40 Ideas to Inspire Next Gen Entrepreneurs

With the economy in need of some serious help, many believe that the future of America is the small business owner.  As entrepreneurs, we have a responsibility to mentor the next generation. So last week we wanted to know what you have been doing to personally invest in and inspire the next generation and asked –

What are you doing to teach your children, or other young people about the benefits, challenges and how-to’s of entrepreneurship?

The wonderful news is that there are many big-hearted and wise entrepreneurs who are generously taking time to invest in the lives of their children, family members and perfect strangers in an effort to instill the benefits of entrepreneurship, as well as the how-to’s.

More than ever, I am motivated to keep thinking of ways my young nieces and nephews will be able to work with me as my business grows, and how I might be able to nurture the dreams of young aspiring entrepreneurs in my local community. If you’re interested in learning more, and discovering how you might be able to do the same in your corner of the world, we invite you to explore the stories of our panel this week.

Our sincere gratitude to the 40 entrepreneurs who were kind enough to share what they have been doing to personally inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. Openly providing your expertise and experiences is a huge asset to this blog and the readership. I wish you all a wonderful week and hope to see you here again.

If you would like to contribute to the next post and get some free PR, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to discover this week’s question and find out how you can get involved.  We’d love to have you on a future post!


1. Quality Not Quantity

I remind my young daughters that running my own company not only allows me the flexibility to be there when they get home from school, but also the satisfaction of developing something that benefits others, and running an office that staff love to come to. When you spend more time at work than at home, you add to the quality of others lives by providing a fabulous work environment!

Thanks to Jill Mikols Etesse of SmartyShortz.com

2. Teach Them Concepts In Every Day Interactions

I’ve been teaching my son, now 10, entrepreneurial concepts since he was quite young. For example, if there is an item that he wants, we talk about opportunity cost. If you spend your money on X, what are you not going to be able to do because you have spent your money? We’ve talked about how to present the benefits of what you want to “sell” and understand your customer’s point of view. (This HAS been used against me…) We discussed cost of goods sold when he wanted to start a lemonade stand — Mom did not just give him the supplies. We went to the grocery store and talked about wholesale vs retail pricing. We’ve talked about professionalism when I have to take a call. There are loads of opportunities to teach concepts in every day interactions if you just take a minute to have a conversation.

Thanks to Stephanie LH Calahan of Calahan Solutions, Inc.

3. Advice For Young Biz Women When Choosing A Mate

I advise young women, who are entrepreneurial-minded to choose a partner who will support an unconventional career. Being an entrepreneur will not give you predictable benefits, wages, or hours. Although owning your own business gives you a lot of flexibility, it also demands that you are flexible. Conference calls with clients in the evenings? Weekends spent working on your business plan? Business trips across the country? If your partner’s idea of his perfect mate is one that will be a traditional stay-at-home mother, then these are scenarios you need to think about to ensure your career is not put on hold indefinitely.

Thanks to Eileen Schlesier of SleeveShirt Consulting LLC

4. My Babies Love Entrepreneurship

In my own business, as I’m designing a diaper cake, I always show my children exactly how I’m doing it and in return I answer their questions. Our children are our future and I teach them that they can have a successful and thriving business as well. It’s at those tender ages, that they are very teachable and I make it my business to instill in them the right mindset about money and business. Let’s make it happen for the next generation.

Thanks to LaTersa Blakely of Baby Diaper Cakes & Beyond by LaTersa

5. Create Your Own Stability

My 17-year-old half-sister just graduated from High School and will be attending Indiana University in the Fall. She has interned with my at my company and has seen first hand what I have been able to build having my own company. She is interested in entrepreneurship and knows that while she loves ballet – it will not provide her with the income and lifestyle she wants. I have told her that any business classes she can take (my Mom’s advice to me) will benefit her in anything and everything she does.

Thanks to Cyndi Finkle of Sunday Night Dinner

6. Clear The Way And Let Young People Do Their Thing

This is so apropos. Just yesterday I was watching a Ted Phoenix video (see the link) with Pamela Slim and her talk was regarding this very subject. http://bit.ly/oPzt26

My daughter moved to the west coast last year for an internship, finished it, spent several months trying to find a job in her field, finally got one, then was let go after 3 months. And, she’s happy about it!

She is now moving back home with the intention of finding work, then starting a business with her boyfriend. She’s passionate about this.

Yes, it will take research, time, $$, yada, yada, yada, but this gets her much more excited than ‘working for the man’. Even if she has to work for the man (or woman) while things get up and running. I hope to help them clear the way and/or stay out of their way as needed.

Thanks to Jean Compton of JeanCompton.com

7. Be Open And Talk…

How do you mentor? Just talk to people. I talk to the kids that I know about social media. I ask them how they use it and give them tips. The first formal setting I was a part of was at my high school. I sat on a panel and spoke about my career choice, and the educational path that brought me there. The school then asked me to come and speak to a class. Access the community that you came from. People love to have alumna come and share their experience. But whether I am in a formal environment or casual, I make myself available to kids. And just like in business, I will follow-up with emails and send them resources and let them know that I am always able to talk.

Thanks to Lauren MacEwen of SM Cubed Consulting

8. Gallup Into The Future

Whether I’m blogging about entrepreneurism, addressing an audience of future entrepreneurs, or speaking to young people one-on-one, I tell them how they will profit by being an entrepreneur. I also tell them how America profits. In the GALLUP Management Journal (October, 2007) a report appeared on global migration patterns and job creation by Jim Clifton, Gallup’s Chairman and CEO. The research provided a reality that contradicted the projections of the world\s leading economists. A quarter of a century earlier, nearly all of them had predicted that America would lose its first-place position in the ranking of Gross Domestic Products (GDP). Japan, the economists said, would come in first with $5 trillion, Germany second with $4 trillion, and the United States third, with $3.5 trillion. They were all wrong – by $10 trillion. The reason for America’s retention of its first-place position with a GDP of $13 trillion? Entrepreneurs!

Thanks to Dr. Marlene Caroselli of Center For Professional Development

9. Making The Most Of Networking

I was recently invited to present the topic of “Networking and Time Management for Entrepreneurs” to three groups of 3rd and 4th year students at the MBA Institute in Paris, France. The lecture emphasized how concepts of time management are important to effective networking, and what place networking should have in relation to other business activities. I enjoyed seeing how the various images and metaphors that I used during the talk inspired the students to reflect on their current time management habits and relate them to the networking that they are already engaged in as young entrepreneurs. I was thrilled with the response – many students approached me afterward to say how thought-provoking and practical the presentation was!

Thanks to Monique Y. Wells of Understanding Time Management

10. Teach Your Children By Being The Model

My sons were thinking of college. I asked them WHY they wanted to go. They answered: My friends are – I said that’s not a reason. Then they said “To learn how to make money” – again, wrong answer.

We go to college to get knowledge, not to learn how to make $. If you want to learn how to make $, take any kind of menial job & watch how a business runs…then decide if you want college or business.

They took jobs & decided they liked business. I opened a business with them. They watched me and were ALWAYS included in all decisions. Just as they learned from me, I learned from them, with their fresh eyes and not stuck in aged experiences.

Now in their forties and partners in various businesses, they’ve developed into sharp & honest business people

We teach by example & WE learn by listening.

Thanks to Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press LLC

11. Independence Breeds Entrepreneurs

When I think about young entrepreneurs, the first thing that comes to mind are my own children. Like one of my own entrepreneurial traits, I have come to teach my kids about independence. Being independent definitely makes any accomplishments you do own that much sweeter. If you are serious about becoming your own boss and creating your own company, then you need to be self-reliant. You cannot turn to somebody else and pass the buck. This is your dream and you need to accomplish these goals with little or no help at all. It is a tough task, but if done on your own, can be the most rewarding feeling out there.

Thanks to Ian Aronovich of GovernmentAuctions.org

12. Inspiring The Next Gen Entrepreneurs

My hope is that my kids will grow up seeing how I run my business and be inspired by it. They are still too young at this time, but I am always on the look out for teachable moments to drum some lessons in. I also plan to take on interns in the future who I can give first-hand experience on what running a small business entails.

Thanks to Bola Ajumobi of Slimy Bookworm

13. It’s About Believing

In the middle ages, craftspeople took on apprentices, who often took years to learn their trade. I’ve done the same thing, though with months rather than years! I’ve twice taken on someone who wanted to learn editing, worked with them, paid them, taught them. They’ve both turned into excellent freelance editors … and for me? It has farther-reaching effects than my occasional rants about the poor usage and grammar I see out in the wild!

Thanks to Jeannette De Beauvoir of Customline Wordware

14. Money Matters

Understanding money matters can be the critical success factor determining whether or not an entrepreneur thrives or dives. Our boys had savings accounts on the first day of school, teaching them to invest in their future.

As they grew up, allowances and odd neighborhood jobs like lawn work or child care helped increase their savings. As teens, debit cards are an easy tool to help them (& us) track their spending while protecting their money from loss or theft.

By this age, our boys understand the time value of money: It took X hours to earn $X. This is important to weigh & balance spending.

By their 1st real job, it’s easier to trust them with a credit card. By college, debt management should be a cinch. Knowing how to balance spending and earning is a necessary skill.

Thanks to Sheryl Hill of ClearCause

15. Finding The Balance

Teaching my children is essential for their future, and when it comes to future entrepreneurs the most important lesson is that of balance. I can certainly teach them this by example. If I am frazzled, they will think that every successful entrepreneur must be the same — instead be calm, assertive and most importantly organized. Being organized in my life and my health will teach my children to do the same and in turn build the foundation needed to succeed at anything they set their hearts on. As well as the ability to conquer whatever should come their way.

Thanks to Daisy Sutherland of Dr. Mommy Online

16. Campaigning America’s MBA’s To Redistribute Their Talents

As a recent MBA graduate, I eschewed the traditional route of working for a Fortune 500 company in order to utilize my skills in the world of small business. With America’s economic landscape changing, and the merit of a graduate degree in business waning, it is important that we educate the next generation of MBA’s on the importance of small business.

As a partner at Campbell Solutions we have (i) started an entrepreneurial mentor program, (ii) founded an entrepreneurial “brainstorming session” for MBA students to discuss start-up ideas, and (iii) are discussing entrepreneurship at the class of 2013’s orientation. We wholeheartedly believe that entrepreneurship will be the engine that drives us out of this recession, and want more MBA’s to contribute their collective skills to this effort.

Thanks to Derek Shewmon of Campbell Solutions

17. Everyone Can Change The World

I teach young people to address a need in their school, community, or the world at large. As an adjunct professor, I have my students identify a need and work with them over a semester to bring a small business to life. With Project Be The Change we bring about projects to improve the lives of others. One of my students started a small business to rent formal dresses to young ladies for proms and homecomings. Another one of our projects is to create free places to play soccer in our community. Our book has brought practical advice to parents, students, and teachers for free, and to thousands of people around the world for free.

Thanks to John Paul Engel of Project Be The Change

18. To Be Or Not To Be – What Is Your Passion!

Teaching the next generation how to run a business is critical to their success and our success as a nation. For our 15-year-old we have shared the reality of business life. Teaching the basics of money, debt, paying bills, and critical thinking at age 5 was a start. In 6th grade he picked an occupation. We walked through the lifestyle he desired; looked up the income generated from that occupation and determined if he had enough to live. His financial adviser teaches the stock market. He is learning what it means to be an employee and the employer. It is ultimately his choice as to what he wants to be. The better the education the better the questions, decisions and results achieved. It is our leadership that provides him the education to make the best decisions possible.

Thanks to Janna Hoiberg of ActionCOACH

19. Normalizing Young Entrepreneurs

Every day, I have peers come up to me, astounded that I’m running my own business while still in college. For some reason, most students don’t imagine themselves working a “real” job or turning their passion into a business during school. I believe we can help students by exposing them to thriving young entrepreneurs. I have a group of entrepreneur friends who I share ideas with and draw inspiration from constantly. I encourage other young people to go out and develop these networks and read about people like Michael Dell, Cameron Johnson, or Jeffery Fluhr; all of whom started their businesses before or during college! Surrounding myself with the ideas of successful, young entrepreneurs created a mindset that early business success was a normal and achievable goal.

Thanks to Jeremy Ellens of Ellens Technologies, LLC

20. Raising The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs

My children have always been involved in my business, from taking inventory, to packaging the ink cartridges we sell. They even browse through the business reports to see how well we are doing for the month vs previous months. Before we go on vacation they know we have to get all the orders out and when we come back, they help me catch up on backorders. And yes, they are paid employees.

Thanks to Izzy Goodman of Complete Computer Services

21. Assistant For The Summer

This summer, my sixteen-year-old sister came to stay with me for the summer. She wanted to land a job while out here, so I offered her the position of my assistant — a job that I needed to fill anyhow. She’s been great, asking lots of questions about what I do and how I do it.

We’ve started to talk about what she could do this fall, rather than picking up some shifts waiting tables at a restaurant. She’s thinking about what services she can offer, and why she should work on her own instead of taking a job.

All because I needed a little help and she needed a little money.

Thanks to Thursday Bram of Hyper Modern Consulting

22. High Purpose Entrepreneurial Skills

Over the years, my 9 and 8-year-old daughters have observed many business discussions between me and my husband about our business. Their savvy questions delight me, but their application inspires me, as they use entrepreneurial skill for a higher purpose — charity.

Both girls ride horses. Noticing that other riders were hot and thirsty, they began selling water and Gatorade for $1 a bottle and the profit benefits St. Jude’s Hospital. Meanwhile, this venture is teaching them about inventory and motivating ‘employees’ (other 9-year-olds).

So, it seems that modeling entrepreneurism, making it part of family discussions, and believing in your children when they ask to ‘start a business’ go a long way toward creating entrepreneurs and making a mom very proud.

Thanks to Tiffany Dodson of Liberty Tax Service

23. Inspiring Creativity And Confidence: The Keys To Our Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs

As a serial entrepreneur, and grad of the USC Marshall Entrepreneurship program, I am passionate in sharing my experiences with younger generations. I am involved with the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and the DaVinci School of Design & Science as a guest speaker. I pass on my personal journey to kids from 10-18 years old, so they can see it may not be a linear path, nor does one need to be rich to succeed. In addition, I encourage my own kids in any entrepreneurial ventures they come up with. Currently, my 7-year-old is creating wooden pieces that he paints and covers in bottle caps and will be selling at a local art fair. He also hired his brother and friends for various jobs (production manager, agent, etc) and each will be earning a percentage of his profits!

Thanks to Laura Siderman of Gypsywing Media

24. Home Grown Entrepreneur

The next generation entrepreneurs must be grown at home. Owning a business is very much like getting married. If you have a great experience during the growing up process, you will expect a better relationship in marriage. In business, it takes 5-7 years of knowledge, structure and experience to get to that expert stage of 10,000 hours. What better way to have that time shortened by being mentored at home? We have brought our daughter into our business and she will someday be the owner. As part of our economic mission we build relationships to educate and train families in business. This directly impacts the future of the offspring. What better way to ensure a great future to all!

Thanks to Barb Kyes of ActionCOACH Pinellas

25. Vise Versa

I began working on a new business that had a social platform about a year and a half ago. Very early on, my daughter, having a similar interest, joined on. I have provided a mild form of groundwork from age and experience, but she offers me a daily insight to what the future holds with the availability of social media and marketing! There is an energy that this next generation holds, that my generation has had to learn. The innate desire to help others and see the world as a very small global community comes so naturally to them. So I believe I am learning much more from her than she learns for me.

Thanks to Terisa Brooks-Huddleston of Our Hands Fro Hope, LLC

26. Sharing The Wealth (of Knowledge)

This year I spearheaded our ‘College Outreach Campaign’ where our team collaborated several on-campus seminars with student organizations at Columbia, Cornell, MIT and Yale to encourage dialogue about real estate & investing. Our company’s story of surviving the real estate crash despite being a small firm & emerging with a mission to redefine real estate is often inspiring to students. We talk to them about the inordinate challenges we faced, such as tremendous competition in an almost overcrowded market & the steps we took to pursue insights no one else had seen. Sharing this knowledge is important to us. Being young professionals ourselves with bold ideas, we actively try to promote that energy in our business & interactions. Daring ideas can change the world, we tell them.

Thanks to Raj Persaud of Manhattist, Inc

27. EYE-MA-DO (I Make A Difference, Do You?)

I have always believed in making a difference. I subscribe to making it a “MAD (Make A Difference) Day” every day. There is often a disconnect between the concept of entrepreneurship taught in the classroom and the practical application needed to fully enable students to become entrepreneurs. To help students interested in entrepreneurship, I founded a nonprofit called iMADdu, which stands for ‘I make a difference, do you?’ that empowers the next generation of entrepreneurs through its Student Apprenticeship Program. I think that knowing self, knowing what one does not want to do or is not good at, is so critical to keeping the passion, perseverance, and attitude needed for any successful venture. However, the ability to recover from failure with intent enables an entrepreneur to thrive.

Thanks to Mona Anita Olsen of iMADdu (I make a difference, do you?)

28. Teaching Entrepreneurship Through Disguise

My son is extremely active and is very interested in my work online. I am a web developer and designer, so I am able to work from home and keep my son out of daycare. We have come up with a character for him to play on YouTube as the GiveAway Bandit. Although he is only six years old, he has learned how the internet is full of valuable resources to use as a business leader. Even though we all want to make money and succeed, I do not bring up money or profiting from the business. I would rather teach him the fundamentals and let him enjoy what he is doing at this young age. By creating and editing the video giveaways with me, he is learning valuable skills

I think the biggest challenge is not take it too seriously. As kids, it needs to be fun to really grasp their full attention. Really the goal of entrepreneurship is not making them one, but showing them how they can create their own ideas from absolutely nothing. The key is to be creative and let their imaginations run wild.

By my son being in character in his videos, it really gives him an opportunity to be anything he wants. He is very creative and I do think that is a number one element of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Thanks to Melanie Kampman of GiveAway Bandit

29. Keep Your Kids Hungry!

I remember my 8-year-old daughter coming home from a birthday party talking about how her friend had her own tv and computer….
My dad has been a business owner all his life. He owned rental properties, preschools, and currently a franchise. At the ripe age of 10, he put me in charge of picking weeds and shoveling snow to earn money for clothes, etc. I watched my friends just get things, while I had to work hard to earn money. It was frustrating, but also created a hunger to earn money so that I could have what I wanted, in the long run it paid off. At 23 I became a business owner and now I help others start their own business.

Based on my valuable experience, I’ve told my kids, “My job as a parent is to make sure you dream big and have the skills necessary to live your dream. If I bought you everything now, it would be hard to you to think about the future. If you want those things, I am happy to sit down with you and think about ways for you to make money, but I never want to give you enough that you aren’t always thinking about ways to get it yourself.” I always ask my kids what type of business they want to run. My daughter recently responded that she wanted to run my business and be my boss!

Thanks to Tanya Mitchell of LearningRx

30. Empowering Fellow Youth To Pursue Their Passions, Not Money

As a member of the young generation (14-years-old), I am a young entrepreneur helping businesses reach their future customers through social media channels. I encourage any kid or adult to be entrepreneurs to pursue their passions, not to go after the “dough”. Doing what you love is so important, because you will lose your happiness if you don’t. Money is one thing, but money can’t buy happiness. Success takes hard work, but having some ambition, drive, and motivation is the recipe to the path to success.

Thanks to Lane Sutton of Lane Sutton Social Media Coaching

31. You Are NEVER To Young To Be An Entrepreneur.

I speak with my children all the time about being their own boss and creating opportunities for others. Although they are 9 and 7 years old, they understand they can either make their dreams come true or work to make someone else’s dream come true. It’s their choice for what they want to do in life, however being an entrepreneur is not often offered to kids as an option when they are asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The first step is to make sure they know entrepreneurship is an option. My children have come up with their own ideas, from selling homemade freeze pops to t-shirt designs. Whatever they decide, they have my full support.

Thanks to Melissa Turner of Mainstream Services Inc. Medical Billing

32. Get Them In The Game

Small projects are a great way to let our next generations learn the game of business. I coach several young men at a $10 evening coaching session where we follow their curiosity and passions, design small projects that move money and celebrate their successes. For $10 they learn the formula for successful projects. During a coaching session, one young artist designed an Evening to Remember Event. His small project moved $600 in ticket sales and he sold 2 original pieces that evening for over $3,000. In his small project he learned how to think outside the box by following his passions, working with a team and serving a whole new community of art lovers. Enrolling newcomers to work on small projects with you or others is a great way to directly experience the benefits of entrepreneurship

Thanks to Marie Cavanaugh of Play Your Game Coaching

33. Entrepreneurs Aren’t Business Leaders. They’re Simply Leaders.

This summer, for the first time in our 25+ year history, my husband and I have decided to take on a young, fresh out of college grad interested in starting his own business as an intern because it is important for the next generation of global business leader, excuse me, global leaders, to understand what it takes to succeed in the ever-evolving beast that is the business world. In brief, we are not lecturing or bossing around our intern, or giving him menial work. Instead, we are approaching the development of this young entrepreneur through a combined educational/practical approach that is exposing him to the in’s and out’s of running a small business (i.e., how small businesses handle payroll/taxes, how to develop a marketing plan/plan an event, hiring employee’s, etc.). I believe that this is how small business owners of today can set-up the next generation of entrepreneurs for success.

Thanks to Amanda DesBarres of Help Unlimited, Inc.

34. Teaching Next Generation Entrepreneurs

In my world, I work with all ages of Next Generation Entrepreneurs (NGEs). What I have noticed they need is confidence building and experiential learning, practicing the skills of being an entrepreneur. One of my teams of 20-somethings created a book and a business raising money for the MS Society (www.facebook.com/MSchildrensbook) in 12 weeks. By getting practice, with a mentor in a structured program to help them through the nuances of building a viable entity, they have all gone on to focus on growing new companies in other arenas. They got confidence! As a Mom-preneur myself, I support my own kids’ creative, capitalist endeavors by giving them a chance to test the market and learn. My 12 yr. old son is learning how to brand and license a product he invented at age 10.

Thanks to Lindsay Andreotti of Brilliance Enterprises

35. They WILL Take Our Place So They MUST Be Prepared!

As an entrepreneur, one benefit I absolutely love is that I get to teach my five-year-old. Monday through Friday for about two hours, I take the time to teach him everything a six or seven-year-old should know and all the in-betweens. When I retire, my goal is for my two boys to continue my legacy, so they must be prepared.

As the co-founder and Executive Director of a non-profit collegiate organization, we empower the young ladies through educating them. The ultimate mission is to prepare the young ladies for life after college. From Caterpillar to Butterfly™ is our nine month entrepreneurship program, where we teach Public Speaking skills, Banking 101, and how to sell your gifts and talents. If we prepare them, they will KNOW HOW. And KNOWING HOW covers an array of industries & subjects.

Thanks to Tawana Necole of Corporate Chics, LLC

36. Passing On The Knowledge So Others Don’t Have To “Reinvent the Wheel”

Many people go into business for themselves because of a passion they have, but without the knowledge of how to build and run it successfully. After building my business from scratch to a very successful asset management and financial planning practice, with approx. $200 million in assets under management and 1,200 clients, I sold my practice and am now a national speaker to help business owners do a better job for their clients and improve their bottom line. I have spoken to both start-up, as well as already successful businesses, including Event planners, Financial advisors, Insurance professionals, Attorneys, Tax professionals, Florists, Psychologists, and many others. It feels great to teach others and see them succeed in business.

Thanks to Nancy Butler, CFP®, CDFA, CLTC of Above All Else, Success In Life And Business

Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your inspiring stories! We hope to hear from you again.

If you are new to the Question of the Week and would like to get involved, simply follow the link below to get started. We’d love to have you share your knowledge and experiences here too, and get a bit of PR in the process.

This week’s question is –

Who is Rockin’ It Out in Business?

We all have someone we think is at the top of their game in business. These are the business owners we admire most, watch carefully to show us the next big thing, and those who inspire us to raise the bar in our own business to do great things. So this week, we’d like to know who you think is the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow, the entrepreneur who you think is utterly amazing, and someone you aspire to be more like —

So who is the ONE person who tops your list (looking for living and breathing examples only), and HOW are they inspiring you to rock it out in your business?

NOTE: We are not looking for self-nominations. We are not looking for PR pitches. We want to know who you think rocks and why. It’s that simple. 🙂 Please include a link to your top recommendation’s site. If you answer both parts of the question, you’ll be in like Fin, so please read it carefully. We are raising the bar on the clarity of the submissions going ahead.

Why should I join the discussion?

Because this online forum is a great place for us to exchange ideas, learn from each other and network. My goal is to unite successful women entrepreneurs to share our insights and solutions to the challenges we most commonly face in our businesses.

How do I get involved?

Every Monday I will post a new Question of the Week. This is a great opportunity for you to bring your expertise to the table. Using the link below, please submit a one paragraph response before the deadline, and the following week I will share our community responses on my blog.


I look forward to your response to this week’s question! If you have any questions you know where to find me. Have a great week!

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  1. Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Admiring the persistence you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.
    It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information.
    Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

  2. Posted July 28, 2011 at 1:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a wondeful post! Recently my two boys (ages 3 & 8) started their own non-profit by selling avacados off the two trees we have. The used the profits to buy food for the local homeless shelter….all their idea. Maybe the future of this world isn’t in such bad hands after all.
    Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!

    • Posted July 28, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      Scott, You have two innovative thinkers on your hands! Great story, and another fabulous idea of how parents can easily support their kids in their endeavors to create positive change in the world. 🙂 Thank you very much for sharing!

  3. Posted July 28, 2011 at 1:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is one of those articles you will keep going back to. I remember having one of those lemonade stands. My friends and I were quite creative and committed to selling that lemonade! The difference being, our parents did not encourage or even recognize the entrepreneurial spirit that was being expressed. And how could they, when they themselves, had yet to recognize or act upon it in themselves. And how could they, since generationally, job security was seen as getting hired by the right company. What a difference it is now, the children today have so much more opportunity to see their parents acting upon their dreams! Those are my inspirations, this generation of entrepreneurs who are leading the way by example, that you can live your dreams, be of service and make money!

    • Posted July 28, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink | Reply

      Pat, You are so right that things have really changed from when we were little. I think parents today, more and more, are seeing the importance of nurturing the dreams of their kids, and are taking the time to help them explore them, and learn from them. This is especially true if the parents are entrepreneurs themselves. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts on this exciting post!

  4. Posted July 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great post!!


  5. Posted July 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    what an insightful and informative post! i am going to read through it again with my two sons tomorrow- they are 8 and 10 and have just started a duck tape wallet empire! instead of selling lemonade at our beach house last weekend, they sold wallets and GAVE away free lemonade with a purchase.. they made $100! lol.. however, they still don’t understand why i can’t keep giving them money to buy ducktape instead of reinvesting their “winnings” back into their business.. i am sure once i show them all these tips they will get the picture of why the business side is just as important as the creative!
    thanks again!

    • Posted July 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Danielle, Thank you so much for sharing your experience here. Congrats to your sons for their success! What a great opportunity for you to now guide them the next step of the way. I believe it is so important for young people to learn the very lessons you will teach, and applaud you for investing in their future. 🙂 Thank you very much for reading!

  6. Posted July 27, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, this is a post that I bookmarked it and will read it again and again. So inspiring.

    • Posted July 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Suki, Thank you for reading! I am thrilled to know that you were inspired by this post, as so many have been. Our contributors had some amazing ideas to share. 🙂

  7. Posted July 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is one of the best blog posts I’ve seen! My friend has her two kids in home schooling and they participate in this global online learning environment that is amazing. We had an event and the kids made all the lunches for the event participants (charged maybe $10 each) and then gave the participants in homemade paperbags with their logos. It was adorable and so cool! What I love about your article here is the amount of resources for parents who are looking for inspiration or projects. Thank you for your contribution!

    • Posted July 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for sharing another amazing story of how adults are truly inspiring the next generation! I love it! I agree, there are so many creative and kid-szied ways to get them started, and show them the rewards of effort and ideas in action. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  8. Posted July 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love this topic. When my nieces were 4 and 7 they heard stories from Mom and Dad after their 10th anniversary vacation in Mexico. They couldn’t quite understand why really young children were working there, and why life seemed so difficult. So they hatched a little plan. They asked Mom and Dad if they could go there instead of Disney Land during their next summer vacation. Mom and Dad said it would be very expensive, but if they were willing to do something to help with costs, they’d make it work. I don’t believe they considered this motivation would last more than a few hours. But what happened was this. All winter long the girls delivered flyers (it’s really cold delivering flyers in the winter in Canada) and Dad helped them find an orphanage where they could make a difference. That summer they whole family went to Mexico and helped to build an extra wing on an orphanage, allowing 8 more children to have a home.
    Then the following year they did the same thing. I’m continually impressed by their creative nature around money, and even though they found ways to earn money that weren’t “start your own business” ideas, it feels very entrepreneurial to me. They’re a little older now & they’ve had a half dozen little businesses already. Love them to pieces 🙂 ~ Loralee

    • Posted July 27, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Loralee! What a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing it here and adding even more value to this post. 🙂 I don’t think that it’s the kids who don’t have the initiative or the ideas, it’s having supportive adults to nurture their desires to make a difference. Thank you for reading! Shannon

  9. Posted July 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Shannon! Thank you soooooo much for such an inspirational piece, as well as being chock full of incredible information and insight from others. I LOVE having this many people to reflect from.

    And yes, I have three sons who are musicians and artists and have exposed them to the work of Chris Guillibeau and his Art of Non-Conformity, along with them helping me on my new website project. They have all been a part of my music business, teaching young children music, and have loved it. I look forward to helping them set up their own website to promote their unique talents.

    • Posted July 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Kathleen, Thank you so much for sharing your comment! How great that you’ve already been preparing your sons for greatness in whatever form that takes for each by exposing them to valuable information and setting a strong example yourself. That’s all it takes is an awareness of what needs to be done, and the investment of actually doing it. 🙂 You are an inspiration!! So happy to know you enjoyed the post, and hope you will keep reading. Best wishes!

  10. lauragates
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As someone who started her lemonade stand at an early age, I am all for young people becoming entrepreneurs. My 9 year old niece recently had the opportunity to work at a juice booth at a local festival recently and she was really proud of how she negotiated her salary and was responsible for selling and serving juice! It was great to see her realize her potential! Thanks for sharing this.

    • Posted July 26, 2011 at 7:43 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Laura! Your niece is going to go places if at 9 years old she is already fearlessly negotiating her salary! How cool is that!! You can play the role of an encourager to keep her reaching for her big dreams. Thanks for sharing your story! 🙂

  11. Posted July 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is a great post. To be honest I never really thought about this topic to much. I know that while I am focusing on my business and healthy eating that I am teaching my 5 year old about healthy eating and how to make good food choices. Now I realize that I am also teaching her about being an entrepreneur as well. Love this!

    • Posted July 26, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink | Reply

      Sasha, How exciting to discover how you’ve already been nurturing the next generation of entrepreneur. Keep up the great work and share it with others where you can! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. Posted July 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is a great post – I love so many of them and am super happy to see the younger kids making it happen! I have an 8 year-old and will definitely take some of the tips here for future talks and endeavors. It is exciting that he knows what an entrepreneur is and a couple of times he has said that is what he wants to be…..awesome!!!

    Thanks again for some great perspective!
    Tina Pruitt

    • Posted July 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Tina! Thank you for taking the time to comment on the post! How exciting to have a budding entrepreneur under your roof — it will be a thrill for you to watch his ideas unfold, as you guide him through the exploration and implementation. Simply another entrepreneurial adventure! 🙂

  13. Posted July 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Shannon, terrific idea! These teenage entrepreneurs are so inspiring. So great to know they are already thinking about ways to take charge of their contribution to the world.

    I am a relatively new solopreneur myself and when I am more established, I would love to mentor young girls. Thanks for this post and the collection of stories.

    • Posted July 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Laurie, Thank you so much for leaving a comment! It inspires me to know that these posts are helpful to those who are reading them. 🙂 There are so many ways to give back in big and small ways. And it’s vitally important to the future of our country. Best wishes!

  14. Posted July 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What a brilliant idea, Shannon, to have this forum! Thank you for sharing all these words of wisdom. I am particularly moved by the 14 yr old perspective – how refreshing!

    • Posted July 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I know! Fabulous to have a couple of true young entrepreneurs in the mix, and one as young as 14! Shows us all what can be accomplished when you choose to go after your big dream in life, rather than trying to fit into some mold of when. 🙂

  15. Posted July 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What an amazing collection of stories! I especially loved seeing a young man up there making a name for himself at 14–wow!

    Everyone’s stories have got me thinking about what I can do, as a solo business owner, to help the next generation. Thanks for getting me started brainstorming on this topic.

    • Posted July 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Jenny, So happy to hear that you were inspired by the post. That is our mission. By brining together so many great minds, insights, experiences, and perspectives these posts just keep getting better as sources to motivate us all to raise the bar. Would love to know what you come up with after your brainstorming! 🙂

  16. Posted July 25, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    Could there be anything more inspiring than that picture of the 2 girls and their lemonade stand???? Fabulous!

  17. Posted July 25, 2011 at 7:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    The trend in the world seems to be to make everything corporate. I TOTALLY disagree. The world has advanced because of singular people like the ones in the article taking their own initiatives to make an idea work, and then work to improve it.

    No, the world isn’t improving because of corporations; it improves because of entrepreneurs who don’t know they can’t do something!

    • Posted July 25, 2011 at 8:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, indeed! It’s about the power of the little guy, and I love meeting and interacting with those who walk boldly ahead with the attitude, “Why can’t I?!” and just do it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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