(Really) Young Entrepreneurs

Thou shall not pass without buying some lemonade or iced tea

My kids are always starting businesses. They aren’t often successful businesses, but I love their effort and their indomitable spirit.

The lemonade business has been pretty good, but only when they time it right. The front-yard restaurant was surprisingly successful despite them selling only imaginary food. But the rock business! That one was horrible.

Both my kids love rocks. They don’t love rocks so much that they’d be willing to buy one, but their love for rocks is so strong that they believe other people would gladly pay 50¢ for any one of the small stones they’ve pulled from the creek behind our house.

Two winters ago, when the lemonade business wasn’t really a good option, they set up their rock stand and tried selling to passers-by. Whenever anyone would get close, Alex would shout, “Rocks for sale! Get your cool rocks here!”

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough foot traffic for them to get any real traction, so they decided to take their game on the road. They bagged up the rocks, and started walking around the neighborhood. I tagged along.

Continue reading “(Really) Young Entrepreneurs”

Justice versus Peace

A friend of mine recently observed,

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who want peace and those who want justice. I used to be justice-minded. The older I get the more I become focused on peace.

His comment was part of a larger discussion about how to resolve significant differences that inevitably emerge within valued relationships. What do you do when a loved one feels that you have wronged her and you feel wronged by your loved one?

My friend and I weren’t talking about life-threatening situations. Obviously, that’s a whole different story. We were talking about the little arguments that peck away at relationships. They’re questions about money or pride or preference.

When those disagreements come up, what do you do? For my friend, he decides whether it is more important that he be right (justice) or that he have a healthy relationship (peace), and then acts accordingly.

 

The College Grad, the Endurance Athlete, or the Ferrari Owner?

The New York Times revealed that college graduates earn 1.8x that of high school graduates with no college. The author concludes that “15 years or 17 years of education [makes] sense as a universal goal.”

The author doesn’t share absolute average earnings for college graduates and high school graduates, but a little googling suggests that high school grads with no college earn an average of around $35,000. So it appears that people can boost their income to an average of $68,000 by earning a college diploma! That’s a huge difference, and it makes for a compelling argument in favor of going to college, right?

As bold as they are, I think they aren’t pushing that logic far enough. If we really want people to be more prosperous, we should have everyone become an endurance athlete!

Fortune says that people who sign up for triathlons earn an average of $126,000 (which is over 3.6x high school grads). Even better, we should have everyone sign up for the New York City Marathon. Those folks earn an average of $130,000 (a 3.7x premium)!

My point, of course, is that earning a college degree correlates with high monetary earnings, but does not necessarily result in earnings. If correlation was causation, we’d be better off encouraging folks to sign up for triathlons and marathons. Endurance events are much much cheaper, and one can prepare for a marathon in less than half a year.

Someone in here claims that the average income of Ferrari owners is $570,000! That’s over 16x the average for high school grads! Ferraris for everyone!

Question: If you had to hire one of three people, and you knew only one thing about each person – that one had a college degree, one had completed a marathon, and one owned a Ferrari – which would you hire and why?