Nurturing Entrepreneurs

I have been grooming my daughter to be an entrepreneur since she was five. She says she wants to be a chef when she grows up. All of this time may just be good, quality family time and I’m ok with that. Anyway, my daughter Olivia, who is now ten, has entered into a partnership with a school mate who is eleven and his name is Beau Michael.The company is called Bananafoot ( and they sell mindfully made products. It has been a lot of fun working with the kids on this partnership. They say hilarious things and I thought it would be fun to share what happened during today’s meeting.

The kids were brainstorming on how they will market their products. Here is what their Marketing brainstorming session yielded:

Marketing ideas from Beau

  • Go door-to-door to advertise the products
  • Send emails
  • Hand out flyers (door-to-door)
  • “Tweet on Twitter”
  • Posters
  • Put company name on notepad
  • Stickers

After Beau read his ideas, Olivia wrote out her Marketing ideas:

  • Make a brochure
  • Make a Powerpoint
  • Get on a TV commercial (she means the free cable channel)
  • Get in the LA Times newspaper
  • Get on the radio
  • Make a sign for a farmer’s market
  • Make cookies that advertise their business
  • Make buttons, magnets and t-shirts that advertise the business
  • Make a jacket for the dog with the company logo (mind you, they don’t have a logo yet) then walk the dog around so people can see the company name
  • Make jackets or cups
  • Set a booth up at a convention center
  • Set a booth up at a @sundaydrivenet event or at Orozco’s Auto Service
  • “Beau should get a temporary tattoo of our logo to wear at events” – I appreciate Olivia’s creativity but this is getting too Kardashian for me… :p
  • Make business cards

Beau brought up a good point that any marketing ideas they decide on have to be inexpensive (when Olivia brought up the idea of having jackets made so people can wear the jackets and people will see the jackets and give them exposure).

Olivia said she wanted to make cookies, wrap them in foil then close them with a sticker that has the company logo. At this point, Beau said “does our company have a logo?” The answer to that is: no. One of my vendors suggested that I have the kids go to to figure out what they want then use or for the final product.

These kids are sharp and I’m having a lot of fun. Someone taught me that as long as something is fun, people will want to do it.I try to keep this in mind every time I help the kids out with their company. Especially when I start reverting into my get-it-done slave-driver-ish mode with them. ;)

A Passion for Excellence

I got a call yesterday informing me that the data team on the Walgreens project we wrapped up this week said that our project was “the best installation.” That is a huge compliment considering the size of Walgreens. We handled the installation of a new Nortel BCM phone system, the installation of the voice & data cabling as well as extending the dmarcs for the voice T1 & data T1. The project had challenges but experience and passion saved the day. When I say passion, I mean a passion for excellence.The customer’s experience starts and ends at the top in my opinion. If a leader believes that customers should have “the best installation,” then this attitude will saturate a company, regardless of scale.Check out for an example of a large company I respect that has a leader with a passion for excellence.