While I’ve only been self employed for about 4 years, it struck me the other day that I’ve always been quite entrepreneurial. I can remember as quite a small child making “Rose Perfume”. It was basically old jam jars filled with water and rose petals. I’d sell them to my neighbours for 50p a jar (clearly I had very kindly neighbours!) Then when I was what we now call a tween I was very concerned with animal welfare. I was always running sponsored events and selling raffle tickets (again, it was my poor neighbours who I hit up for this).
When I first started senior school stickers were all the rage. Where my grandparents lived in Surrey there was a little shop that sold really unusual stickers. I used to buy loads then sell them to my friends at a mark up of about 400%. When I was a bit older I used to trade horse equipment with the girls at the riding stables I went to and make cakes to sell cakes to friends and family.
And it seems I’m not alone. Luisa, who runs Just for Tiny People used to set up a stall at the end of her drive to sell things in aid of her local hospice. Natasha, who runs Cheeky Treasures, set up a snack bar with her friends to sell flapjacks in aid of Guide dogs for the blind. Caroline (from Caroline VA) collected toys from kids in her street to sell at garage sales in aid of The British Heart Foundation.
The current generation is also producing entrepreneurial children as demonstrated by Penny from Redmanva:
“..I have just spend the last couple of hours teaching my 5 yr old to sew a felt snowman. She enjoyed it so much that she asked could she make more and sell them. My response was of course, you could have a stall and sell them at the school and rainbow Christmas fairs. I explained that to do that she would need money to buy material, thread etc. She asked how she could pay for them and I said how do you think? Response was fab – I could sell some of my old toys! So we have today put some of the toys she has outgrown up for sale. I have advanced her a few pounds in order to buy a couple of essentials i.e thread. She is a very happy lady and i’m very proud of her entrepreneurial spirit.”
I also see plenty of entrepreneurial children at the nearly new sales that I run. Often parents will convince children to part with old toys by letting them use the money to buy new toys. It’s lovely seeing them getting a first taste of business while helping their parents out on the stall.
I asked some family and friends weather they had any entrepreneurial experiences as children and many did. It turns out that even my husband used to wash his neighbour’s cars for £5 a time. These days he takes it to the car wash although I don’t suppose it’ll be long before he starts paying our children to do it!
Do you think that some people are born entrepreneurial? I’d love to hear your stories of mini businesses you ran as a child or anything that your own children have done.