Friday, April 12, 2013

EntreLeadership On and Off the Farm

Dave Ramsey defines EntreLeadership as "The process of leading to cause a venture to grow and prosper". Webster says a leader is "someone who rules, guides, and inspires others."; accordingly, the word entrepreneur means "one who takes a risk."

We have raised our children with a spirit of EntreLeadership. Since before they were school age they have contributed in an age appropriate way to the farm and selling at the farmers market. They each have had areas that they have enjoyed contributing to and they have developed expertise in. Reed has been our root expert: radishes, onions, garlic, leeks and potatoes. Jenna is the herb expert: basil, rosemary, mint and chives. Andrea is an expert in, well, practically everything. She especially likes transplants and flowers.

Now that they are teenagers how has that EntreLeadership spirit worked out:

  • Andrea, a music education major, in the summer of her freshman year in college, is planning to organize summer music theory classes for middle and high school students. She has put together a syllabus and will develop curriculum for all the age groups. She was on a path to do this independently and offer classes to schools in the area. Her first stop was the honors choirs of SE Minnesota. Turns out they had been wanting to offer classes just like this and they are interested in hiring her. So an entrepreneurial venture turned into a summer job and may go well beyond.
  • Reed has had a strong interest in electronics since he was little. When he was 8 I got him an Lego NXT robot that he could program. When he was 10 I got him a PIC microprocessor and bread board. He has done numerous electronics projects. In Junior High he got interested in buying and selling electronics like laptops, ipads, ipods and iPhone. He is now a freshman in high school. He averages one purchase/sale per week. He recently bought a iPhone with a broken screen and had to completely remove all the contents to replace the screen. Pretty cool operation and it worked perfect when he put it back together. He has a nice business started. It all started after winter market a few years ago when I paid the kids about $300 dollars as an end of the season bonus. Reed wanted to buy an ipod and a new one was a little over $200. I told him he could get one for half that price if we was willing to wait a buy a used one. He found one for less than half price on Craig's list and was hooked.
  • Jenna, a junior in high school, has been working at Great Harvest. She decided she wanted to work there and was able to get a job. They are flexible on hours so that works great with her school schedule. She really likes bread and cooking so this is an ideal position.
  • Jenna recently bought a camera with her earnings and she is a very talented photographer. She is working on ways she can use her camera to earn extra money for college.

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