5 Lessons I Learned About Business In Second Grade

5 Lessons I Learned About Business In Second Grade


Most people believe that only children are spoiled and live a lifestyle where all their desires are met with a yes. Only children seem to have everything at an arm’s reach and don’t work for anything. I’ll admit, that generally, all of this is true. Unless, of course, you’re my parents’ daughter. My mother and father grew up working for everything they had as children were adamant that I learn the value of work from an early age.

When I asked for extra lunch money to be able to buy a dessert at lunch in the second grade, after having a good laugh at my expense, my dad sat me down. “My job as your parent is to provide for your needs not your wants. Last I checked you have a roof over your head, food to eat and a bed to sleep in. If you want to purchase extras like desserts, I suggest you find a way to make some extra money,” he explained.

“But DAAAD!” *insert cute 7 year old puppy dog face*

“No. You’re smart enough to figure out how to get what you want. Go figure out what you need to do, then do it.”

Now typically I would I have complained about how mean he was and how unfair life was because of this great injustice I’d suffered. Well maybe I did do that just a tiny bit, yet the challenge of the task my dad had placed before me immediately intrigued me. Surely he understood that I couldn’t go out and get a job. I could barely reach the counter to place an order at McDonald’s and was pretty sure they weren’t looking for a fry cook that hadn’t even completed elementary school. Besides if I couldn’t convince my own parents to ante up for their sweet child surely no one else would. But the question still lingered in my mind, what on earth could a 7 year old do to make money?

That’s when I learned my first lesson about business.

#1 – Anytime is a good time to start a business. There seems to be a common misconception surrounding the timing in which one should begin their journey as an entrepreneur. I’ve heard all the excuses before. You’ve probably even said them yourself. Do any of these sound familiar :

“I’m too old”

“I’m too young”

“I don’t have enough experience”

“I don’t have enough money”

Starting a business is as simple. The stars don’t need to be perfectly aligned for you to have an idea, create a product, or provide a service. It simply requires the faith to step out and try and the dedication to keep going.

As I pondered what I could do that would quickly generate income, I was reminded of all the kids that had a good old lemonade stand. While in general, it’s a great repeatable endeavor, I knew sitting in the sun, shooing flies away from my product, while cars sped by and the neighborhood kids begged for a cup on “credit” didn’t excite me. No amount of money could have convinced me otherwise.

#2 – Choose a business you’re passionate about. Your chances of being successful in business are much greater if you love what you do. Following the crowd, instead of your heart, typically leaves you with regrets and disappointments. You’ll know what you’re passionate about because your heart beats a little faster when you think about it. It’s the thing you can’t get out of your mind, the thing that you’d do for free if it weren’t for those pesky bills. When I started my first business, my thing, along with every other kid was candy. And so a business was born.

Selling candy to kids who were also candy fiends should be an easy task. With an idea in my head of becoming rich by selling treats, I went back to my dad to ask for some start-up money.

#3 – Investors may like your idea but they put their money where your plan is. “I’m glad you put some thought into how you could reach your goal,” my dad said, “but before I invest any money into this, I need to know exactly how you plan to sell your candy. Who are your ideal customers? How much will you charge? What candy will you sell and where will you get it from? And the most important question of all, how and when you will pay me back.” It wasn’t until I had a detailed, written plan that I received financing (and a ride to Sam’s to purchase the candy). Having a roadmap to my business success kept me accountable not only to my sole investor, but also to myself.

#4 – Word of mouth is a great marketing tool. It’s not enough just have products and services at a price customers are willing to pay. Customers need to know that you are providing a product or service that they are interested in. With internet and the usage of social media today, there are many avenues to drive people to your business both online and offline. I enlisted my neighbor to be my spokesperson by telling her for every 5 paying customers that she sent to me, I’d give her a choice of one piece of candy free. Before I knew it, I was the most popular kid businesswoman in school.

#5 – Listen, listen, listen to what your customers want, then deliver. One of the most critical qualities of an entrepreneur is not in your sales ability but in your listening skills. Once you have a base of customers, they will tell you where to expand, what to focus your research and development on, and how to reach more clientele. Well, they won’t say it in those words, but they will share what they do and don’t like or what they wish you offered. I began my business by only selling the candy that I liked. I learned to take note of what other treats were being asked for and as the time arose to restock, I’d be sure to purchase the most popular ones. I built a reputation on providing results by obtaining what my customers’ sweet tooth desired.

The skills I learned at 7 helped me develop and sustain a successful business several years until I went to high school.

Share a comment below with your thoughts. If you are looking for more support in building the business of your dreams and living the life you envisioned, be sure to join me on Facebook now and follow me on Twitter.

Talk to you soon!


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