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


Solving Problems, 1 At a Time Isn't Enough

I think that all of us can agree, there are a lot of problems in the world. Some, of course, are higher priority than others. don't get me wrong, today we live in a world that is more incredible than any other generation through technology, innovation and modern comforts. But, there are still human need crises that need our attention such as homelessness, illiteracy, war, illness; Man made problems that have come from these modern developments, such as plastics in oceans, air pollution and climate change; not to mention day to day hassles of keeping my iPhone charged, getting stains our of my favourite shirt and keeping my house clean.

If you have a long "To Do" list like I do, then perhaps you have a tendency to tackle the easier ones first; build that momentum up and hopefully take on the bigger ones "Later", whenever that is....

When looking at the world around us, listening to the news or scrolling through my Facebook feed, I can't help but think that the world can sometimes takes this approach as well. I can buy blinds with a remote that makes them go up and down automatically, buy booties for my dog's paws and even have the luxurious option of sitting in my car while it runs on a track and a machines washes my car **touchless**, yet we haven't figured out a way to get clean water to 3rd world countries, and in some cases, even in parts of North America such as Flint, MI. It seems off balanced, no? All of these incredible minds and millions of dollars in spending are being utilized to make our every days lives even more enjoyable, easier and certainly more fashionable.

We seek to teach our students that, rather than complaining about it or chatting with friends about what a mess the world is in while enjoying the luxuries around us, let's find a solution and take immediate action to see where we end up and then do it all over again. As we don't want to be hypocrites, at Build a Biz Kids, we try to take on the same approach, but not all positive contributions are a direct, head on course to providing clean water to more communities.

We believe that each and every one of us have special skills and talents that can bring incredible change to the world, as well as incredible fulfillment to the individuals providing the solutions. But this is key! While some can naturally play every sport out there with a good degree of skill, others have 2 left feet but, instead, can take a computer apart and put it back together again. Some might have struggled through school and even failed a large part of science and math class but once triggered by a surging desire to make positive change and contribution, all of the sudden their limitations in math are no longer an issue (Thomas Edison, who developed one of the first light bulbs, was one of these people).

Where I believe we go wrong, in many ways, is by asking the wrong questions of ourselves. Instead of asking, "how can I make a positive difference in the world?", the question should be, "based who I am when I feel happy, what I am driven to learn more about and that I would be excited to execute on, that could positively effect the world?".

I would like to introduce Kelly & Desiree. They started Ruben's Shoes. "Ruben's Shoes believes that every child should have access to an Education.
They believe that all children are the same and every single child around the world should have access to the same opportunities, regardless of where they were born or where they live."

60 million children around the world are not able to attend school. One of the reasons why, is shoes. Aside from the incredible long walks many of them have to take each day to get to school, once there, they are not allowed entry without a proper set of shoes. For many families, shoes are an expense they can't afford. Kelly met Ruben in the Dominican Republic and he completely changed her life. She saw the extreme poverty they lived in but also felt the love they gave her while she was there. She decided that day to help. She didn't know what the solution was right away, nor understood how big her mission could take her, but she DID know the answer to the question above.

  • Based on who she was, she couldn't stand by and do nothing.
  • She was driven by the mission to help this family, and others like them
  • She was willing to learn the logistics and mechanics of helping Ruben and families like his
  • And WOW, was she excited to get started with this mission to positively effect the world

Kelly and Desiree started Rubens shoes with just the small thought of collecting shoes and sending them to the Dominican. In just a short time, these little shoe drives became enormous containers of shoes being shipped each year.

Now, they have managed to build an elementary school and have a high school that is due to complete construction in the Dominican in the fall of 2020.

If Kelly had asked herself, "how can I make a positive difference in the world" while working as an Insurance Broker with Desiree at the time, just think of how much time she would have spent spinning her wheels trying to figure it out. Maybe she could try recycling more, maybe she could volunteer a few times a week. But that would have been the wrong question at the time. Instead she opened herself up to an experience, met new people, and had a kind heart which led her to Ruben.

So, let's bring it back to where we started in this article. There are a LOT of Problems in the World. How much time today did you spend thinking of those without drinking water? Kids without shoes? Did you notice plastic in the ocean and spend an hour trying to figure out a solution? No? Don't worry, me neither. Most of us have our own day to day problems we are facing or, in a sad way, we have grown accustomed to hearing about these issues, seeing them but not really looking at them. We see a story on Facebook and get angry or sad for a moment, wish them the best and them keep scrolling onto the next one. We play our small part and maybe pick up litter off the ground if we see it but to tackle it in a bigger way, it's not at the top of our To Do List.

You might be saying, enough with the shame game! What is Build a Biz Kids doing about anything? Well, here are the answers to that same question above.

  • Based on who we are, Entrepreneurship is what we know and love. EVERY child deserves to learn these skills earlier than college
  • We are driven to learn what we need to do to provide this education to students, as young as age 7, through until they graduate high school
  • We are MASSIVELY excited to execute quickly on reaching 100,000 students directly by 2035 with these skills
  • Our desire is to instill awareness & Social Entrepreneurship skills in children & youth so they can view their world differently, utilize their raw creativity to seek new solutions, and tap into their natural emotional connection they have towards topics that matter to them. We look to develop 100,000 NEW problem solvers in the world who are equipped with the tools, support and skills to take action on their ideas.

http://BuildaBizKids.com 

Inventor's Paradise is a NEW Summer Camp this summer, 2019, that tackles problem solving in a BIG way. In this 1 week, full day camp, students tackle problems in their life, their friends and families, and even the world! But then they take ACTION! They develop prototypes and test solutions over and over again to understand that nothing is ever perfect, but it's always a start to making things better for people around them.

Summer Camps are registering now for Summer 2019
https://buildabizkids.com/summer-camp-schedule/