Skip to main content

Mom, Dad...I've Got a Proposal

We were siting at the dinner table eating the best of Thanksgiving leftovers.  My oldest is sitting across the table from me eating the remnants of the macaroni and cheese, when all of the sudden, he says, "Mom, Dad, you know I like money, right?"

"Yes son.", I say as I am thinking that this is already starting to be an interesting conversation.

"I was thinking that I could start a tea stand after church and sell the tea to everyone who is getting sick.", he says with a gleeming smile on his face.  I was right---this will be an interesting conversation.  My wife, P, and I are really not sure where this is going but he continues to explain his entire idea with careful thought and confidence.  He mentions how much he should sell each item for and how the money he raises could subsidize for his allowance. 

Now the conversation is getting intriguing for P and I.  So I ask, "Where and how will you get this tea?"

"Well, I was thinking that since we get it from New York, Ama Shirley can send it to us in the mail or by UPS or Fedex, daily. You pack it, we ship it!"

Stitches!!!  What in the world!  My wife and I are cracking up now.  I was thoroughly surprised at how much he had thought about this.

"Well son, do you want the stand by the concession stand or by the front doors where everyone enters and leaves?", I say, trying to provoke some more thoughtful responses.

"Hmmm, I need to think that one through, but maybe by the snack stand.", he says.  By this time, he stopped eating the macaroni.  He was all business!

"But the restroom is right beside it as well."

"Hmmm, I didn't think of that", he says with a pensive tone.

After asking some more probing and thought-provoking questions, I challenged him to write a detailed proposal by Friday.  P and I would look at it and give him some thoughtful feedback.  But I must say, we were both extremely proud.  My son was thinking like a businessman.  Tea stand today, owner of 75% of Dubai property tomorrow, or maybe SEC Chairman, or maybe AOL CEO, or maybe Wharton School of Business professor, or Secretary of the Treasury, or maybe...

Do you really think I am gonna let this one slide?  Best believe I am gonna ask him on Friday how this proposal is coming along.  This could potentially be college tuition! Any suggestions on how to continue to nurture this?  You know I am NOS...
(And no, I am not gonna put that much pressure on him this Friday-he's only 10; but on his next birthday is another story!)


  1. Dijon,
    You know I can't resist commenting on this. I am so excited for you and Kai and very impressed that he already has an entrepreneurial spirit. The website has some cute quick games for kids to play to teach them about making a profit etc. I was playing it this weekend with my 10 year old niece. We also played Cash Flow with her and it really helped her "get-it". It is so exciting to see young people take initiative. Final word... buy the tea and let him try it. The only way to learn is by doing it.

  2. I think this is a great thing! Its your teaching moment, and his learning experience. My suggestion (in having dealt with this in an AYD setting)...drop hints to him all week. Strategically pepper your conversation with ideas and avenues he may wanna think about...some people like honey in tea, while others use Splenda. How much does Starbucks charge for tea? How will you get the water hot, and do you have a power source.

    By dropping subtle hints, this makes him 'think' that he came up with the whole idea, but it also lets him know that you support him fully, and that you trust his decisions. In the end, he will appreciate that you let him do all of the work, and it will create great discussions for the pros and cons of doing it again.

    And let him know that the singers like green tea (no honey sweetners for Japan, but I'm more partial to peppermint, one splenda) Thanks!

  3. This is great and is the exact "coachable moment" I often talk about with our clients. Financial Literacy is best learned in the home, nutured by parents, when the timing is right. And he gave you all the "buying signals" that he is intersted in learning about money and developing his entrepeunorial skill-set.

    Let him take tiny steps and with each step he'll hit new challenges/opportunities that you can coach him along at. If you can, take him to the bank to set up a checking/savings account too. Tell the branch manager that you'd like to come in and have them show him around. They'd be glad to do it and the picture it will burn in his head will last a life time. Go, go, go! Stop reading this and get him out there!!!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Before you go, I have to tell you this...

My wife and oldest son had been feverishly preparing for this for over two years. A sojourn to Egypt is what monopolized the attention of this house for about the past week. We've been packing, buying last minute items, and anticipating an almost 24-hour travel. As my wife was packing at the gorgeous time of 4:15 am, I was writing some thoughts to my son. I was giving him advice-technical, moral, physical, and spiritual advice. Even while cutting his hair last night, I was advising him. At the end of the letter, I gave him my blessing.

I wrote a letter to Paula as well. And just like the one to my son, I gave her the same type of advice, just more seasoned for her needs. And at the end of the letter, I gave her my blessing. I packed the letters away in their suitcases. They won't see them until they reach their hotel in Egypt.

I learned and was reminded of a couple of things from their upcoming experience. First, perseverance has its rewards. They stuck this program out for over…

It's What's Best For You

I had to have a serious talk with my boys tonight.  I had been noticing some facets of their character that I did not think was necessarily wrong, but it was not what I think was the best.  So just before they went to bed, we had a Five Minute Blitz (our version of a devotional).

As many of you know, I am really working hard to build our famliy on the standards of the Bible.  Well, the backdrop for this conversation stemmed from an abbreviated Deuteronomy 10:12-13:

"And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your love Him...and to observe the Lord's commands that I am giving you today for your own good?"

I have been noticing that they were not giving their full potential in their everyday lives.  Yes, they are boys...young boys at that.  Yet, I know what they are capable of.  I now understand why my dad pushed me so hard.  He encouraged me (made me) to do chores, to wake up early (6am...ish as a teenager-who does that?) on Satu…

You Never Know -- A Lesson From on Judgements

As I write this we are experiencing Blizzard Jonas, the blizzard of 2016, in which we are expecting anywhere between 12-30 inches with wind gusts up to 65 mph.  Well, we found out that different agencies needed clothing and canned foods.  We had some in the house, so we traveled into DC before the road restrictions took place and receive a $972,463 fine to donate.  My youngest and I walked into Central Union Mission to donate.  As I filled out the donation receipt, an African American man walked in and asked for a free sandwich.  The attendant gave him one without any reservation.  When I really took notice of this man, he looked like all was stable.  He had on a long, black trench coat, was decently shaven, slacks, decent shoes, and a black bag with him.  He left out and I was struck with a 'wow' moment.  Here's why.

The day before, I had on a very similar outfit.  I wore a long black trench coat with a black derby, khakis and carried my black bag.  If you put us side by s…