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8 Lessons From An Almost 15 year old Budding Entrepreneur


My youngest daughter Ashley, who (at the time of this writing) will be 15 in 8 days, wants to go to Six Flags and party it up with a few close friends to celebrate her birthday.

She’s a HUGE giver who loves to make people feel good and special all the time. She shared her plans with her mom and me. She wanted to make sure she’d have enough money to do “whatever we all want to do that day”.

We asked her: “So what do you plan on doing to get the money?” (One of the things we’ve tried to teach our daughter is to be resourceful in getting what she wants – there’s a time to ask, and there’s a time to GIVE for what you want).

We do trainings twice per week in our office. Literally, almost 200 people come, twice per week. Many of them come from work and are a bit hungry or at the least would enjoy a small bite of something.

She’s been aware of this and she realized she had an opportunity right in front of her that she can capitalize on.

Via her personal relationships in the office, she arranges to sell cupcakes, cookies, and brownies at the office during our training times.

She even surveyed some of the people at the office and took suggestions for what type of products and flavors they’d like. She then gets to work. Goes to the store, gets the ingredients, tools, baking pans, etc and gets to baking. She even put her mom to work for her

It took her 4 1/2 hours to bake all her goodies. It was A LOT of work. At one point she got frustrated because she realized she underestimated the work it was going to take to reach her goal. She had a choice: quit or keep going towards the direction of her goal. With a little encouragement from her mom, she pushed through it. She decides to sell everything at $1 per unit, to keep things simple. (3 cookies for $1, cupcakes, brownies $1 each). When she comes to the office, she sets her display table in the most trafficked area of the office, where she can’t be missed. She also somehow gets the office staff and executives to do some word of mouth marketing for her throughout the night, spreading the good news of her delicious goods. Within almost 4 hours she sells out, making almost $300. A profit of over $250. That’s over $29 per hour. Not a bad financial ROI. She also picked up a custom cookie order AND got invited to come back this weekend and do it again where they’ll be almost twice as many people there.

This morning I asked her “So what did you learn from this, kid?”

Here are some of the lessons her and I extracted from this experience:

  1. Opportunities are everywhere. You just have to keep your eyes, ears, mind, and heart open to them.
  2. Find the “HUNGRY” crowd and get in front of them. Stop trying to CREATE desire IN people and just find the ones who ALREADY HAVE A DESIRE for your product or service.
  3. Leverage your relationships. Good people want to help you; find a way to ADD VALUE to them in exchange for them helping you spread the word about you and what you do.
  4. Give in order to meet your needs. Most would simply just ask. Instead, ASK what people want and find a way to GIVE IT to them. Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers.
  5. Embrace the grind. Whatever goal you have, it’s going to take hard work, determination, hustle, and persistence to achieve it. Suck it up already and get to work. You’re wasting time.
  6. Whatever you are offering, make it an IRRESISTIBLE offer that people CAN’T say no to (think value vs. price)
  7. Always do the BEST you can. Even when it costs you more than you thought it would. Do it anyway. It will come back to you in spades.
  8. Never quit. Quitting is for wussies. When it gets tough, remember why you started in the first place.

As I write this, I see so many other lessons that can be learned. Any other lessons that you can extract from this experience? Share it in the comments below:

About the Author

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Ruddy Ortiz is a Licensed Insurance Consultant and the Founder of eLocalized. Ruddy grew his Insurance Consulting Business using Online Marketing and then went on to help other local businesses do the same with his Agency. Ruddy started eLocalized to help business owners market their business online so that they can focus on doing what they love.

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