As we close in on the 2nd Annual Entrepreneurial Expo, it's a great time to discuss the entrepreneurial journey with your children. Aspen Academy students have had the opportunity over the past few months to learn how to take an idea and develop it into a tangible product. They have learned about pricing, budgeting and marketing a product, and they've learned that they are capable of being leaders in areas that they may not have known existed before AEI. It gives us adults a chance to listen to our children and learn what they've been up to during AEI. They probably won't give themselves enough credit, so it's up to us to question them on all the great things they accomplished over the course of the last few months. The Entrepreneurial Expo, the culminating activity of this huge endeavor, can feel like a shopping spree for kids if we let it. If we give our kids $20 they never earned and tell them to go wild, few helpful lessons for life will be learned.
Having a conversation with our children before the Expo about the following will queue them up for even greater understanding and learning:
A. The purpose of the event.
B. How it's beneficial to window shop before making impulse buys.
C. Setting a budget before coming to the Expo.
D. Deciding how much of their OWN hard-earned money they want to spend.
E. What if they don't get one of everything?
Important life lessons can be learned about consumerism, budgeting, saving, spending and the value of a dollar.
The Expo isn't about buying one of everything. It's not about success being defined by selling out of products. And it's not about spending Mom or Dad's hard-earned money. It's about teaching our children why their product may not have sold very well. It's about being stingy with your money so you can buy that "just right" gift for someone. It's about why you wouldn't pay $5.00 for an item you know is going to end up in the trash as soon as you get home. It's about how it can be frustrating to be a business owner if your product isn't selling well, or how you may have to lower the price even though you don't want to. Because being an entrepreneur is hard work and it is filled with highs and lows and good days and bad days and excitement and discouragement and wins and losses. This is what the Expo is about. But it's up to all of us to create this experience for our kids. Please join me in having these conversations with our children and students in the days leading up to the Expo so they can truly begin to understand what the day is all about.
About the Author: Nicole Kruse is the Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute Coach at Aspen Academy. Nicole worked from 2003 to 2016 as a middle school language arts teacher before becoming the Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute coach. She feels that helping students create memories and watching students develop possibilities is one of the most worthwhile opportunities she's ever had. She loves that Aspen Academy teaches students to become lifelong leaders who think creatively, lead passionately, and live authentically.
She is from Ohio where she received both her Bachelor's and Master's Degree at Ashland University. She now lives in Denver with her husband Dustin, and their sons, Alexander and Owen.