Thursday, July 2, 2015

Is it worthwhile for a kid to run a business?

Today was the fist day of the kids' store.  Can't say the parent's weren't involved though.
I mean, it's not like we spent most of the week busting our rears or anything like that, right?


That's okay though.  I negotiated for tomorrow being an all-writing marathon day.  That should be good.

But the big question is, "Is this all worth it?"

I mean, Steve Maxwell describes kids' extracurricular activities as, "time robbers".  Is that what we're talking about?  Becoming the artificially-busy soccer mom, running frantic all over town being the kid taxi between one activity to the next?

I don't think so.  Though there was a certain amount of franticality involved, there is a method to the madness.  (As opposed to, you know, my regular madness.)

I've decided that Reading, Writing, Arithmetic are all spiffy, but the single most important subject for success in life is Entrepreneurship.  This is, of course, not taught in schools whose goal is to train laborers, not leaders. (But that's another rant for another day.)

To understand the difference, let's have a look at both plans.  The driving philosophy behind the timeclock system is, "I need to make enough money so that I can one day afford to retire and do what I want".  In comparison, the question behind Entrepreneurship is, "What do I want to do?  And how can I turn that into a profitable business?" 
Choose whichever one you want, but personally, I prefer the second way.

Caveat:  I wasn't raised for the second way.  I'm not skilled in the second way.  But I prefer the second way.

That's why the kids are out late, talking to strangers tonight.**  They're out there learning sales skills, negotiation, counting change, dealing with difficult people, etc.

It doesn't really matter what enterprise they choose -- from keep on making quilts to start their own charter helicopter service -- anything!  Whatever it is though, these critical non-classroom skills are exactly what will enable them to make a living at it.

Put it another way:  I wouldn't neglect geography, but if you forget the capitol of Alabama... look it up!  I won't neglect spelling, but download OpenOffice and it'll correct that for you.  Conversely, there's no spell-checker for street smarts.  There's no way of googling whether people will like your product or not.

Real-life experience.  On-the-job training.  Experience out in trenches.  Name your cliche, but I believe that this is a strong second for the most important part of their entire education!

And so, I'll continue to help sand little thingamajigs, glue hats on little gnomes, and construct little booths.  I'm paying it forward in dividends that should last their little lifetime.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

** That sounded creepy.  With parental supervision, of course!

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