Friday, December 21, 2012

The Power of Their Ideas

When I was growing up, if you wanted to make some money you were pretty-much limited to a fast food chain or lemonade stand, but that was before the internet when we were all still living in caves and using pay phones. But with the advent of the internet, a whole world of opportunities has opened up to our children. From Blogger, to Ebay, to Etsy, our kids have so many opportunities to showcase their creativity and even make a little money.

Earlier this year, my 7-year-old wanted to create his own blog (I wonder where he got that idea from?) and Sebastian's Game Blog was born. He hasn't done a ton with it, but the fact that he can is so incredibly cool to me.

Recently, I discovered that my niece, Sarah, was starting her own online business This isn't just a little fun blog or kiddy art site - oh, no - this is an Etsy store, Sunshine Vinyl, where you can purchase personalized monogram stickers for cars, laptops and pretty-much anything else you could possibly think of. She came up with the idea, bought the machinery, opened the store site, made examples, took pictures, wrote descriptions and priced the items herself.

Oh... did I mention that she's seventeen.

When I was seventeen, I worked at Taco Bell.

Over my many, many years, I've spent considerable time worrying about what I could do to bring in money for my family, and have felt, like so many of you, like an incompetent moron as I watch these young whipper-snappers dance figurative rings around me.

But now I realize that my problem is not a lack inspiration, or drive, or even computer know-how, it's me. It's the mentality of a thirty-something year old that a business is made up of four walls and a cash register. It's the fear of investing in something only to have it fail. And it's the worry that my ideas aren't good enough. What these kids understand is that life about taking chances? If you don't take chances, you'll never achieve anything. You have to have faith in the power of your ideas and go for it!

This lesson I have learned from a seventeen-year-old entrepreneur who is not only bright and creative, but brave enough to take those chances. I applaud her and wish her the best.

And, in the future, when this old lady needs business advice, it's nice to know I have a teenager waiting in the wings to guide me.

Damn, I'm old! :)

Check out Sarah's Etsy store: Sunshine Vinyl

Sunday, December 16, 2012

LInk to: Thinking the Unthinkable

In light of the recent events at Sandy Ridge Elementary, I wanted to share with you an article that has touched me deeply. It is written by a mother who is struggling to raise a child with mental illness. It has opened my eyes to the limits of our mental heath system. I hope you will find it as touching and poignant as I have.

Thinking the Unthinkable
By The Anarchist Soccer Mom

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