are continuing to learn more and more about our impact on students. We would like to encourage the parents of our students to join us in learning and practicing the subtle difference and see the incredible results.

My son would often give up very early on projects and not want to strive to go the extra mile on something like handmade birthday cards, school projects, and yes, even his business when taking our program. But once we discovered that some of this lack of effort might actually be our fault, we made a change, and the results were immediate!

Last week he, not only sat with no iPad or TV in the background, he completed his first ever model airplane. He painted and glued and and did everything he could until he had to wait for everything to dry. He even had a bit of a meltdown when he thought he broke a piece but the next time he was home with time to work on it, he couldn't wait to get back to it! Now he is looking to find the perfect model car to take on next.

We still catch ourselves when talking about how he played at baseball or in his school play wanting to tell him how amazing the results were, but we are getting faster and faster to catch ourselves and praise him on the effort he put into going to baseball practice each day; working really hard on remembering his lines for the play by reciting them in the car on the way to school and how impressed we are by the effort and creativity it took for him to come up with such unique ideas for his handmade birthday cards.

While not everyone in his life may understand fixed vs growth mindset or praising on effort rather than results, as parents, it starts at home. To date, this has been one of the most important blogs we have written and we really hope you will watch the video above to learn more. I really hope you will read the Book Mindset as well. We get zero dollars by promoting it.

Lastly, we hope that you realize that as a parent, an employee, as a friend, an artist, an entrepreneur and all of the other titles you hold, you, too, may have a fixed mindset based on fixed praise and values you were given as a child, and even as an adult. But with awareness and persistence, you can reprogram yourself to want more, do more, and have greater confidence to take on new challenges.

We wish you growth


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.


4 Successful Summer Camps, Over $1000 Raised for Charities

What a Summer!!??!! A HUGE thank you to all of our parents, students & community who supported our KidPreneur Summer Camps! And of course, a Gigantic thank you to Vancity for the support and use of their facilities and our friends at each of the local grocers we were able to set up shop with! We couldn't have done it without you.

This summer, Vancity nominated 4 incredible local charities that the students raised money for through their lessons in social entrepreneurship with Build a Biz Kids.

    * SHARE Family & Community Services

    * 3030 Gordon Project 

    * Starfish Backpack 

    * PoCo Youth Services

All together, in less than 3 hours of hustle in each camp, about an hour per team, they raised WELL OVER $1000!

Through teamwork, determination, learning and execution, these kids have made a big difference in their communities.

Next up are our After School programs starting in September. Many of our Summer Camp Students have already registered but there is still space left.

Students in our after school programs start their own business, step by step, and   learn what it feels like to create a product that someone else wants, to hear no more than once and still be successful, to earn their own money and understand the value of it, and so much more!

We have 2 locations available in the Tri Cities/Burnaby area and the ages are broken up for 7-9 year olds and 10-12 year olds so we can really dive into the reading, writing and mathematics.

Click here to see our current schedule

Click here to see our program descriptions

Click here to register now

Don't wait long, many parents have already pre-registered their child and each class has limited space.


What Will My Kids Takeaway After Their Program?

Often as parents, when we spend money and time on our children, we, rightly so, ask ourselves what is the value in this? What will they takeaway or learn? Is it worth it?

This summer we are wrapping up the last of our summer camp programs and kids from 7-12 years have walked through as a team, starting their own Lemonade Stand Business.

Lemonade Stands have been around for a very long time and seem fairly basic. Get a table, get some lemonade and see if anyone will buy it that is walking by. What is there to teach that they couldn't learn on their own?

Well, let's step back a moment, shall we? In all aspects of life, any action we do can be done with a varying level of depth and effort. Sports, work, exercising, cleaning the house and so on. Likewise, a "business", or in this case, a lemonade stand, is the same way.

Have you been to Playland this summer or any local fair? Have you ever seen that BIG Lemon shaped stand that sells fresh squeezed lemonade (which is absolutely delicious btw)? Well, people pay their mortgage doing that. The only difference is the level they decided to take their lemonade stand vs what I did with my Kool-Aid stand as a kid.

On our summer camp program, kids learn about what a business is but also the information, brainstorming and action required to really make it a success.

They didn't just sell lemonade, they came up with different recipes, mixed them and then asked the public to try their concoctions for feedback on sweetness and preference. Information = one step closer to success.

Next, they came up with names, a brand, posters with which to attract attention and promote their business. Brainstorming & Teamwork = taking action that will get them one more step closer to success.

Then, it's the big day! Pressure is on. Time to communicate a message and convert passersby into sales. They role play, practice, watch videos on customer service and how to offer value. Information + Action = a BIG Success for any first business.

Of course they also understand their costs, profit, and pricing as bonuses.

But let's go back to the initial question. What will my kids takeaway after the program?

Here is a quick, tangible example. Meet Taiga and Rio. Two brothers who took on our Lemonade Stand Challenge just a couple weeks ago. Once their program was done, it appears that the entrepreneurial bug dug in deep and they decided to use what they learned and run with it! They started a Snow Cone Stand for Charity! How incredible is that!

We couldn't be more proud of these two and can't wait to see them this fall in our after school program where they can take what they have already learned and kick it up even more!

So, after your child's program, maybe they are inspired to sell something else? Perhaps they want to raise money for charity or save up for that new video game. Perhaps they don't start a business at all. But what they will take away is a new way of looking at the world around them. They will know that they can take on a challenge, step by step, and make something happen. They will know that everything has a cost, money and time, and that if they gather enough information, they can make decisions that can earn a profit or deliver a desired outcome.

True, our students don't come home with each day with tangible items such as hand made mugs or cards written for mom and dad. Instead, they come home with practical knowledge that can potentially empower them for a lifetime.

For more information on our Summer Camps & Upcoming Fall After School Programs Registering Now, Visit https://buildabizkids.com/as-adwords-%26-fb-landing


Is What You "Know" Losing You Money?

Today was one of the more interesting days for seeing development in our students during our Build a Biz Kids Lemonade Stand Challenge Summer Camp. Day 3 is all about creating prototypes of their product and then test marketing them with real people; A critical step in any business but more often than not, it's skipped.

No really, it is. Look at your business. When was the last time you gave a sample of your business service or product while in development to a customer and asked for their opinion on it from top to bottom, start to finish & encourage raw truth? And I don't mean an online survey with a score of 1-5 for satisfaction.

Let's take a Mortgage Broker or Real Estate Agent as an example. Many don't even consider their service to be testable or in development. It is what it is and I just do what everyone does. Advertise, have a coffee with clients, do my thing and then send flowers or a gift at the end. But services should be tested formally just as much as products.

The most dangerous entrepreneurs are those who made a tangible product based on their own personal need and fail to ask HONEST feedback on it from strangers. Tangible products cost a lot of money, especially when buying in high quantities so please, please, don't just ask friends and family. Stand on a street corner or go to your potential market and ask them to rip it to shreds. In fact, only ask them for negative feedback and see what you get. Best to know now then once you have spent $100k on a warehouse of widgets only 20 people might be willing to buy.

This is where What You "Know" Might Be Costing You Money. Because what you know is not always what everyone else is willing to pay for.

Day 3 of our Build a Biz Kids Summer Camp is a special day and a BIG eye opener for our students. As many parents know, kids taste pallets are not as developed and, therefore, sometimes their concoctions are not what they thought they would be.

For example, the Red team wanted to create a cherry lemonade & a lemonade and Sprite with pretty straws & pink tissue bows. The Blue team created an orange lemonade and mango lemonade with dainty lemon wedges on the cups.

One mixed, the Red team didn't like the tart cherry juice at all. (I think they envisioned grenadine and not real cherry juice). While the Lemonade & Sprite was better, only half of the team was ok with the tart lemon flavour and fizzy bubbles of the Sprite.

The Blue team battled it out but ended up scraping their orange lemonade due to the "yucky" factor and, again, were split over how successful their mango lemon twist would be.

After pouring and garnishing their samples, they went out into the world and found brave adults to try their mixtures. With notebooks in hand, they explained their recipes and asked direct questions about their product.

"On a scale of 1-5, how do you like the taste? How pretty is it? What don't you like about it? Do you have any additional comments so we can make it better?"

What surprised them was that adults like the taste of the tart lemonade and the feeling of fizzy Sprite on their tongue. They also liked the mango twist and thought it was tropical tasting. The kids who were very certain that no one would like it were a little confused but in a good way. They were relieved they had a recipe that might work!

"It needs to be colder though", "I wouldn't drink this in the morning because it's too sweet but in the afternoon it would be perfect!", "I feel like I should be in the sun drinking this! It's so tropical!"

The kids were sometimes confused by the feedback as some liked sweet drinks and others didn't. Some loved mango and others weren't as big of fans. They learned the value of note taking and, at the end, reviewed their results. The kids who were shy to talk to strangers ended up forgetting their were chatting with random adults because they were super interested in hearing the feedback and write it down.

Aside from becoming better bartenders, these kids explored some important lessons from the day.

- Don't assume your taste buds are the same as others.

- You can't please everyone, so go with the majority

- Don't assume you will get it perfect the first time but keep working on it

- Always welcome negative feedback. It does't mean you did anything wrong or should give up. It means you know more now so you can make it better next time. Negative feedback is just as important as positive feedback

We are often asked, what is the difference between your programs? Well, in the end, nothing, and everything. A child could take our program over and over and over again, especially our after school programs, and never have the same experience. We teach kids how to start a business and to skip any of these critical steps would be setting them up to fail.

While we dive deeper into concepts in some courses more than others, yes, your child will learn how to developed a product or service through exploring passions & solving problem. They will learn how to make a prototype and test it as much as possible. They will develop a marketing plan and test out their communication with a 30 second elevator pitch before going to market.

But guess what, we would make you do all of that too :-)


Being Aware While Still Having Fun!

This weekend was a fun filled event for Build a Biz Kids. We were honoured to be volunteering at the Port Moody RibFest in the Kids Center where we had an information booth along with 3 games for kids of all ages. If you haven’t been to RibFest before, you missed out on a great event so be sure to put it into your calendar for next year.

But back to the topic of this blog. Every time we do an event we love people/family watching and observing others as it can help you to learn a lot about yourself as well as perhaps seeing through a child’s lens of the world and the people they interact with around them.

I have a few stories I would love to tell over the next few blogs that I hope will help you with your own personal journey of continuing to become a great parent and mentor to your children so they, will in turn, become successful and fulfilled adults.

The first story is an observation our VP noticed of a family of 4. Mom and Dad along with 2 kids between about 6 and 8 years.

We had 2 great games provided by the event, both along the same lines. Throw the ball or hit the puck into the wooden cut outs to test your skill & accuracy.

This family was undoubtedly having a wonderful family day together. They looked like any other family when they walked up, however, he just noticed that through their fun and laughter, they may have created a behaviour habit that we noticed wasn’t encouraging their children to try new things or take risks. Of course, once observing this, I encourage you to look in yourself, as we try to do, on whether we are also unknowingly do this as well.

Here's the innocent interaction that occurred. Each parent went up to the football toss to try their skill at throwing the football through one of the two holes in the quarterback cutout. Mom walks up and takes a try, misses and the ball bounces off the boards. The dad starts laughing very hard and encourages the kids to do the same. “Haha, you missed!”

Dad steps up and tries, misses as well. Mom roars in laughter and gets the kids giggling and pointing at dad and how he failed. “Haha, you suck!”

Everyone was having an innocent enough of a time and laughing lots which is always great but when the parents asked the kids if they wanted to try…. Unsurprisingly, each said no.

This exchange was short and innocent. Something I can see myself doing with my friends at a carnival when one tries to win the big stuffed animal and doesn’t even come close to making it. We all laugh and taunt them and it’s all in good fun with no ones feelings getting hurt. We all understand the spirit of the moment and it's a super fun time.

But in this moment, the parents are having a great time but have perhaps unknowingly created an environment where their kids don’t understand that “spirit” and have developed a fear around failing with witnesses. They have seen what happens to you when you “fail”. You are mocked, laughed at and told you suck by those you hope to have acceptance and encouragement from. Who would want to take risks in that environment?

I write this not to shame this family. Truly, we have all done this as kids, teens and adults when around peers. But like many instances, our kids haven’t developed their confidence yet and need reasons to try new things, not shy away from them.

All in all, it can sometimes be tough to understand context as adults when it comes to how you relax and converse with your best friend and significant other, vs when you are around your kids. Laughter, joking, and lightheartedness is strongly encouraged; just remember, the minds of children don't develop over night. They evolve based on the conditioning their environment presents to them.


These Aren't Real Businesses...

Businesses are Big, Daunting Tasks. Surely these 7 year olds aren’t starting a REAL Business…. Right?

One of the best days I have had so far with Build a Biz Kids was at the Tinypreneurs show this year. Tinypreneurs hosts a tradeshow exclusively of kids where they set up shop and sell their wares. It was so cool seeing these young kids take pride in products they have made and proudly speaking to potential customers about why they made each item and why the customer should buy one.

Kids have a truly authentic enthusiasm that you can’t help but get wrapped up in.

But getting back to why it was a fantastic day……

Aside from Tinypreneurs being a great event overall, coincidentally there was a small craft fair running right next to them of about 25 vendors, all adults. Walking through the kid’s booths and then taking a stride down the “grown up” businesses, they were alarmingly similar.

With exception to perhaps more expensive packaging and a lack of crayon signage, the parallels gave me a bit of a chuckle.

The adult craft fair had a delicious bake goods stand of short break cookies and other baked delights, but we had an adorable sibling team who had bags of cookies for sales as well.

There was an adult vendor selling gift cards and post cards, but we had a kid of only 11 who took incredible photographs of nature and was selling non-stop by making the pictures into gift cards, postcards and bookmarks.

Another Adult vendor had handmade soaps and candles, but, so did we on the kids side.

The list goes on. These adults have their own business and brands of products that they make and sell and repeat every weekend, online and beyond. Many earn a living this way. So, aside from the number of booths the adults run vs the kids and the online savvy of the adults having online stores (although some of our kids had that nailed down as well) these kids are taking the same steps and building a real business, the same as you or I would.

The one difference I did notice, however, was the difference in social contribution. The kids of this generation have a different perspective than perhaps generations previous to them. They want to help, they want to give back, and not just because it sounds good; but because it feels good and it keeps them motivated during the hard times.

We have created blogs on social entrepreneurship and will continue to do so in the future but needless to say, I was so proud to see so many kids taking action. They all took ownership of their businesses and many will continue to grow and adapt them as they learn more and more about their product, their market and their consumer needs.

Keep it up, everyone, of all ages!

To help nurture and grow your KidPreneur, take a look at our summer camp and after school programs registering now.


Don't Be a Dreamer

“You see that widget over there? I came up with that idea 10 years ago and should be rich..."

“I have this great idea. I’m totally going to make it this year. It’s going to be HUGE….”

“I’m writing a book. When did I start writing it? Oh, about 12 years ago. I just need the time to get it done and it will be a best seller….”

Do any of these sound familiar? Maybe you know someone who sounds like this, maybe that person is you. These are the statements of ideas that have expired and concepts lacking action. They are statements from dreamers.

Now don’t get me wrong, dreaming is great! Have lots of dreams, be creative and get inspired. But without action, you are missing out on more than just potentially a lot of money. You are missing out on internal fulfillment, exponential learning, greater perspective, and personal growth.

Our KidPreneur programs at Build a Biz Kids are focused on entrepreneurship, yes, but more importantly, they are about capturing ideas and immediately taking action in a supportive and encouraging environment. If we can teach kids to take action on their uninhibited ideas at an early age, just think of how much experience, growth, perspective, not to mention good old fashion self awareness they will have by the time they graduate high school!

Our greatest hope for our students is that they learn to identify areas of concern in their communities, seek possible solutions, and then rally those around them to take action. It can be a business venture, or it could be to help the elderly man down the street with his lawn mowing, or raising money for their local animal shelter, writing letters to their mayor about improving their schools and the list goes on.

We no longer want to raise dreamers, but rather, change makers. Kids who are taking action because they have the confidence, knowledge, and experience to do so.

For more information on our Kid Entrepreneurship programming for the summer, or coming up in September with after school programs, please visit https://buildabizkids.com/program-descriptions. Our programs were designed by entrepreneurs & parents for kids ages 7-12 years. We believe these are crucial years where their ideas are still unleashed and their confidence is prime for development.


Youth Charity Movement

The kids at elite academy have discovered the drive that comes when helping others.

As a team that met though academic advancement program, they began discussing ways they could make a difference in their community.

After much research they decided that the Eagle Ridge Hospital foundation would be well suited to receive their donations. These students sourced the most in demand products among their peers… Junk Food!

By setting up a snack shack at high school, these students are able to turn a profit on chips. This profit is turned around and donated to Eagle Ridge Hospital.

After hearing about their fundraising efforts, Eagle Ridge Hospital approached the elite academy students to suggest a specialized initiative. The hospital was gearing up for a campaign to raise funds for hearing aid recipients.

So far this year, the Youth Charity Movement has raised $750 which is half way to their goal of $1,500. Previous years they have raised additional funds for the same cause and show no signs of stopping.

Way to go! We are inspired to see youth helping youth!


Kids 4 Kids - KidPreneur Spotlight

Kids 4 kids – is there a more inspiring purpose for a business? It explains why I was instantly drawn to the energy of three siblings and friends at an event recently. These kids, all wearing t-shirts with simple but powerful messages, were full of charisma so I had to get to know them.

Tell me about your shirts, I asked.

“Our cousin passed away from pediatric cancer. We wanted to honour our cousin and raise money to support the hospital that helped our cousin” http://www.sickkidsfoundation.com/

What a powerful purpose to start a business with.

"How did you come up with the t-shirt ideas?"

“Our friend in Toronto wanted to help us commemorate our cousin and sent us some messages to put on t-shirts.”

I took a look at their collection and these messages are powerful with their simplicity. Messages include:

Un-breakable

Shine your light

Be yourself

I only do me

Trail blazer

I belong

I can and I will (my favorite!)

These amazing shirts can be found here: https://www.teehatch.com/stores/KaJape-Wear

The KaJaPe kids 4 kids seemed to be the life of the party at this market day. I had to know what inspired them.

“We like helping lots of people” they said.

If you saw them in action, I think you would agree with that statement.

I wanted to know, "What is the toughest part about running your own business?"

“The hardest part is when a customer says they will come back but they don’t.”

When asked what other kids could do to start a business, the KaJaPe kids 4 kids stayed true to their simple message:

“Find something you love to do or something nobody else is doing.”

I’m inspired to see kids taking action to make a difference. It was an amazing experience to meet these kidpreneurs and we are excited to see their journey.

Be sure to support them at https://www.teehatch.com/stores/KaJape-Wear

Do you know a KidPreneur doing great things who would like to share their story and inspire other kids? Please contact us at info@buildabizkids.com. We would love to meet them!