Today we’re continuing our dissection on that marvelous Ted Talk, Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs, by Cameron Herold. By now you already know how much I value that talk and encourage every Black parent in the world to view it. Now it’s time to deal with some specific take-aways and examples.
- Take Note of the things others don’t want to do, figure out a way to leverage your time and resources to do it, and get it done!
Herold mentioned how he’d go to his local golf course or country club and noticed how people would go into the bushes and ditches to find lost balls, but there were plenty of balls in the pond that were well within sight. People just didn’t think to sacrifice dryness to retrieve visible balls from the water versus going into the bushes to search for balls and get scratched up. This makes me think of how my aunt used to tell me, “Girl you have all of the book smarts in the world, but you ain’t got a lick of common sense!” Sometimes the most obvious solutions to problems are not so obvious to the majority. Train your children to look and recognize the obvious, first.
- Sometimes one good in various conditions can still be marketable once the conditions are coupled with the right markets.
After retrieving the golf balls and noticing that not many people wanted all of the golf balls, because not all of the balls were in the same condition, Herold analyzed the balls; then categorized them based upon their conditions; and packaged them based upon their category. This was, because he noticed that he could sell the popular brands for $2 each; those that still looked new but perhaps weren’t the popular or cool looking ones (i.e. weren’t name brand or in neon color…etc.) were sold for $.50 each; then he sold the ugly ones in a bundle of fifty to those who wanted to just have practice balls for hitting at the driving range or something. Today we call these various markets niches. Teach your children the value of niches, People! Finding just one or two good niches can mean exponential wealth.
- When one door closes, find the open door. It’s always there.
When Herold successfully sold sunglasses at school, administration made him stop. Once he was left with large quantities of sunglasses, without his former pool of customers, he went to the gas station across the street from the school and sold them to the gas station at a price that made him a profit and allowed the gas station to do the same. Then, he expanded to other retail outlets. They call this ingenuity, People!
4. The power of proper presentation & playing to your strengths is key!
Herold learned early on that sales results were more about the way the deal is packaged and presented, versus the customer’s need for the deal itself. When he got into selling pin cushions and went door to door to get customers with just one colored cushion, he saw lower sales. But when he spray-painted some of his cushions one color and left the others the same, his door-to-door presentation changed from “Would you like to buy a pin cushion?” to “I have these custom pin cushions for sale. Which color would you like?” With the latter strategy, he played-up his ten-year old charm, something my two 11-year olds do frighteningly well. This changed customers’ options to which they should choose versus “yes” or “no.”
- One man’s trash is almost always another man’s treasure.
Herold’s father owned an automotive shop where he noticed they’d always have piles of old brass and copper just laying around. After asking his father what he does with them and being told they usually throw them out, his natural question was, “Wouldn’t someone pay you for that stuff?” His father’s response was “probably,” but that clearly was not the business in which his father was interested. So, Mr. Herold began collecting those piles and sold them to scrap metal yards. So, the moral of this story is that one man’s trash is almost always another man’s treasure. Find both men and make your money! Train your child to ask, “Is there someone who would pay for this?” Therein lies the well of riches.
Believe it or not, there are still a couple of lessons to share from this Ted Talk. We’ll cover those in our next address. If you feel like you’re a bit behind, read Academic Failures Can Make The Most Successful Entrepreneurs & Academic Failures Can Make The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Part 2 to get caught-up in the discussion. Until Thursday, be fruitful!