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/


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.