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The Bottom Line: June, 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 brief 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: Once we made the decision in early June to host a neighborhood taco wagon, it was like the light-bulb turned on in our children’s heads.  They were so excited about this AdVenture, they literally started telling everybody they knew about the event…and in many cases, people they did not (know).  For example, when a friendly neighbor – or our waiter or the checkout person at the grocery store – would ask the kids how their summer was coming along, they would respond by saying, “we’re hosting a taco wagon.”  As you can imagine, this led to a five-minute conversation about how this sort of thing works.  I’m not sure why, but the kids couldn’t have been more excited to share their story about selling tacos from a wagon.

2. Learn Something: During our first Austin From Scratch interview, I was amazed to watch Owen as he asked the founder of Torchy’s Tacos a whole list of questions about being an entrepreneur.  In addition, both he and Malia came up with several impromptu questions.  It was such a good learning experience, we’re planning to continue interviewing a different Austin entrepreneur at least once per month.

3. Share In Our  Success: After making a profit of almost fifty dollars from the taco wagon, the kids and I agreed it would be a great opportunity to share in our success.  We took approximately half of our earnings and headed to a local grocery store to buy food for the homeless.  We selected the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas as the recipient for our donation and bought several cans of hearty beef stew and some canned tuna.  After depositing the food at a local drop-off, we ended up driving through a part of town where several homeless people live underneath a bridge.  When I pointed out to the children that people like those could end up as recipients of our food, Malia asked “do they have to sleep outside with all the bugs?”  While I’m sure it can be difficult to comprehend life without a home for a child, she seemed to get the point and we had a good conversation about doing what we can to help others.  Overall, it felt good to share in our success.

4. Earn Some Spare Change: The taco wagon proved to be our best success to date.  Due to Torchy’s kindness in giving us a great deal on the tacos, we were able to make over $50 at this event.  An update on our overall finances is as follows:

How are we doing with our goals thus far?  Should we consider any additional goals?  What current goals are you or your children working on?

Next: Dynamite Toy Review (Uno)

Previous: Taco Wagon Success

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Maria #

    Do you have any long-term goals for Shafer Power?

    July 5, 2012
    • Hi Maria, good question. Of course we do, but they are still in the formative stages. For now, we’re focused on having fun, learning stuff, sharing in our success and earning some spare change. But you’ve certainly got me thinking…

      July 5, 2012
  2. EMS #

    I really like the part about “sharing in your success.” What an invaluable lesson for the kids.

    July 5, 2012
    • Thanks EMS for your kind words. There are so many good lessons that have been created from this journey. I too am a big fan of sharing in our success and June’s lesson has probably been one of the…if not THE…most meaningful.

      July 5, 2012
  3. MR #

    You are spot on with your goals. The only other goal you should have is sharing this blog with more people.

    July 5, 2012
  4. Thanks MR. I think the “sharing with more people” thing will happen with time. It’s not why we’re doing it, but it’s still fun to get feedback from all sorts of different people.

    July 5, 2012
  5. Heather #

    To give is to receive!

    July 6, 2012
    • I couldn’t agree more Heather. It feels good to give without expecting anything in return. And I got a lot out of it just seeing their overall happiness.

      July 8, 2012
  6. Crissy #

    One goal that we are working on is saving 1/3 of what the kids make. It has been a challenge! Are you finding that your kids just want to spend the money right away?

    July 10, 2012
    • I really like the goal of saving 33% of your money. And I think it’s natural for kids to want to spend it right away. I’ve made a point of driving them to the bank on Saturday morning so we can physically make a deposit. Not only that, but the lollipop they get when from the teller is a nice, positive reinforcement.

      July 12, 2012

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