Teaching kids about business

This past Saturday, my 5-year old son and 7-year old daughter held an impromptu garage sale in the driveway during the annual spring neighborhood garage sales. They dragged some things we didn't need from the garage, used a pencil box for a cash register and set out on their entrepreneurial venture. My husband and I decided not to offer assistance unless they asked for it. They enlisted the help of another little girl in the neighborhood and they were off.

About 10 minutes after they had set up, my daughter was sitting in her pink chair crying her eyes out at the end of the driveway. She was crushed that no one was stopping at her “store.” My husband consoled her, telling her: that's how business is. At first, no one comes, but if you smile and invite people, eventually, they'll stop by to see what you have to offer. But, he told her, you have to be persistent and not give up. She hung in there and as the hours progressed, people did stop by and they purchased things too!

Of course, since I'm a small business speaker and consultant, the whole episode reminded me of how in real business, the same thing happens. You work really hard to set up your store or your website, then you open your doors with confidence and flair, and sometimes, no one shows up. But if you keep sharing what you have to offer in a friendly way, eventually, the tide will turn. Sometimes it turns quickly, sometimes not. You may have to adjust your style, your behavior or even your product line, but if you continue to smooth off the rough edges of your business and focus on serving a genuine need, your business will be successful.

Question: Have you ever felt like my daughter did, crushed and deflated because no one was coming to your blog or your store? I know I have! Tell me your story in the comments section below.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.