If you have children in your life, you already know that we adults can learn a lot from them.
Sometimes, kids teach us to have a sense of humor… other times, a sense of patience. But kids teaching business sense to grown adults? Actually, you’d be surprised.
I’ve been fortunate enough to meet hundreds of impressive youngsters through our Children’s Entrepreneur Markets. All across Utah (where we operate the markets), kids come together to sell products, services… literally, anything they want!
Our vendors promote and sell their products, engage with customers, and make change totally independently (in other words, without Mom or Dad’s help.) And while it’s rewarding enough just to watch them sprout their business wings and fly, I’ve gleaned lots of real-life wisdom that even us adults can benefit from.
Here are three recent lessons I’ve learned from our young entrepreneurs…
1. Stand out. If you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one.
One of our most successful vendors ran a Harry Potter-themed booth, selling custom bracelets, wands, and books. Fans of the series flocked to buy these goods because they were unique and special. His business far out-performed competitors selling generic products with no clear specialty.
If you want any venture to succeed, it’s important to find a niche. For me, that’s helping families like you learn about freedom. Regardless of what it is you’re hoping to accomplish, focus on what you care about and work hard to serve that audience.
2. Go where the opportunity is… don’t wait for it to come to you.
Another top business owner was a young girl selling cake pops. Instead of passively standing behind her table — as most of us would by default — she walked up and down the aisle to interact with adults, striking up conversation. She earned far more customers than she would have by standing there and waiting to be approached.
As adults, many of us have learned that the opportunities we want don’t just fall into our laps. We have to find out where they are, work towards them, and pursue them relentlessly. Whether it’s our products or businesses, or a big promotion, we must move towards opportunities with purpose. Fortune favors the bold.
3. Invite people to envision themselves as a customer.
A favorite vendor at one of our markets was selling handmade foam swords. He let people play with them to see how fun they were, and imagine what it’d be like to play with one of them at home. And you know what? People took him up on it. People had a blast trying out his product, and he sold a lot of foam swords.
The same goes with kids that handed out free samples of their food. They gave a small taste (no pun intended) of what their special offering was like… and it worked! There’s a reason those mall food courts give you their orange chicken skewers. People love to try before they buy.
So, if you’ve got a business you’re trying to get off the ground, or an idea you’re trying to convey, get people to imagine what it’s like to take you up on it. This can be easier said than done (especially when you’re talking about liberty in the era of AOC…) but it’s a crucial element to the success equation.
All of that said… If you live in Utah, I’d encourage you to get your kids signed up for one of our Children’s Entrepreneur Markets. Children are capable of a lot more than they get credit for, and plugging them into an event like this helps them gain confidence, get inspired, and take responsibility for their own success.
Don’t share a home state with me? Your kids don’t have to miss out on the awesome experience of running a business. Our friends at the Acton Academy hold Children’s Business Fairs all around the world, from California to Tanzania to the U.K., and everywhere in between.
If curriculum would be more your speed, check out My First Sale, a business course that teaches kids to take a business from idea to profit. It’s right in line with the ideas found in our books like personal responsibility, entrepreneurship, and hard work.
Speaking of our books… our Children’s Entrepreneur Markets inspired our 8th children’s book, The Tuttle Twins and their Spectacular Show Business. In this story, Emily and Ethan learn about competition, problem solving, and independence… and plenty about the challenges business owners face.
There are tons of ways to teach your kids about the real world. And as you navigate that process, the Tuttle Twins team is here to help you raise capable, confident young people who love to stand on their own two feet.
Now, let’s build!