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Marketing For Kids

Few things teach us the value of money like not having enough. For good or ill, many of the experiences we have in life are governed by two primary resources: time and money. Parents strive to teach their children the value of both. As a parent myself, I want my kids to grow up understanding not only that time and money have value, but how to create more of both when necessary.

Many parents try to teach the value of money with methods like a weekly allowance. The catch with an allowance, as most parents implement it, is that it creates a fixed labor mindset: you do X and you get Y, and that rarely changes. Reality is far from that; from uncertain job markets to entrepreneurship, life is rarely so predictable or secure. Allowances also tend to teach that it’s okay to do the minimum amount of work to earn the minimum amount of money, which is not a life lesson I want to reinforce.

What I’d like my kids to learn instead is that with the right mix of time, effort, and knowledge, they can achieve more than just the minimum. They can create results – including money – which go beyond just punching a clock for 8 hours a day or collecting federal minimum wage. If they want something, they’ll have the tools and talent to generate the necessary resources to earn that something. What they will need to provide is focused effort – and that’s a lesson for all of us. Every day, we make choices that improve or diminish our lives, from what we eat to who we call friends to what we do with our leisure time.

This multi-part series will tackle the fundamentals of marketing as it applies to a home-based business. My eldest child is interested in setting up an Etsy-style shop, so in this series we’ll look at the basics of setting up a home-based business and focus on the marketing of the products. We’ll start with things like the USP – the unique selling proposition – and customer profile, walk through the necessary marketing technology infrastructure, and build out a marketing plan that a technically savvy tween/teen can execute reliably.

Will my child strike it rich with these techniques? Probably not. Will they create a reasonably reliable, consistent stream of income above and beyond their allowance? As long as they put in the work. I’ll provide the tools and knowledge; they have to provide the effort.

If you’re a parent, or someone who wants to develop a “side hustle”, please join me on this journey over the next few posts. I also want to emphasize that this is not the “right” way to parent, nor are the lessons I want to teach my kids necessarily the lessons you should want to teach yours. This is one person’s opinion only; take whatever is valuable and leave what isn’t. The only people I take responsibility for are my own kids.

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