I have mentioned many times on the podcast that you have to seize any opportunity to teach, and those opportunities are all around us.  A good for instance was our breakfast during our recent beach excursion.  My youngest has gotten into reading the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series of books.  It has actually been quite amazing to see him fly through a book- and to be so excited about it.

So at breakfast he told us that he was going to write his own book.  This was partially spawned by the 4th book in the series that is presented in part as a journal for the reader to start his own diary.  As my youngest went through and talked about writing his book, he got into the details of having his older brother do some co-authoring and even to have someone do the artistry.

I couldn’t resist getting into the topic of building a business.  He started by saying that he would have his own library and people could take the book to read it.  Then he explained that they would give him $10 to take the book then he would give it back when they returned it.  This opened the door to talk about profit and soon we had him returning only $9 to be able to fund printing more books.

We talked about publishing, about selling books from his trunk to get started and used indie music artists as examples.  We also got a little into marketing and distribution but kept returning to the library concept.  So we ran with that and introduced competition to the mix.  His solution was to add services to his offerings- to give each kid a stuffed animal.   His brother went with the cheaper than the competitor approach.

With the stuffed animal concept, we got into operating costs and more into marketing the services to draw more customers.  He actually got a little crafty in regards to his accounting, at one point splitting his income and expenses across days so as to try to avoid my point that he was operating in the red with the purchases of stuffed animals.

Overall it was a fun, light hearted talk that hopefully led to some long term learning.  We have discussed business concepts in the past using a lemonade stand as an example and other things.  My goal is to give some foundation so when these concepts are introduced in a more formal setting (ie, school) that the boys will have some background knowledge to build on.