Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Entrepreneurial Spirit

My husband and I have begun Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and we are learning so much. We have set a rigid budget and moved to a cash system and, interestingly, it's the kids that are feeling it most.

"Can we have McDonald's?" they will ask.
I will pull out the food envelope and show them what's left. "I have $15 left. It usually costs $25. Want to pitch in the other $10?"
"But I don't have any more money!"
"Oh, okay. Then I guess we can't have McDonald's."

They have decided that something has to change. As any good business owner knows, there are two ways to increase cash flow: Cut expenses or increase sales. My boys have chosen to increase sales. They have normal chores that give them $5 a week but they have been looking for some supplemental income. To date they have launched a lemonade stand that actually sold apple juice and soda, a golfing booth (pay $1 for a swing of the club), chocolate covered strawberries (Hershey's syrup drenched strawberries would be a bit more accurate), a daredevil show that featured my five year old being crashed into a pile of boxes by his older brother and a Rainbow Loom bracelet sale. They are course correcting on the way and analyzing what sells the best.

"Every body likes drinks which makes sense because it's hot in Florida," my oldest said to his brother thoughtfully. "But we don't have enough kids in the neighborhood for the golf business."
"But everybody likes golf! I just need a new sign!"
At this, they race off to redesign their advertising and choose a new corner to stand and attract business.

This week, they caught a break. "I went into a store today and the owner asked about the bracelet you guys made me," my husband said over breakfast.
"Oh."
"And I told him you made it. He wants ten in darker colors to sell in his store. He thinks he can sell them for $3 a piece."
"But we were only charging $1!"
"Yeah, but he thinks he can get more. What do you say? Could you make some up for me today?"
The boys raced around the house gathering materials and consulting on color choices. Then my oldest got to work.

I don't know what will happen once the bracelets hit the shelves but I do know that this has been incredible to watch. I never worried about cutting back on my extravagances. I can buy less clothes, less Starbucks, less fancy makeup. But I did worry about giving my kids less. I want them to have everything. And yet, I'm giving them so much more by holding back. They are learning about advertising, pricing, math, knowing their market and calculating profits. Best of all, they are learning about all they are capable of doing on their own. Amazing.

If you are feeling pressure to give your kids more, go easy on yourself. Giving less my give them more opportunities to be resourceful. They just might amaze you.

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