Do you remember those days when you could dream big and felt that only the sky was the limit? You imagined yourself becoming whatever you wanted, be it an astronaut, a rock star, or a magician. You voiced every idea and never felt nervous about being judged for sounding too crazy. I remember those days. It was some time before I turned twelve.
This summer, I had the privilege of teaching ve fantastic youngsters aged 8-11 at Jumpstart Kids, a summer camp for kid entrepreneurs organized by Jumpstart Magazine. Initiated by Yana Robbins, Founder of Jumpstart Magazine, the two-week course was aimed at giving kids the necessary skill sets to start their own business.
Five kids from different backgrounds gathered at the Paperclip Startup Campus in Sheung Wan and learned all about market research, budgeting, business etiquette, marketing, crowd- funding, and much more. The goal to write, publish and fund a book on a topic that the children would need to identify, research and market, was a challenge that the Jumpstart Kids took on with great enthusiasm. They were especially excited after they heard that Bookazine had already approved the book for sale at eight of their shops in Hong Kong, and that the money raised would go to a charity of their choosing.
Successful entrepreneurs came in and shared their startup stories to inspire the kids. We quickly realized these creative children inspired us grownups just as much. The kids taught us how to work together as a team, how to get excited about an idea and stick to it, and how to do so without any self- doubt. The decision to publish a book on “how to be a good babysitter” was made on day one. It was a topic all of them could relate to, and everyone felt engaged and contributed content.
Natasha was fantastic at presenting the book idea both behind and in front of the camera, and Kale’a impressed us with her background knowledge and attention to detail. Anise did excellent write-ups and illustrations of the progress made. Enric and Martin came up with many attributes of a good babysitter and kept everyone’s spirits high.
All of them were fearless when it came to cold-calling potential book sponsors, and their beautiful handwritten letters got the attention of marketers. As en- trepreneurs in the making, they were kind to each other regardless of whose turn it was to write the daily blog post or when they decided on Hong Kong Dog Rescue as the charity they wanted to support. They respected each others’ opinions without judg- ment. Every idea was a good idea, and everybody was heard.
Entrepreneurs should think more like these kids because their world knows no fear of failure. Instead, limitless creativity and spontaneity fill their days. They succeed because they are kind, considerate and modest, but self-confident at the same time. Kids have a way of sharing their ideas with this magical sparkle in their eyes that no investor could ever resist. They would pick themselves up if things did not work out the way they had imagined, like recording videos for their crowdfunding campaign over and over again. They keep going, and they keep trying. They learn fast by asking the right questions and don’t waste any time overthinking each and every aspect of a project. They are just doing it, breathing it, living it, sharing it, spreading it. One step at a time. And did I mention that their crowdfunding campaign for the publication costs of the book was fully funded within 72 hours?
So next time you encounter a moment of doubt, consider what the Jumpstart Kids and your 8-year-old self would think.
The 38-page book How to Be a Good Babysitter by Jumpstart Kids was published in mid-October 2016. The English/Chinese publication includes 60+ tips and fun illustrations and is meant to be an introduction for 7-10 year-olds on how to play with a baby/toddler, how to behave as a babysitter and what they should or shouldn’t do.
Read more about Jumpstart Kids and their book project here: www.jumpstartkids.hk
Regina Larkö is Content Strategist at Jumpstart Magazine. Most recently she supported clients like The Economist with programming, speaker acquisition, and research. Regina is always on the lookout for inspiring entrepreneurial stories and makes sure to share them with the startup community. You can listen to Regina’s Social Impact podcasts here. Also, check out the podcast from Jumpstart Kids book signing here.