This story began on Friday night, July 12.
My little girl had stayed home on that day with her mother and I’m assuming at one point they were both in the kitchen. That’s not unusual for her and with her vivid imagination, she likes to pretend she has her own cooking show and has included “visitors” to the house. The visitors were her fans.
When I got home that night she told me that she made blue tissues and wanted me to help her figure out how to make them glow in the dark. The blue tissues, as it turned out, were napkins she had poured blue dish washing liquid on. She had a small orange pot that was full of a nice little collection of blue napkins. She said she wanted to sell them for $20 and told me her dreams of having a house full of money.
Let me stop here by telling you a little bit about me. As far back as I can remember I have always had aspirations of having my own business. I have never felt like I’m destined for a 9 to 5. I have a few talents and abilities but unfortunately my work ethic never match my abilities, something I’ve really been trying to work on lately.
I’ve joined a few multi level marketing opportunities from Cutco and Primerica to World Ventures. I also had a short lived business on Ebay selling DVD’s. I admire when people want to take control of their own finances and their lives. I understand it’s not for everyone but it’s definitely for me.
So when I hear my child, who I have avidly fought to not have this sense of entitlement that often comes from getting just about anything you want, say she essentially wants to start her own business it makes me beyond proud. It made me ecstatic.
When she explained her business plan and dreams to me I told her I supported her and I was here to do whatever she needed. Even if it meant figuring out what I could buy/find to actually see if we can get it to glow in the dark.
Saturday I get home from a class that I started. I parked on the street across the street from the house. When I got out of the car I saw something on the door but couldn’t tell from that distance what it was. I don’t like things on the door. If something is on the door where you rent it’s either an eviction notice or a notice to enter dwelling, neither of which excites me. It may also be something left by mail but since they were home I figured it had nothing to do with that.
As I got closer to the door, I could see what it was. It was this:
It may be kinda hard to read but the sign says “Blue wipes for $20 to help me win a bike please”. And that bag below it is a sample of what they are. Just brilliant.
So I walk in the house and she’s in the living room with her mom and I’m grinning from ear to ear. Not only do I love the initiative but it’s got to be the cutest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.
As I walk in I see she’s taken the wipes out of the pot and have actually bagged them in three storage bags. As I walk in she says hello to me. She then asks what I’m smiling at. I tell her I’m smiling because I love her sign. Her face then changes to disappointment.
She then says “yeah, but no one has knocked on the door to buy any”.
Oh, I almost lost it. I gave her the biggest hug ever and told her I was so proud of her. I couldn’t resist. I told her that I would be her customer. I didn’t have the cash on me but I put my bag down and left to go right to the ATM. And I’ll tell you why. I could have said I’ll go get it later or maybe I’ll get it the next day while we’re out. But she didn’t wait to start her business. She did exactly what she said she wanted to do, equipped with marketing.
Before I leave she asked me if I wanted a bag with a lot or a little. I told her it didn’t matter, which it didn’t but look at how accommodating she is for her customers. As I’m going to get her the $20, I really put this whole thing in to perspective. I fight back tears of how proud I am of her while at the same time admiring her. I mean I completely admire my six year old.
I call my mom and tell her about it. Then I go back home and give the owner of my favorite new place to shop the best $20 I’ve ever given away. This girl could have gotten $1,000 out of me if I had it on me at that time.
Here’s what got me the best $20 I’ve ever spent:
Now, the marketing ploy. About a week or so ago I told her I was going to get her a bike and teach her how to ride it. So I reminded her of this on Saturday night and she said she remembered. So I asked why did she say she wanted people to buy the wipes to help her win a bike.
Her response? “Oh that was just to get people to want to buy it”.
OMG my baby is a marketing genius! Think about that for a minute. This girl played on the hearts of people by being cute and under the opportunity of helping her. Sure, this practice could be considered unethical and don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye on her for ethical business practices. But who grasps that concept at six years old? Of course we’re partial to our own children but that is absolute genius right there.
The point of this is not the obvious. Of course I know a bag of blue wipes are not worth $20 and that no one besides those of us who love and support her very much would buy them. But think about fundraisers for schools. Are they not always high priced yet cheap items that are sold with the understanding that you’ll pay more to support? There had to be someone who came up with that idea, which is still lucrative to this day. As a matter of fact, don’t they usually offer sells incentives to the student who sells most, such as ohhh I don’t know, a bike?
I also know that the most successful business people don’t usually succeed on their first attempt. Everyone from Bill Gates to whoever owns McDonald’s have come up with an idea for something to sell that flopped tremendously at first or even now. They didn’t quit though. They picked themselves up and kept trying until they hit it big. Hell they may have even put dish soap on napkins in baggies and tried to sell those.
I’m more motivated than ever to get my business ideas together. I will follow my own daughter in her fervor and not hesitate to just jump in to the pool; not over think it, not procrastinate, just go after it.
And I will make sure that I go through all of the hard stuff for her. By the time she’s ready, I mean really ready, I will be able to help her.
Thank you baby for inspiring me and making your old man too proud for words.