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The Bottom Line: May, 2012

The Bottom Line is a series that was first introduced on the Shafer…Power! blog in April, 2012.  Whereas the business definition of bottom line is “the line in a financial statement that shows net income or loss,” here we do a quick recap of our progress toward our goals.  Since “Earn Some Spare Change” is our fourth goal, we’ll provide an update on our actual bottom line as well.

1. Have Fun: We’ve hosted three events since launching the blog including a thrift sale, a coffee stand and the production and sale of homemade chocolate bars.  Less than an hour ago, Owen asked me when we’re going to make chocolate bars again.  We hosted that event almost 10 days ago, so I’m grateful to see it’s left an impression on him (we had an awfully fun time).

2. Learn Something: In an effort to drive traffic to our coffee stand, we went door to door in the neighborhood handing out flyers.  In fact, several of the people who visited our stand indicated it was the flyers that prompted them to pay us a visit

Several weeks later, when faced with slow traffic at our candy bar sale, Owen pointed out we should have handed out flyers.  Lesson learned, right?

3. Share In Our Success: We’d love to say demand for our chocolate bars is so high there’s a several week backlog to get some.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case (yet).  However, we were able to share some of the leftover chocolate bars with our teachers…and it never hurts to get brownie points for the kids.  (Insert smile.)  Success!

4. Earn Some Spare Change: After much deliberation (it shouldn’t have taken any), I’ve decided to focus on the good stuff with the kids.  In other words, we’ve only been talking about our income – or the amount of actual cash – we are generating through our various sales.  At some point we can talk about COGS (cost of goods sold) and expenses and taxes but it would only complicate matters at this time.  Not only that, but taxes get me down as well.  Sigh.  The good news is the kids are $37.95 in the positive.  And their reward was to purchase a few toys.

The bottom line is that our family’s journey of entrepreneurism has been a great time and a real blessing.  It’s fun to partner with the kids and see their excitement as we learn and grow together.  The project continues to take shape and your feedback and comments inspire us and help provide direction for the future.  As I share our journey with more and more people, I’m amazed at the stories people tell me about their own entrepreneurial stories.

What are your experiences with entrpreneurism?

Next: The Future of Learning

Previous: Learning Toys & Tools (Jigsaw Puzzles)

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Maria #

    The bottom line? Sounds serious. My brothers used to shovel driveways after a big snowfall and really “raked” in a profit. I never shared their sense of adventure. I do like your goals and see the value in tracking your progress. What’s next?

    May 29, 2012
  2. Hi Maria, we’re originally from the Midwest and I know shoveling snow can be a good, yet unpredictable, business. Lots more come down the pipeline – we’re just getting started!

    May 29, 2012
  3. Thomas #

    Good bottom line and the right approach. Keep it fun at this age. The important stuff will fall in line as appropriate.

    May 30, 2012

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