From Lemonade Stands to Real Businesses: What Can Children Teach Us About Entrepreneurship

From Lemonade Stands to Real Businesses: What Can Children Teach Us About Entrepreneurship

I believe there’s a little entrepreneur in every child.

Some unleash it early on, depending on the environment they are raised in, the things they spend time doing and the attitude they receive from close people. Then, whether they’ll keep the motivation and business enthusiasm until their teenage years is a matter of choice and way of thinking. But once they do, they can be aspiring entrepreneurs and successfully turn innovative ideas into reality in their early 20s.

Most often, however, children like that become boring adults who live an ordinary life, work a job they don’t like and secretly wish they could start businesses from scratch whenever they like.

Truth is, they still can.

We live in a world where starting a business on the side, creating a product, offering a service, or just doing what we do but online and from every corner of the world, can be as easy as building a lemonade stand.

The Internet offers us more opportunities at this very moment than we can think of. But it’s us who’ll have to take action, dedicate time and energy, and make this project a priority.

Let’s see how we can go back to the creative, entrepreneurial and innovative child we were and use it to start working for ourselves or even own businesses.

For this to happen, we’ll need to unlearn some of the stuff the adult world has taught us, and listen more to children instead, and do things the way they do them.

6 Lessons We Can Learn from Children on Entrepreneurship

I’ve been thinking about my childhood lately. I was a child full of ideas, but I never just talked about them or wished they could happen. Instead, I gave each one a try.

I used to work on tens of projects each month, and most of them still sound like quite cool business ideas. And many other children are like that. Unfortunately, not many adults are.

So I got back to my childhood and wondered what made me do all these awesome but seemingly impossible things and jump from one project to the next.

Here’s what I came up with:

1. Children don’t consider failure an option.

richard branson quotes for success in life

That’s a big thing.

Fear of failure prevents so many people from even giving stuff in life a try. As a result, many books aren’t written, relationships don’t exist, products aren’t built, goals aren’t reached, and so on.

But if you look at how a child is doing something, you’ll see that there’s not a single thought connected to failure in its mind. And that’s how it should be.

It may seem foolish to those who always want to prepare and plan in advance, but it turns out to be brilliant.

So let go of failure today and start working on what you believe in. Even if you don’t succeed, that’s okay. You’ll just give something else a try. That’s how we gain experience and learn what works best.

Related: Why It’s Not So Hard to Succeed

2. Children don’t listen to others.

Whatever you’re working on, other people will try to interfere.

Most of the time it’s because they care about you or are just interested, but the result is that you lose focus, are in doubt, consider their opinions, etc.

It may be your parents trying to talk you out of a big adventure you’ve been planning for a long time just because they’re worried about you. Or maybe your friends don’t share this interest of yours and thus make you think what you do is weird, stupid or else. It’s possible that complete strangers can somehow ruin your project if you let them.

There are many options. That’s why I chose not to share my goals with others. And it has worked out pretty well.

3. They have fun.

When I go back to the things I’ve worked on hard as a child, even if it was for a few days, I remember one thing – I had so much fun. I believe that’s why there was so much enthusiasm, energy and focus too.

And there’s a valuable lesson here.

Whatever you do in life, make sure you’re having fun. That’s how you can be passionate about your entrepreneurial venture and make something meaningful out of it.

4. Children just start without thinking too much.

start now quotes

One of the things we’re bad at in real life is starting. Taking this first step is the most important part of anything, but it’s also the hardest.

Children are better in this too. They simply start. And if we think about it, why shouldn’t they?

If you have an idea, what better action can you take than working on it right away and start having fun?

Overthinking causes doubts. Analyzing too much makes you start thinking of the things that might go wrong, or imagining what others will say, or comparing it to past projects you’ve failed at, etc.

So according to children, the solution is simple: just act.

Often even big businesses need to remind themselves that it’s better to launch the product sooner, and add new features and ask for feedback constantly from then on. It’s important to get it out there and no time is better than now.

5. They work with what they have.

In many ways the situation many business enthusiasts are in these days is quite similar to that of children.

There’s no money, the time is limited as there are other things to do too, there’s no support either. Because of that many people give up on their dreams and don’t start anything on the side.

But children have mastered the art of working with what they have. When it comes to doing something they enjoy, they get resourceful.

I remember using anything that was in front of my eyes when I wanted to build something, play a new game, or else. And not only did it work, but I also ended up creating something even better as the things I used were eventually combined in different ways.

That’s what you should do when you’re stuck in life, don’t generate ideas easily, or use no money as an excuse.

Related: Success 101: What It Really Takes to Succeed

6. Children are truly dedicated.

talent and hustle quote

Another thing they are better at in terms of entrepreneurship.

These days our minds wander all the time, we are busy and in a hurry throughout the whole day, we have way too many projects to work on and don’t find time for new ones. Truth is, we find it hard to prioritize.

But when a child is passionate about one thing, it ignores anything else that could possibly require its attention or time, and focuses solely on the activity it’s doing in this moment. In a nutshell, it’s in the zone.

And it doesn’t mean not to care or to avoid important stuff, but to clear your mind of anything that’s not a priority right now.

Now that you know these – or are actually reminded of them – respect children more, listen to them and learn from them.

Related: What Can You Learn from a Child

Know that each time a kid passes you by on the street, there’s a unique idea in its head and it will probably work on it all night when it gets back home.

If you are a parent, know that your child’s passions aren’t just whims. At least most of the times. Know that each time you tell your kid to do its homework or go to bed when it’s in the zone, or don’t support its projects or hobbies, you’re killing the young entrepreneur inside and are basically telling it that it’s not okay to do what it loves and be initiative.

Don’t do that. The world needs kids to work on crazy ideas and keep that mindset till their teenage years. That’s how progress comes in a new, creative way.

So what do you think? Are you willing to let children teach you a lesson or two about entrepreneurship? And did you have a lemonade stand as a kid?

Photo Credit: Joshua Ommen @Flickr

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Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

E-commerce is a booming industry and will only continue to grow in the coming years. That’s why it’s not so surprising that there are plenty of people who want even just a small slice of the proverbial pie.

But whether or not you are looking to establish a full-blown online store or would simply want to supplement your income by buying and selling items on the side, you have to pick a product to sell that would, well, sell.

With the right marketing strategy, one can argue that anything and everything can be sold online. However, the real challenge is finding a product that is conducive to success. How do you find that product? Here are a few pointers.

Finding The Ideal Product to Sell

1. Target Hobbyists and Collectors

You’ll be surprised by just how much money hobbyists and collectors are willing to spend to fuel their passions.

If you have a knack for finding rare items, you’ll be a big hit with collectors. Whether they’re interested in action figures and toys, lapel pins, first edition books, stickers, sports cards, or even antique dinnerware. Just make sure that everything is legitimate.

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of hobbies on which people willingly invest their time and money.

Some of the more popular ones include biking, fishing, knitting and crocheting, calligraphy, model building (including radio-controlled vehicles), and handicrafts. Look for a leisure pursuit where you can act as the product-based solution and you’ll easily enamor yourself to these customers.

2. Something Hard to Find or Can’t be Bought Locally

There are some things that can be easily found in a local grocery store or a specialty shop — say gardening or baking supplies. But what about specialty foods, magician’s accessories, eco-friendly products, and fandom items?

Most likely, people will go online to find these. You can enlist the help of Google Trends and Google Keyword Tool to get a glimpse of what kinds of products people are searching for online and use the results as a guide to pick a niche product to sell.

You can also try to sell products that can’t be bought or difficult to procure locally, like Japanese Kitkats, the “three-story” alfajor Oreos, or Asian beauty products. The latter, in particular, is a good place to start since a lot of products are only available in select countries or regions but are available through wholesale Asian cosmetics websites. Do the hard work of sourcing these products (and offer them at reasonable prices) and see just how much your customers will love you.

3. Star with The Accessories Before The Big-Ticket Items

When people buy big-ticket items such as 4K TVs, high-end smartphones, and gaming laptops, they buy them only once. Their next purchase of these kinds of products will probably be in the next two to three years.

These are big investments, after all, and people are much more reluctant to spend huge amounts so often. However, accessories are much more common purchases and people are relatively more agreeable to spending more often on these items. Especially when they’re meant to increase the performance or ensure the longer life of the bigger product.

Think about HDMI cables and switchers for TVs, charging cables and power banks as well as cases and protectors for smartphones, and gaming accessories like a mouse, a keyboard, and a good pair of headphones.

If you already sell the big-ticket items, then it’s a wise decision to add the accessories to your online catalog. If you’ve yet to choose what to sell on your online shop and/or you have a limited capital, you should consider selling these kinds of accessories first.

4. Consumables Mean Customers That Keep Coming Back

Consumables mean that you will have a steady customer base and a rather reliable revenue stream. What’s more, when people need to order products from you regularly, it’s much easier to build a loyal customer base.

Think about specialty cooking ingredients (Himalayan pink salt, anyone?), supplies for arts and crafts, and even cosmetics. Just make sure you’re able to deliver each and every time, since you don’t know when your customers will run out of their stock or order in bulk in advance.

Of course, choosing which product to sell is just one part of a thriving online business, since you should also take into consideration the demand, potential competition, and reliable suppliers, among others. However, it’s also undeniable that finding a saleable item is a huge contributor to your business success. Good luck on your journey as an online entrepreneur!

If you're into ecommerce, you might be wondering what product to sell on your online store. Here are 4 great ideas that are sure to make you money and bring you loyal customers: #ecommerce #onlinestore #makemoneyonline #sidehustle