Friday, July 11, 2014

Entrepreneurship

During the summer of 1980, I was a rising high school senior participating in the Governor’s Honors Program, a four-week program “designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year.”

Back then, I thought I was pretty smart, having been “selected” to participate in the Communicative Arts field after a series of interviews.  Upon arrival at the program, and meeting all my extraordinarily gifted peers, I realized just how “non-gifted” that I actually was.   Still, it was fun to hobnob with the really smart teens, and I even learned a new word:

Entrepreneurship. 

It was one of the subject matter areas in which students were selected to participate, and until that time, I had no clue about the word, and, honestly, could barely pronounce it.  I, of course, blame my high school for their lack of any real-world instruction.  But, I digress.

I mention this because I see examples of entrepreneurship in young people all the time these days, whether or not they actually know what the word means.  Kids tend to be hustling at an earlier age, and I am not just talking about simple lemonade stands, although that small stand on a busy intersection on a hot afternoon during rush hour last week certain fits the bill.

No, I’m talking about the full blown, make a product, print business cards, and sell your little heart out type of entrepreneur that I saw at a yard sale recently.

I met Sky, Makayla, and Nadia, three pre-teen “Crafty Cats,” after perusing one of their parent’s sales.  As I was leaving, I stopped at their little stand, and was impressed by the lengths to which they had gone to look professional.   They had created a large variety of crafty type items at different price points, ranging from the budget conscious dollar area to $8 items.  All three young moguls went into full blown salesperson mode trying to sell me something.  In the end, I bought a Popsicle stick and yarn thingamajig for $1.  As I was leaving, these young industrialists made sure I had one of their business cards, and told me to call them if I needed anything “crafty” made.

These pre-teen executives made sure everyone had a business card
It’s amazing and, honestly, a little scary that kids are so advanced these days.  When I was their age, I don’t think I even knew what a business card was.

Robert Duncan McNeill
On a related subject, I did some research for this blog post about the Governor’s Honors Program, and discovered that then Atlanta high school student, Robert Duncan McNeill, best known for his role as Lt. Tom Paris in Star Trek: Voyager, was a “Theater” participant that summer, and could have been my roommate, or at least lived on the same dorm hall as me.  Obviously, my memory is fuzzy when it comes to details.  Still, it’s a personal link, such as it is, to one of my favorite TV series.

Elsewhere in my own little world, sales continue to be flat, with Ebay ka-chings being few and far between, and Amazon “sold” emails becoming something to celebrate due to their recent rarity.  Antique booth sales are somewhat steady; we’ve almost made rent already with nearly three weeks left in the month.  Just making rent is obviously nothing to cheer about, but once that milestone is reached each period, I can relax a little.

As for the weekend, I think everyone is still hung over from last week’s Independence Day celebrations.  Sales are scarce.  To keep busy, we will attend a 14-unit storage auction on Saturday, as well as travel up the road to preview an estate that currently is undergoing online bidding.   Both may be wastes of time, but we are continually looking for that “wow factor.”

Be productive everyone.

4 comments:

  1. The closest I came to Entrepreneurship when I was a kid was when my friend Michelle and I played store, and we put some little items out for sale for the neighborhood kids to buy. I never had a lemonade stand. Back then we were more into being kids and having a good time instead of thinking about money.

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  2. Pretty cool cats- those kids :) I hope they hold on to that independent spirit. Sales have been few and far between since the holiday weekend for me, too. Hoping for a little rebound this weekend, but we'll see. I just keep listing.....

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  3. When I was in my later teens, I used to do small parts assembly for my dad's cousin. I got paid $10 per 1000 pcs and I could do 10 thousand in a week. That was back in the 70's so it was pretty decent pay at the time and I could work at home while listening to Led Zeppelin in my bedroom. lol.

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  4. Ella -- My friend Lynne and I used to play "store" all the time. My favorite was "Bug Store." You can guess how we sourced our merchandise. Mostly we offered doodle bugs.

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