My Daughter Is An Entrepreneur… And It Scares Me (Yay For Lemonade Stands!)
All of my life, I’ve craved stability. When I started thinking about career options at seventeen, I looked toward teaching and accounting. Ultimately, I chose teaching because I enjoy being around kids, and I have an insatiable love for learning. Plus, there would always be a need for teachers, right? However, deep down in my soul I wanted to spend my days reading incredible books and writing incredible pieces. But, I could never contemplate doing anything as perilous as writing for a living.
I didn’t have the wherewithal to take the risk. Nope. Not for me. Certainly not. I mean, what if I failed?
True to form, my darling 6-year-old is the complete opposite of me. I saw signs of it early on.
Her entrepreneurial spirit started with “selling” her rings for 10 cents a piece from our living room. (Really, it was just showcasing them in a Facebook post for family and friends.) Her efforts progressed to selling lemonade outside our home, and, more recently, to setting up a store in my classroom to sell her drawings. As she created posters advertising her store and walked around the school inviting people to come, I panicked internally. What if no one comes? I hate to admit it, but I discouraged her at first because I couldn’t handle the heartbreak of no one showing up. Yep, Mom of the Year right here.
We could argue the pros and cons of stability vs. risk all day long. I could easily argue my case for the importance of stability. After all, words like “security”, “strength”, and “reliability” sound far better than words like “peril”, “jeopardize”, and “endanger”, right?! But the truth is, my need for stability is rooted in fear. Fear of the future. Fear of failure. To be vulnerable–to take a risk–one needs to be brave.
One of the things I love most about my darling girl is her confidence and courage, her willingness to take a chance.
This precious, precocious 6-year-old has taught me many lessons over the years, and one of the most important lessons is how to be more confident and more brave, which is why, after trying to discourage her from selling her pictures, I made the decision to indulge her when it comes to taking (calculated) risks. Guess what? You know that shop she created in my classroom and those posters she made? People came. They paid actual money to buy her drawings. I was finally coming around.
I proposed she take her pictures to a wider audience after spending an hour watching her try to sell her drawings outside of our home on a 40-degree Sunday afternoon in January. We created her first Etsy shop. Together, we collected her drawings and took pictures of them. She named the shop. She decided which pictures to sell and for how much. I invited people to view her shop. As of today, she’s sold two drawings to some very kind friends who hoped to encourage her entrepreneurial spirit. (Thanks again, guys!)
She made her first $2 from the shop, and she couldn’t be more proud of herself. Needless to say, I am proud of her, too.
Watching her take risks has helped me to change my perspective on stability. It is because of her that I am taking my first steps towards a future in writing, a future not rooted in fear. So, if she ever doubts the impact she has made on this world, I’ll simply pull out this piece of writing, and show her just how impactful her life has been. She somehow managed to change the mind and life of a very stubborn and extremely scared 35-year-old woman. And, believe me, that is no easy feat. Just ask my Mom and my husband.