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.


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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What About After Their Business Program?

We are so excited to meet & work with each and every child who enters into a Build a Biz Kids Program, but we are EVEN MORE excited to see what they go on to do afterwards!

Our mission is to help students learn the critical skills required to take action on their ideas while helping them develop empathy for the world around them. Our programs do not just teach theory, but practice Action! But practice in learning lab can only go so far. We need our students to identify opportunities outside of our program and in their real lives. That's practice; that is putting in their 10,000 hours to mastery.

Every graduate, & their parents from one of our programs, is invited to a very special Facebook Group that focuses on future development. Our students have been notified of additional opportunities to run their businesses throughout their communities. They have also been invited to additional education events and so much more!

In just the last week, our students have been able to participate in 2 incredible opportunities. Last weekend, our students set up shop and joined in a Real Adult Handmade Market through the Tri Cities Collective! That's right! They got to set up their businesses right next to adults who do this kind of thing all the time to make profit and provide for their families. That is real world experience that they will reflect on for years.

But my most favorite activity our students were invited to was a Pitch Competition hosted by SingularityU & I-onConnect. That's right, a real live Dragons Den where 5 finalists got to pitch their businesses to a panel of 6 judges and the winner walked away with $40k and support to make their business really take off. For a KidPreneur of 10 or 11 to get to watch something like that was incredible to see. It was some high tech content, in some cases, and big picture ideas, but they all "got it". They not only got it, they asked great follow up questions, had their own opinions based on what they heard, and overall, kept remarking how exciting it all was.

Kids, and people in general, only know that which they are exposed to. In just 1 week, Build a Biz Kids Students were able to rub shoulders running their businesses alongside as equals to adults who have been doing it for years. They were able to learn from these veterans on what works and how they can improve. They were also given the "thumbs up" from the winner of the pitch competition and told that they could do this too. That they could have an idea, learn how to make a great pitch, and that others who believe in what you believe will help you make it a reality.

All in all, this week has been a busy one, but full of momentous moments that will surely stick with these lucky students for years to come and shape the many spectacular things they do.

We invite you and your children to become a part of our alumni. Expose them to all that is possible in the world. Show them what you wish you were shown as a child. Give them the opportunity to learn the skills, that took us 10 and 20 years to learn, now.

Summer camps are open for registration online. Our fall KidPreneur Programs will be opening for registration soon. Be sure to like us on Facebook & Sign Up for our Newsletter so you wont miss any of these great opportunities.

We look forward to meeting you and your KidPreneur soon!


16 KidPreneurs Launch Their Businesses!

It was an exciting day at Henderson Place Mall on November 24th! 16 Build a Biz Kids, bright eyed and primed with nine weeks of business launch preparation stormed the mall to set up shop. Armed with their handmade signage, display decor and for some, copious amounts of product; the kids each built their own stands ready for their first customers.

Branding and merchandising lessons prevailed as we watched each of the unique businesses take shape. From disco lights & music to chalkboard menus for gift set options and even a ‘Square’ device to take card payments, these kids came ready to impress.

With a bit of nervous excitement and an encouraging high five, each business ‘opened’ and our KidPreneur Students became Real Business Operators. As the typically quiet mall was quickly transformed to a bustling marketplace, it wasn’t long before my shoulder was being tapped by a lineup of kids full of pure joy because they wanted to tell me they made their first sale.

For four hours, we watched our entrepreneur lessons come to life with professionalism. We were so impressed by how disciplined each student was as they presented their products and turned each onlooker into a paying customer.

They practiced! There wasn't an excuse to not buy that they didn't have a rebuttal for.  "I don't have a dog that needs a leash" was answered with "Do you have friends that have dogs?". "I'm not hungry at the moment" was quickly converted with "but you might be hungry in an hour."

But not every customer was so kind. "I don't like slime" and "No, no, I don't want any" were also met with smiles. In fact, the kids all giggled it off saying, "Wow, they are grumpy!"

These encounters, although at first glance may look negative, will build up thier resilience & communication. This one day will provide years of confidence and empowerment for them to draw upon when life starts to feel tough.

The amount of support from parents, friends and our incredible community has left us speechless. Before the market ended, more than half of the business had completely sold out of product. But even though they sold out, not one child left but rather stayed to support one another, talk to customers and some even took back- orders for more products.

Not only did every KidPreneur have an incredible day of success, many, if not most, overcame some form adversity to do it.

We can't wait to hand out these hard working graduates KidPreneur Certificates and celebrate graduation next week.

We also can't wait to meet our next group of students in our Winter/Spring program starting next January. If you would like to learn more or enroll your child into one of our programs, Visit Our Website Here


Trial & Error

Have we forgotten how to let kids fail?

I always want to teach my son how to do everything in the most efficient way. I struggle to stop myself from correcting him before he begins. There is a quote from the developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld “Never do for a child what a child believes they can do for themselves.” Although I believe this quote speaks to a greater need of empowering our children, it also touches on how the process of trial and error is a powerful learning tool.

In the idea stage of our program, everyone is an expert. They know exactly what their product will look like, what steps to take to make that product and how easy it will be. However, come prototype day, there is a lot of learning. The ingredients were hard to find, the process took longer than expected, there was an issue with the way the materials combined and now our KidPreneurs have to find a solution.

Exhibit A, one of the greatest soap mixing entrepreneurs of our time! Or in other words, my son who wants to make soap as his business idea for his program.

For weeks he went back and forth on which Pintrest soap he wanted to try and recreate and how it would look, feel, and smell. But while shopping for ingredients, he discovered there are way more options for colours, smells and ingredients (shea butter vs. goats milk, lavender vs cinnamon, red vs red and blue swirl) and everything was in it's raw form which looks a lot different than his Pintrest wall.  Every decision he makes on these ingredients will impact the final product. He had to figure out which combination would produce the vision he had in his mind and was determined to create.

After making his careful selection, he took his ingredients home to experiment. Even though this budding entrepreneur loves the process of experimenting and exploring, he was disappointed his first batch of soap looked nothing like the image he has held in his mind for weeks. The colors didn't mix right and the soap had bubbles and an uneven finish. So began the work of trouble shooting and refining the process.

Perhaps mixing the colors into the soap and then pouring into the molds will work best. The white soap is thicker than the clear soap so maybe it needs to be heated longer. What about a 2 color swirl effect?

He was much more satisfied with his second bath of soap and seeing how a new technique could change the outcome.

I firmly believe that if the first iteration of soap was exactly as planned, our KidPreneur would have missed an exciting opportunity for personal growth. What he learned through through this process is a level of confidence that he can find a way to achieve his vision with enough time, thought and a second attempt.

What every entrepreneur should hold dear is the notion that any vision is possible if they are willing to put in the time and effort for trial and error. If we can show kids that the greatest reward comes after effort and tenacity, then imagine how much more of the world they will get to experience.


"So What??"

Our KidPreneurs have had an exciting couple of weeks exploring business ideas by looking at how businesses are started. They have experience taking their passions & interests or solving a day to day problem and turning them into a business.

So What?

Our KidPreneurs have built their confidence by discovering their innate ability to be creative solution oriented thinkers.

So What?

Catching on? This is an exercise that we play with the kids to help them see past the features and into the benefits to really get to the core of why someone would want to buy their product. If you go deep enough with this exercise, you can get down the the real "WHY" you are building your business and attract customers who feel the same way.

This stage of the program reminds me of the famous work by Simon Sinek called “Start With Why.” In his work, Simon highlights that brands who understand the reason they do what they do have greater success in attracting customers and brand loyalty.

Our exercise looked like this;

So you have decided to make a bar of soap that has toys inside… So What?

- "So it looks cool"

So your bar of soap looks cool… so what?

- "So kids think the toy in the soap is cool"

So Kids think the toy in your bar of soap is cool… so what?

- "So kids are more likely to wash their hands to get the toy"

And there it is. You’ve made a product that has features that kids like such as cool colours, toys, etc with a benefit for parents…kids will want to wash their hands.

The Features and Benefits lesson was a lot of fun with these KidPreneurs. They are getting very excited to talk about their products with customers at the upcoming Market Day on November 24th at Henderson Place Mall from Noon – 4:00 PM.

Don't be afraid to ask them "why" or dig deep into their product features and benefits. It's great practice for them as they hone in on their sales pitch.

They hope to see you there!


No Tech Zone After School Programs - Why We Do It

Too much screen time is often a common complaint among parents concerning their children. Oddly, however, some parents wonder how we can run a program on Entrepreneurship and teach them how to start their own business without the use of tech in this modern age.

I wanted to give a short and sweet reason for why that is and let you know how we believe technology fits in. With our Incredible after school programs starting just around the corner (register soon to save your child's seat!)

Technology is, without a doubt, a powerful business tool that has enabled businesses to grow faster, extend their reach to more customers, and allowed them to streamline otherwise huge expenses in way of manufacturing, customer ordering and so on. It's basically mandatory if you want to start or own 99.98% of businesses out there today and be successful. So why don't we, not only encourage the use of technology, but ban it, from our Learning Labs?

Simple. Learning technology has nothing to do with learning to become an entrepreneur.

Here is what I mean.

We are teaching the understanding, methodology, and problem solving. savvy skills required to launch a small business. Businesses don't tend to fail because of technology (unless they blow their budgets on unnecessary tech). They fail do to not understanding why they are doing something, skipping crucial steps (such as testing their product) and confusing their customer.

We want kids to be able to dive in and build their business quickly so they can learn, implement, adjust, learn, implement, adjust and so on.

Here is an example. Our students will be coming up with a name for their business, a logo and then carrying that forward onto their marketing signage and packaging of their products. We could set them up with design software and have them go back and forth to learn the program and try to create the desired look that isn't the point of the exercise.

The point is to learn what branding is, how it impacts a consumers perception of what you are offering, and why consistency and brand integrity is key. Whether it's computer generated or creatively drawn by hand doesn't matter. They can learn more about creating a more crisp and professional look if they decide to pursue their business further after their program. We need them to understand why, take action, gain a reaction and feedback from customers, reflect, and do it again.

Beside, many of our students take our program and start a business but by the end, decide they want to try a different business, or pursue their current one by stepping it up a notch. Wasted time learning new programming can slow them down and, frankly, be frustrating when all you want to see is progress.

We are very excited about our upcoming after school programming, and especially the Kids' Market Day where everything they have learned is applied. As we develop more and more budding young entrepreneurs, we look forward to offering additional courses that can develop their base level skills and demonstrate the power of technology, when it's used safely and effectively.

For more information on our After School Programs, Click Here

For our current Fall Schedule that is Registering Online NOW, Click Here


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