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David's Macro Blog

Analysis and commentary on business, economics, real estate, financial markets, and other fun topics

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Tag: Entrepreneur

Startup businesses are often toughest on the owners because they have to overcome so much adversity on the road to eventual success. Online shoe retailer Zappos, led by Tony Hsieh, endured about a decade of failures before its successful acquisition by Amazon Inc.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
-Sir Winston Churchill

Inc. Magazine’s “10 Steps to Zappos’ Success” highlights Zappos’ struggles and eventual success:

  • Being in a bad business with a track record of failure.
  • Running out of money multiple times.
  • Tony selling his San Francisco home to pay for a distribution center.
  • Tony taking an annual salary from $24 to a high of just $36,000.
  • Rejecting Amazon’s first buyout offer of $370 million.
  • Eventually selling to Amazon after a decade of hard work for $1.2 billion and being able to remain as CEO and keep the company independent.

For entrepreneurs, even the path to success is filled with mostly failure after failure.

Biz Kids is a public TV series where kids teach kids about money and business by experimenting and solving real world business problems.

http://www.bizkids.com/show.aspx

ht – AS

Our current school system is woefully inadequate at teaching kids about the basics of money, business, entrepreneurship, and how the real economy works (hint: it isn’t an equation with greek symbols).

One thing I noticed was that most of the kids involved had these 2 characteristics:

  1. They didn’t give up when one method didn’t work.  Being kids, they just tried something else without getting stuck in failure.
  2. They learned to plan, budget, and value the money they earned and spent.

Now that we are in the Great Recession caused by excessive debt and poor financial planning, wouldn’t those skills have been good to learn?

“I like running my own business because it helps me learn what business is really like.” – Zoe Stewart (age ~8)

Now this is a class I would have loved to take in school!  In fact, I’d like to see entrepreneurship taught at all grade levels in our schools.  Why do our schools need to end at 2:15pm everyday when we are competing in a real-time global economy where a good or (virtual service) can be produced in any country?

A few of my favorite episodes below.  All of these are a MUST watch, so enjoy!

  • 103 – How Do I Get Money – Kelsey Angel Chocolates & Young Americans’ Bank
  • 105 – Money Moves – Kitsap Credit Union (buying a piglet, raising it, and selling for 4x!)
  • 106 – Bea’s Beauty Bars (hand made soap; she uses QuickBooks to track her business!!! Sounds like the next Burt’s Bees)
  • 122 – Sell, Sell, Sell – Alex sells over 1000 Girl Scout Cookies per year
  • 201 – Have a Plan, Stan! – Zephry Productions
  • 207- The World is a Risky Place – Serve it Up (tennis lesson profits)
  • 210 – Secrets to Success – Circestreem (performing pays for college!)
  • 211 – Marketing Mix – Stocked Skateboards ($250,000/year selling skateboards online!)

Do you think kids would learn supply and demand better from a textbook or their own business?

Comment below and let me know what you think about this show and any of these episodes.