Teaching Kids Entrepreneurship

5 things to start with when teaching kids entrepreneurship (Part 1 of 6)

Teaching Kids EntrepreneurshipI often get asked, what should I start with when teaching kids entrepreneurship? After teaching kids, ages 9-14, entrepreneurship over the past 10 years I’ve come up with five things that have proven to be successful. I use these 5 things in the More Than a Lemonade Stand™ curriculum and have developed hundreds of young entrepreneurs using it and I hope you find this helpful in teaching entrepreneurship.  This post is meant to be an overview of the five things (part 1 of 6). In the upcoming weeks, I will dive into more detail of the how of each item.

1. Help kids choose a business idea

The best way to learn about entrepreneurship is by running a business and most entrepreneurs don’t strike it rich on their first business venture so it’s better to learn before the stakes are high. Since starting and running a business is not easy, it’s best the kids choose an idea that they are interested in and have some experience in.  This could be anything from making jewelry, lawn care, painting, photography, a school subject, music or sports. Once they know what they are interested in and have some knowledge of, they need to think about how they can turn that into something that can make money with (i.e., tutoring, helping kids with basic sports or music, babysitting, or selling a product at a local craft show or to kids at school). Post 2 of 6 will focus on the how to introduce entrepreneurship and help kids choose a business idea they can work on.

“Most entrepreneurs don’t strike it rich on their first business venture so it’s better to learn before the stakes are high.”  ~Julie Ann Wood

2. Create a feasible business model

Once the idea is chosen, the next thing to look at is the business model to see if it is a feasible business idea. The Business Model Canvas, created by Alexander Osterwalder, is an excellent tool to help kids (and adults) discover this. The Business Model Canvas is widely used by entrepreneurs as part of the lean startup methodology. The Business Model Canvas will help kids determine what problem they are solving, who their customers are, how they will run the business and how they will make money. The Strategyzer website has a free 2-minute video which explains the nine building blocks that the canvas is built on which you can view on their website at: .  Post 3 of 6 will focus on a fun and engaging way to teach the business model canvas to young entrepreneurs.

3. Teach business basics

Once the idea is chosen and the business model is created it’s time to learn the business fundamentals which will serve the young entrepreneurs no matter what business idea they pursue now or in the future. In our programs we include branding, marketing, sales, basic financials, customer service and production. Each of these areas are necessary to go from the idea stage to the actual starting and running of the business. Presentation skills are also included since the kids are required to create e a poster presentation/pitch for their business. After all, if the entrepreneur can’t communicate the idea effectively it will be impossible for them to succeed. Post 4 of 6 will focus on a method to teach the business fundamentals to young entrepreneurs.

4. Learn from real entrepreneurs

All entrepreneurs have a story and have made mistakes. I have found entrepreneurs to be quite excited to share their stories (and mistakes) with young entrepreneurs. Their stories provide insight to the kids that they may not get from just learning the content. Instead of learning the hard way, they can learn some valuable lessons from entrepreneurs who have already learned the hard way. That is why field trips and guest speakers from a variety of entrepreneurs and business types are a great way for young entrepreneurs to learn. Be sure to include discussion about the entrepreneurs’ stories including what they noticed about their characteristics and mindset. Post 5 of 6 will focus on ways in which you can include entrepreneurs and a fun and engaging reflection activity to use.

“The best way to learn about running a business is to run a business!” ~Julie Ann Wood

5. Real Life Experience

As I mentioned in the 1st item, the best way to learn about running a business is to run a business!  That is why, in addition to the kids starting their own business, these two additional experiential activities that involve running a business will allow the kids to run a business in a ‘safe’ setting.

The first one is a fast paced simulation called the Biz Ops Game™ which teaches business operations in approximately 90 minutes. In this game, kids, in small teams of 4-5 each, run their own paper airplane business. Each team comes up with a business name, starts with a loan from the bank (that they have to pay back with interest) budget and plan for their expenses and raw materials, design, make & test their paper airplanes, fly them on a duct tape runway as they sell them to customer, track their actual sales and expenses and create a mini-income statement.  The game is played in 5 rounds so teams can improve their process and design as the game progresses.

The second one is a real Lemonade stand business.  Depending on how many kids are in the program, this can be done as a single team lemonade stand or a multiple team lemonade stand competition. The kids run a real-life lemonade stand in which they raise funds for a cause such as a scholarship fund for the youth entrepreneur program. They must come up with a name, theme, branding, marketing, what they are selling, define the roles and everything needed to create a successful lemonade stand operation.  Post 6 of 6 will focus more deeply on how these 2 real life business experiences can be used in a youth entrepreneurship program.

These 5 things are included in the More Than a Lemonade™ youth entrepreneurship curriculum and have proven successful in teaching young entrepreneurs. Julie Ann Wood has been working with young entrepreneurs for more than 10 years and is the author of the More Than a Lemonade Stand™ book, You’re Never Too Young to Start a Business e-book and the creator of the Biz Ops Game™. To learn more about the curriculum, programs and how to work with Julie visit: .

7 Steps to Get Your Kids Started as a Young Entrepreneur


Parents with kids

Parents with kids

                                                                                                                                                 1. Choose a business idea. Kids can’t start learning about how to start a business if they don’t have an idea. Have them think about their hobbies, interests, what they’ve learned, what they have experience in, what they’re good at what they like to do in your spare time and then choose one or two ideas to move forward with.

2. Test your idea with potential customers. Entrepreneurs take risks but they can limit how much risk they take by testing their ideas. Have them ask potential customers, and friends and family questions about their ideas. They can start with whether or not it is a good solution to the problem they are solving and would they pay money for it. Then be sure to narrow it down to one idea to work on.

3. Create a memorable brand and plan marketing & sales activities. A brand is what a prospect or customer thinks of or feels when they hear the business name or see their logo, marketing materials or store. Once they create their brand they need to plan how to get the word out. This will be determined by budget where customers are located.

4. List what is needed to start the business and figure out the costs. Start-Up Items are the items needed to start a business. Some examples of start-up items include office supplies and equipment, website, and tools to make the product or provide the service.  Then they will then need to figure out a price for the product or service based on costs, competition and earlier testing of the idea to potential customers.

5. Keep Customers Happy. Once there are customers, they need to make sure they keep them happy! The cost to get a new customer is much higher than selling to an existing customer. Happy customers will be the best resource for getting new customers. Have them make a plan for staying in contact with their customers and making sure they are happy.

6. Parent Approval and Legal Stuff. If you aren’t the parent reading this, make sure they check with their parents to make sure that the business idea is okay to put into action. Also check to see if any legal permits are needed. Each state, city & town has their own rules so it is always a good idea to check and see what is required. There may be free or reduced legal resources at your local business center or university or college so you might want to check on that.

7. Create a Plan. Now that the business idea figured out, have them create a plan that will guide them. A marketing plan for how they are going to get the word out and an operational plan for business activities. The two plans will work together to help them schedule their time and resources.

These 7 steps will give kids a great start for getting their business going. If you would like to order a complete Step-by-Step guide including free downloadable worksheets. My e-book You’re Never Too Young to Start a Business is available on CLICK HERE to ORDER If you would like more information on cultivating young entrepreneurs, visit and sign up for our email list for additional tips, discounts and announcements.

Bio: Julie Ann Wood is the author of More Than a Lemonade Stand and Creator of the Biz Ops Game™. She has been teaching young entrepreneurs since 2008 and created the More Than a Lemonade Stand curriculum for young entrepreneurs to help others teach youth entrepreneurship without reinventing the wheel!

Girl Looking at Goldfish

What do Mini-Lessons & Goldfish Have in Common?

Girl Looking at Goldfish

Girl Looking at Goldfish

Mini-Lesson Mondays for Young Entrepreneurs – Are they the wave of the future?

You may have heard that the focus of a human being has been compared to that of a goldfish.

In a recent article by a colleague of mine, Jenna Atkinson, in our local business magazine (In Business Magazine) quoted that  Time magazine published an article called, “You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish.” It reported on how an increasingly digital lifestyle has reduced the average person’s attention span from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds in 2015.

The average attention span of a goldfish? Nine seconds. Scary right?! 

Then a few months ago, I read an article in HR magazine about how micro-learning is becoming more popular.  The article discusses a company that uses 4 minute videos to teach concepts and the employees can come back and view them as needed.

And then I began to think about my own attention span – I am currently taking an Internet Marketing course that is broken down into small segments of reading and video.  Each lesson’s content is no longer than a few minutes.  In addition to short quizzes, they give you an assignment based on the content you just learned so you can apply it. I really like this type of learning, I can fit it in when I have a few minutes and can come back to it when I need it.

That is why I decided to create Mini-Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs.  Each Monday, I post a short video on my YouTube channel with a new mini-lesson that will help young entrepreneurs come up with a business idea, business name and help them get it up and running.  The videos are short with the majority of them being less than 3 minutes long and each one gives a short assignment to write in their ‘entrepreneur notebook’. If you haven’t checked it out yet, Click HERE for the Mini-Lesson Monday for Young Entrepreneurs Playlist.

I would love to hear what topics you are interested in for Mini-Lesson Monday so please share your ideas by commenting below or emailing me at

Entrepreneur Theatre Life Skills

5 Life Skills that Entrepreneurship and Theater Teach

Entrepreneur Theatre Life Skills

Entrepreneur & Theater = Life Skills

Last week I finished directing a production of Fame Jr with my son Ryan at our local community theater group. As I reflect back on the experience, I realize that both entrepreneurship and theater have a lot in common  when it comes to the life skills they teach.  Here are 5 life skills, that I came up with, that both entrepreneurship and theater teach.

  1. Passion and Natural Talents: Entrepreneurship is all about finding what you love to do and using it to solve problems and make a difference. Musical Theater kids have a passion for acting, dancing, singing or all 3 and they are using their natural talent to make a difference in people’s lives by taking their minds off of the everyday issues even if it is only for an hour or two.
  2. Time Management: Running a business takes an enormous amount of time and it requires good time management skills to make sure homework & chores are done, other commitments are completed and that there is still time to work on a business. Ditto for theater; it is a huge time commitment and it requires time management to get it all done.
  3. Commitment: Being an entrepreneur requires commitment to working on your business idea even when it gets tough. A commitment to your solution or cause will help you make it through but in order for it to work in the long run; you must be committed to it. Again theater is a commitment, it takes a lot of hours to put on a quality production. There is always waiting at rehearsal for your scene; you must be committed to the role you accept.
  4. Communication: Entrepreneurs must be able to communicate clearly what their product or service is and what the benefits are in order to sell to their customer. You must also be able to communicate with partners and mentors so they can help you grow your business. Whether you are on stage in the cast or off stage in the production staff, you must be able to communicate with the audience to get your message across and with each other to create a successful performance.
  5. Teamwork: Entrepreneurs cannot do it alone; they need to use their strengths in the most effective ways in order to grow their business without being overwhelmed by everything that has to be done. You need to find a team that can fill in where you aren’t strong to help you accomplish what needs to be done. A good theater performance is the ultimate team-based business model. It requires each person to know their role, focus on it and complete it when it needs to be done. There is a high level of trust that develops in a theater group and it becomes almost like a second family.

I am sure there are more life skills that both entrepreneurship and theater teach and so I would love to hear from you in the comments (or you can email me at Which life skills do you feel are taught in entrepreneurship and theater or another activity that you are involved with?

As always, please feel free to contact me at or complete the contact us form on .  And as we say in theater, hope to see you at the next auditions!





Kid Planning a Trip

5 Everyday Opportunities to Teach Entrepreneurship to your Kids

Kid Planning a Trip

Daughter planning a trip

I am an avid reader of ideas for teaching entrepreneurship not only for improving my own teaching of entrepreneurship but also so I can help parents and teachers implement entrepreneurship education in easy and effective ways. Sometimes we forget about the everyday opportunities we have for developing our kids into young entrepreneurs so here are 5 everyday activities that you can use to teach entrepreneurship to your kids.

  1. Getting up in the morning – do you go in their room and wake them up for school? Empower them by picking out an alarm clock and putting the responsibility on them. If they prove that they can be responsible (and keeping their grades up), you might make them a deal that they could use their cell phone as an alarm. After all, will you be there when they get up and get going for college or a job? Be sure to discuss what the consequences are if they don’t get up on time and get going to school. This one thing can teach responsibility and initiative.
  2. Budget for needs and wants – as young as age 9 they should have the skills to develop a budget for some of their expenses. Kids can understand needs and wants by then (even much younger than that) and so they could have a budget for needs and a budget for wants. This is a great way to have kids start learning how much it costs for necessities and learn what you as a parent are doing to provide these necessities for them. Then have them budget for their wants and come up with ideas to earn money for those wants.
  3. Questions or complaints; brainstorm solutions. If your kids are like mine – they ask multiple questions (and complain) every day. How many times have you heard, “I’m bored”, “How come she gets to do that” or “What’s for supper”? Since entrepreneurship is about solving problems, have them list the questions and brainstorm some ideas on how it can be solved. Then have them pitch an idea to you about the solution. This empowers them to come up with a solution and work as a team to put it together. It will also help their team work, negotiation and consensus building skills.
  4. Plan a Trip. Planning a trip is like running a project and entrepreneurs have to plan and manage many projects. Have a discussion of where you might want to go for a family trip (could start small with a weekend getaway). Then have them research hotels (including prices) and activities they want to include. If it’s a bigger trip, they can include airfare and a rental car. They can also come up with an itinerary for the trip. This will give an idea of how much a trip really costs and it will also give them the chance to learn how to research, document and communicate their findings.
  5. Promote their passions. No matter what it is, find out what they like the most and help them develop those skills. Maybe it’s going to cooking class together, or going to sports activity, it will make them feel special and help deepen their passion (and your relationship). If they are truly passionate about something, encourage them to turn it into a business. They can start small, maybe at craft fairs or by teaching kids at school. This way they can see how it goes and make sure they like it. It will give them a taste of entrepreneurship and maybe they will be able to earn money for some of those “Wants”!

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What is an Entrepreneur

What is an Entrepreneur?

What is an Entrepreneur

What is an Entrepreneur?

My theory is that you can’t really teach kids how to be an entrepreneur if they don’t know what it is. The hard part is defining what an entrepreneur is! If you Google “What is an Entrepreneur”, you will get 149 million results in a matter of seconds.

The first one listed is the dictionary definition:


noun: entrepreneur; plural noun: entrepreneurs

  1. a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.


Here are a few more of the definitions that came up as some of the first search results:

Entrepreneurs know you need to be both a leader and a manager… in that order. They always start with a leader, and then find a manager. “What is an Entrepreneur?” by Ken Krogue, Forbes July 3, 2013


An article from entitled “What is an entrepreneur anyway?” by Justin Bariso (Nov 28,2014) includes several definitions of an entrepreneur including his personal favorite (which happens to be my favorite of the article also): Rory MccGwire (founder of The Marketing Donut): “An entrepreneur is someone who, rather than working 8 hours a day for someone else, would prefer to work 18 hours a day for [him or herself]. (And one can then embellish it with half-the-pay, twice the stress, but ten times the fun, etc.)” The article also discusses whether or not if all business owners are actually entrepreneurs which I tend to think they are.”

One of my favorites is from Who is an Entrepreneur by Juan Jose de la Torre on April 29,2015; He includes many traits but ends up with I think is the real key:Passion is the real drive:There is another element that really dwells at the center of any entrepreneur: passion! An entrepreneur possesses an interior fuel and stamina that drives his or her actions; this superior energy helps to overtake and surpass the different challenges and it injects strength to continue pursuing goals when difficulties arise. Anyone can be an entrepreneur and behave like one- regardless of whether or not they happen to be an equity holder. Ultimately, it’s all about the attitude when running the show.”

This is a great start but since there are 149 million results it tells us that it is not quite that easy to define! That is why “What is an Entrepreneur” is what I start with when I’m teaching young entrepreneurs – how can you teach them to be one if they don’t know what an entrepreneur is.

To introduce what an entrepreneur is and does, I use a short video from Grasshopper (a virtual phone company) entitled Entrepreneurs Can Change the World:  The video includes many points about being an entrepreneur and provides a great base for a discussion of what an entrepreneur is and does. Some of the points in the video include:

Entrepreneurs can be anyone

Anyone can change the world

One person can make a difference

They may start with little or nothing except a brilliant idea

Entrepreneurs Work hard

They see opportunities

They think about how life can better and make it better

Entrepreneurs change the way we see the world

They are innovators, thinkers, doers

Entrepreneurs take risks

They create jobs and fuel growth

Entrepreneurs find new ways to solve problems

In addition to the points in the video, I emphasize that passion and purpose are extremely important (to keep you going when times are tough) and then we go into a discussion of choosing an idea that they can use their own unique talents and skills (I’ll save that for another blog post).

Being an entrepreneur is not just about learning the business skills to run a business (anyone can learn those skills); it is about what an entrepreneur mindset is. They must be able to see opportunities and have the ability to come up with creative solutions. They also need resilience and so when they fail, they can keep on going. In a future post, I will talk about the new Entrepreneurial Strength Finder by Gallup – based on research they state that there are 10 Entrepreneurial Strengths necessary to become a highly successful large scale entrepreneur. I believe that anyone can become an entrepreneur (or I wouldn’t be teaching kids) and that if kids can learn about the possibilities before they even reach high school they will be much more open to learning what is an entrepreneur, developing those entrepreneurial strengths and creating an entrepreneurial mindset so that they can become successful entrepreneurs.

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Money Business Entrepreneur

There is more than one way to become a Billionaire Entrepreneur

Money Business Entrepreneur

More than one way to Spell Money And Business

In today’s blog post I wanted to share a couple of infographics. The first one features the”10 Youngest Billionaires of Our Time: How Did They Do it?shared with me by one of my readers (thanks Madeline). These young billionaires have done some amazing things and most of us have been affected in one or another by what they have achieved (I mean, who has not been affected by Facebook or what it has done to change social media). You may notice that many of these young billionaires did have an advantage and that in most cases is family money or the means to attend a very prestigious school (could be money could be intelligence) so the question begs – do you have to have that advantage to become a billionaire? Well, I wondered this as I don’t have either (family money or the means to attend Harvard, Stanford, or MIT) and of course who wouldn’t like to become a Billionaire Entrepreneur (or at least a Millionaire)!

So I did a little digging and the good news is there is hope for anyone who wants to work hard, take risks and persevere to become a billionaire entrepreneur!  Sara Blakely who invented Spanx and was added to the billionaire list in 2013, (from as far as I can tell) she was an everyday person who attended a public high school and a State university. She came up with an idea that she believed in. She worked long and hard to research and develop the idea and her entrepreneur road wasn’t easy but she persevered and as we know today the rewards were great. Then I found another infographic that shows what self-made billionaires have in common. The most well-known (for me anyway) was Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, who was an orphan, was brought up by relatives on the South Side of Chicago, was not born into money and did not have a college education. He learned computer programming on his own and one of his first jobs had to create a database. He then started Oracle databases, one of the most used database in the world.

Okay so some of the becoming a billionaire usually does require a bit of luck, whether it is being in the right place at the right time, making the right contact or having family money to back you up, but you won’t get there without hard work, perseverance, taking risks and belief in your idea. So get going on developing your idea and developing yourself as an entrepreneur (you are not getting any younger)!

Sources: 10 Youngest Billionaire Infographic:; Sara Blakely story:; Self-made billionaires’ infographic;; Larry Ellison story:

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Police close lemonade stand

Is Your Lemonade Stand Illegal?

Police close lemonade stand

Police officer closing down the lemonade stand

This week it was Jerry Seinfeld’s kids lemonade stand getting closed down by police due to neighbors complaining about parking and not having a permit. I have been hearing about a stand getting closed down almost every week some place in the U.S. this summer – what do you think this does to kids who are testing the waters for entrepreneurship? Most of the time, the kids who start the lemonade stand are raising money for a good cause or they may be saving up for a larger purpose (not to mention all the learning they are doing). What better way than to start a lemonade stand?

So what is up with the neighbors who are complaining and basically getting the kids ticketed, fined and closing their businesses? I’m wondering is the lemonade stand on a hot summer day really causing them a problem? Do they not have enough to keep their selves busy? Another reason for shutting down the stands is that they are competing with a local business – I’m wondering how much business a young entrepreneur lemonade stand takes away from an established business. I have learned that is more important to focus on your own business and do the best you can then to worry about the business next door! And what about our police force – don’t they have more important things to do then to visit a kid’s lemonade stand to close it down? I’m frankly quite disappointed that we are even spending resources on this! I’ve even read

Okay, so there may be arguments that the kids should get a business license. But really can’t we make kids first taste at business more positive? How about if municipalities create a Lemonade Law and allow kids up to 5 different days to run lemonade stands during the year. If the kids want to sell more days, then the formal process of applying for the permit would need to take place. A website page could be added for kids to register the dates of lemonade stands and print out a permit that they can display at their stand so when their neighbor wants to report them they can easily see that the young entrepreneur has taken care of the permit. One simple webpage set up can eliminate the phone call to the police, the police having to investigate and break the young entrepreneur’s heart!

If you know of any municipalities have come up with a good system to remedy this issue, please share maybe others can learn from what has already worked! We definitely need to make it easier for young entrepreneurs to try out their business ideas – if we don’t change the way we treat them we may have less and less young entrepreneurs which will translate in less small businesses in the future (more on that in my next blog post)!

If you would like free tips and resources to cultivate youth entrepreneurs (or to run lemonade stands) – sign up for our free e-newsletter at or purchase More Than a Lemonade Stand at or your favorite online book store.

Business idea

I have a business idea – 5 steps young entrepreneurs can start with!

Business idea

I have a business idea

In the last 2 blog posts I included ideas for how young entrepreneurs might come up with a business idea, an overview of the steps to get started and 10 ideas that work. Now that the business idea is starting to be developed, here is some more detail on what to do next.
Here are 5 steps to get going in the right direction:
1) Calculate how much the unit (or direct) costs are. What is needed to create the product or service? For example, if you are making jewelry, you will need to know how much wire, beads, and other supplies are needed to create one unit (bracelet, ring, earring, etc.) and then figure out the total cost. There may also be costs for equipment or supplies that is necessary to make the product or provide the service so that also needs to be taken into account (these are indirect costs). The same is true for a service, how much do you want to get paid for the service and are any supplies needed to provide the service.
2) Pricing the product or service – after the costs are calculated, figure out how much you want to make per product or unit of service. This can do this by using an accounting equation (a simple math problem); Income-Expenses = Profit. You have already calculated the costs and the profit is how much you want to make (such as $2.00 per bracelet). You can then back into the income which is the sales price for the item or service. Also make sure to account for indirect costs.
3) Get the word out. You need to figure out how you are going to get the word out to potential customers. Once you know who your customers are (neighbors, friends, family, school mates, etc.), you can figure out how to communicate what they are selling to them (this is marketing). This may be by making posters, business cards, flyers, or posting on social media. The key is to find out where your customers are and what the most cost effective way of communicating your message to them is.
4) Follow the rules. Make sure to check with your city, town or school about any rules they have for selling items. You want to make sure they obey the laws and rules so they don’t end up with fines or other issues.
5) Keep good records, make sure you keep track of what you are selling how much you are making and keep it separate from your personal money such as allowance or other non-business funds. This is a good habit to get in right away as it is very important if your business grows to keep business and personal funds separate. If your business takes off – you may need to consult with an accountant or attorney about any taxes you might need to pay.
These 5 steps will get them going in the right direction with a new business. Watch for future posts as they will focus in more detail about the different concepts of running a business as a young entrepreneur.
If you would like additional information on youth entrepreneurship or teaching youth entrepreneurs sign up for my e-newsletter and free tips at

Entrepreneurial Parents pic

5 things I learned from my Entrepreneurial Parents

Entrepreneurial Parents pic

Entrepreneurial Parents, Julie and Sons

I was very fortunate to have both of my parents as entrepreneurial role models as I was growing up. Both my mom and dad owned their own businesses at one time during my life and through growing up on a farm and raising steers for 4-H I learned that you can earn money to help pay for things (such as college) here are 5 things that I learned about entrepreneurship from my parents.

  1.  Entrepreneurship is about doing what you love. My dad owned a HVAC business – he took what his work experience and went out on his own. He was able to do what he loved, the way he wanted to do it. I remember when he named his business ABF heating and air conditioning.  He wanted it to start with A so it would be listed first in the yellow pages (that was before the internet). ABF stood for Accurate Best Fast – which was his motto for the business. My mom owned her own antique business and ran it from one of the out-buildings on our farm. She had a passion for antiques and collectibles and was very gifted at refinishing antiques. She was also able to do what she loved, the way she wanted to do it with the hours that she chose to work.
  2. Entrepreneurship is about freedom. Not only did my parents have the freedom to choose how they want to complete the work, they had the freedom to choose their own schedules. This allowed our family to go on some exciting camping trips and short skiing vacations in the winter (the hardest thing was getting the school to agree to let us go). They also gave me the freedom to explore entrepreneurship through penny carnivals, lemonade stands, garage sales, craft sales and my plant business (read the e-seedling story on
  3. Entrepreneurship is about hard work. Don’t get me wrong about the entrepreneur and freedom thing, which is a great benefit of entrepreneurship, but it is definitely about working hard. It takes a lot of hard work to make a business successful and may be some of the hardest work you will ever do but the rewards are well worth it. Waking up in the middle of winter to go out and feed the steers and other animals before school and in the evening was hard work but it helped pay for our college education.
  4. Entrepreneurship is about solving problems. My dad’s ABF HVAC business helped others stay warm and cool when they needed it. My mom’s business helped others purchase completely refinished antiques for their home. Customers buy solutions so it’s important to know what problem you are solving. At E-seedling we make it easy to implement youth entrepreneurship education.
  5. Entrepreneurship is about taking responsibility. Owning a business means the “buck stops here” – there is not one thing that I can think of that will teach more about responsibility than owning your own business. You are responsible for not only your pay check but also any employees that you have working for you. You are also responsible customer satisfaction, government compliance, and any issues regarding your business.

I’m sure that if I thought about it more, I could come up with a long list of the things I have learned along the way from my parents and am definitely learning a lot more these days running my e-seedling business. I hope I can instill that entrepreneurial mindset into my two sons! If you would like more information on youth entrepreneurship education – visit: