With the entrepreneurial primer complete, I set off to help Brooklyn uncover a passion she could tap into as part of building her new business. The first place we started was a simple list of her passions and things she felt she was good at. Here is what she came up with:
- Training Dogs
- Horseback riding
- Making Doll Furniture
Next we turned to the book A Smart Girl’s Guide: Money. It provides a helpful list of over 100 business ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Brooklyn went through and circled all of the ideas that piqued her interest. Here were just a few of the ones she chose:
After reading over the lists two things struck me:
- It may be difficult for a child to monetize her passion (especially since I am not buying a ranch and horses anytime soon).
- Most of the ideas for children’s businesses tend to be service based. While these are great endeavors, I believe there will be more learning opportunities by creating a physical product.
As we reviewed the services list I explained a few of the key differences between building a product-based business and a service-based business. I explained how a services business requires you to sell your time and what you can earn is limited based on how many hours of service you can sell. I compared this to a physical product where the time is focused on creating the product vs. delivering a service. This approach could allow her to make more money per hour spent.
We discussed the idea of expanding beyond a single product. For example, if she chose to create necklaces, she could eventually design and sell earring and bracelets. If she decides to add product extensions it creates an opportunity to discuss a number of more advanced business concepts like the cost to acquire new customers, how much you can make from each customer over time and how all of this impacts profitability.
My goal in the service vs. product comparison was not to sell her on a path, but explain the differences and let her choose. Part of the entrepreneur’s journey is learning how to make tough decisions. While the stakes are low at this stage, my hope is that these decisions today lay the groundwork for her to feel confident and comfortable with bigger decisions in life.
Brooklyn ultimately decided to create a product, but what was still a question. We needed more market research. Naturally we turned to Google. Simple searches like “DIY product ideas for kids” or “simple products kids can make themselves” gave us more than enough to dig through.
After getting the research process started, I encouraged her to keep going until she found something exciting. In our case, YouTube was a great resource. She found tons of videos of other kids making a variety of products. The recommendation list kept the process going and before long Brooklyn settled on an idea. Homemade scrubs and lotions.
Neither of these were on the lists above. However, building something new in the real world, or virtual, does. Richard Branson offers this simple to understand, yet difficult to achieve, advice. “Spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life.” Time will tell if this is a true passion. Regardless, I am hopeful the lessons learned along the way will help guide her in the future and teach her lessons she won’t find in a book or at school.
If you missed my first post, explaining this new adventure, you can find it here. And here is part 3, What’s in a Name. If you want to keep track of the process and lessons learned, please follow me on Medium.