Lemonade Day Austin – May 5, 2013 – Entrepreneurial Kids
May 5 2013

Every year there is a nationwide effort to encourage kids to think like entrepreneurs called Lemonade Day.  This year it was held in Austin on May 5 (cinco de Mayo), 2013 and both of my kids participated with some of their classmates.  One location was at the Rookie Triathlon and the other was at Mueller Lake Park. My daughter’s team made a profit of $91.  They split $90 three ways and gave $1 to the 3 year old sister of one of the girl’s on the team.  Her younger sister is so cute and had a sign that said “buy my sister’s lemonade” that she held while yelling the words on her sign.  She drew in many customers by her sheer cuteness and confidence! Although she deserved more than $1, she is only 3 and thought $1 was an amazing amount of money.  My sister and her friends are 7 and 8 years old…oh what a few years of living does to change your perspective on the value of $1. :-)

My son and his buddy are still calculating their returns, but it looks like they made money after deducting costs.  I’ve told both my son and daughter that no gloating is allowed. I have a feeling my daughter’s team performed better mostly because of Location, Location, Location!

Lemonade Day is a great way to teach kids about the economics of running a little business and was started to help teach kids about entrepreneurship.  The kids create signs and are supposed to figure out what supplies they need and how many drinks/snacks they need to sell to make a profit.  It’s fun for the parents too and gives us an opportunity to talk about business, marketing, and selling with our kids.  Those are skills that will serve them well for life!  Gone are the days of steady jobs that last 20 or 30+ years.  Here are the days where most people will hold 10 to 20 different jobs [infographic] at different companies in their lifetime.  Might as well teach them how to pick themselves into the job/career that they want!

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The Definition Of Insanity…
Jun 30 2012

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.   You have a great idea but you pursue the same path and talk to the same people who got you nowhere the last time you felt some urgency around that great idea, and then you wonder why nothing of consequence matters.  On the other hand, people who say “we tried that last time and it didn’t work” usually don’t try again because they expect the same result so nothing changes.  They get stuck in the thought patterns that there is only one way to achieve the outcome.  I wonder why that is?

Maybe most of us are insane and the rest of us are entrepreneurs.  Effective entrepreneurs usually realize faster than others that when one way doesn’t work, they have to try another.  But wait, entrepreneurs are supposed to be a tad bit insane to even attempt what they want to do against great odds.  Is that a riddle, conundrum, or is it saying the same thing in different ways?

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Time Is The Undeniable Constraint
Feb 19 2012

We all have the same amount of time (barring unforeseen, usually dire circumstances) to do what we are meant to do or want to do while here on earth.  It doesn’t really matter if we are born knowing what we are supposed to do or we aren’t.  In the case of Hugo (movie), he discovered his purpose in life was to fix other people, things, automatons, and clocks.  A series of unfortunate and fortunate events led him to the automaton/person he was meant to fix.

Sometimes time feels like it ticks so painfully slowly when you aren’t able to do what you want to do, be with the people you want to be with, or ironically figure out what your purpose is in life.  But then all of a sudden you look up, notice that time has slipped through your fingers and you realize…you rationalize…you reason that maybe this was just all the way it was supposed to turn out.  But you know there were points in the road of life where you could have gone a different seemingly easier or treacherously hard way.  Would it have resulted in fame, fortune, finding your soul mate, and great health or would you have been run over by a bus?

Timing is everything, but the passing of “time” is the one thing none of us can change until my kids someone invents a time machine.  Many of us spend so much time chasing something just out of our reach, so much so that it must be human nature.  But when do we stop…do we stop?  We can’t stop!  Or can we?  Well, maybe after we discover intelligent life on another planet.

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Why Aren’t There More Rich Women Entrepreneurs?
Apr 24 2008

That’s the headline of a Wall Street Journal blog post that came out yesterday: Why Aren’t There More Rich Women Entrepreneurs?  It starts with:

Recent studies show that there are more wealthy women than ever before. While a growing number are making it by climbing the corporate ladder, most of today’s wealthy women are still making their money through inheritance or divorce. A scarce few are making their fortunes by launching big companies – the most common source of big riches for today’s men.

and concludes with:

There are two explanations for the female shortfall, according to the USA Today story. First, starting a business usually requires capital, and men have easier access to the clubby world of bankers, venture capitalists and private-equity. Second, the article says, women are more devoted to their family and have less time than men to start businesses.

The blog post is interesting but the comments just blow me away because it’s like I was reading comments from people back from the dark ages.  Most of the comments were well thought out but several posted by people not choosing to put their name down were really shallow.  I mean do people really think like this:

There is this little thing called a brain. Most women are severely lacking in this department, and as such have been relegated to house duties for most of history. Now that women are clamoring for equality, we see that they really aren’t equal at all.

Talk about issues! Other thoughts from the commenters:

Seems to me that women are better at following rules than men, hence they do better in structured institutions (schools, large companies, institutions) whereas men are more intrinsically rule breakers and therefore on average do less well, but sometimes succeed spectacularly.  – Bill

While I agree that risk aversion plays a part, one also has to look at Analysis Paralysis. As ‘not trying to offend’ points out, men often “execute and follow through based purely on logic”. Women (and I am one, early 30s, well-employed, trying to start my own company at the same time) tend to need full answers before they act. – More than just risk aversion

Despite advances for working women, I think it is certainly the case that they are not supported by husbands. I am about to be married and my fiancee is asking me to quit my job to raise a family – despite making twice as much as him.  – so true

To be an entrepeneur one has to be completely comfortable with business risk. In my experience, women as a group
are far less willing to risk everything they have for a business idea. This may be a gender specific biological trait related to the female’s reproductive functions. – Orrin Schwab

Many of the paths to entrepreneurial success are only open to people who have college degrees in science or engineering. Most women don’t have them and it certainly limits their opportunities. – Kevin

I think women also tend to have their eye on the “big picture,” and define success much more broadly than in dollars and cents. This can lead to decisions like cutting back on work hours or taking less challenging jobs in order to have more time to spend on family or other personal pursuits. At the end of the day, this may lead to less money – but greater happiness.  – e c

Sometimes I can’t believe we are still having discussions and comments like this.  Why can’t we just get along and let women choose to do what they want to do without analyzing every thing about it? If a woman wants to stay at home with the kids full time and be CEO of the house, great! If she wants to work from home, great! If she wants to work outside of the home, great! If she wants to work part time, great! If she wants to work full time, great!  If she doesn’t want kids, great! If she wants to try to be Bill Gates, fine. If she wants to be the CEO of PepsiCo, awesome! If she wants to be head of the PTA, cool!

We are all (hopefully) doing the best we can. Us women were given the gift of being able to incubate and give birth to the future generation of humans, honestly that in and of itself is success! Sadly that ability is often sort of brushed aside as not being as valuable as being a billionaire entrepreneur/CEO.  Honestly, I can think of several former billionaire CEOs who would have traded their fate to be a woman/mom. :-)

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