I have had an entrepreneurial spirit my entire life. My first idea came when I was in third grade. I realized that I had too much stuff, but I didn’t want to just throw it away. I decided to try to sell it to someone in order to make some money. That someone usually ended up being my little sister who purchased many items including pencils and rotten Halloween candy. A few years later I started a house cleaning business each summer and would clean my grandmother’s house and my aunt’s house for money each week. In middle school I was a manager and then a player on the girl’s basketball team. (Player is used loosely here.) I decided to purchase sweat suits for each of the girls and use puff paint to put their names and numbers on the back, then sell them for a profit. This led into making all kinds of shirts for other family members.
This summer, we discovered that Jian has the same entrepreneurial spirit. She had been asking for her own ipad for months. When she first asked, I dismissed it, telling her she could just play her games on my ipad. When she persisted, I explained that ipads cost a lot of money and that maybe we could put it on her Christmas list this year. She came to me one day and asked if she could start making things to sell for money so that she could go ahead and buy the ipad. She wanted to make bracelets and cookies. After a short “business meeting,” we decided that she could make bracelets, potholders, paleo cookies and paleo breakfast muffins. (Had to keep it healthy!) So we told our family and friends about the endeavor, and they were so sweet to make orders week after week. Our friends at the CrossFit gym sweetly paid her while we were still tweaking recipes for the paleo treats.
Jian is a natural sales person. During a swim lesson one day, she befriended an older lady in the pool. She talked to her for about 30 minutes then swam over to me and whispered that she wanted to try to sell the lady some cookies! When Jian told her grandmother about her business, her grandma said, “Yes, I would like to order 2 potholders, please.” Jian looked at her with disbelief and said, “Two potholders? Is that all?!?” After just a few weeks, she had enough money to buy an ipad mini and decided that would be the best use of her time and money. She still takes orders each week and has her own money when she decides she wants to buy a new toy or game. No more asking for everything that she sees. She has learned a lot about where money comes from, about spending, saving, and giving money. I provide the ingredients for now. Learning about price of goods can be a later lesson.
I am also proud of the fact that she puts boundaries on herself and makes sure that she has a balance. At one point when we were getting lots of orders, she told me that she had been doing too much work and needed to rest and play. I am still trying to learn that lesson! I am actually in the process of starting up another business myself. After a year and a half of an undeniable gut feeling and doing lots of work to earn additional certifications, I am on the verge of launching my own Health and Wellness business. I will be gradually getting the word out on each product and service I can offer with the goal of helping the people around me to live their healthiest and happiest lives possible! Stay tuned…