Teach your kids about business and economics in a fun, meaningful way and inspire them to be entrepreneurs. Millions of Americans are small business owners or work at companies, yet there are not many books that explain to kids what business is about, the way there are books for kids about being a firefighter, farmer or astronaut. Beyond basic business concepts, KidVenture shows that character matters in business and the ability to persevere when there are setbacks and being someone who is trustworthy are key ingredients of success.
In Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue, Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, takes on a business partner, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.
KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.
Part of Chapter 1
If anyone tells you that kids can’t start a business, don’t listen tothem. They can. I should know, because I did. People sometimes ask me how KidVenture started and how it got its name. Well, I’ll tell
you. It all started the summer before sixth grade. All I remember about that summer is that it was hot, so hot I thought I would melt.
That and my sister Addison kept annoying me. You could say I was boiling and steaming that summer.
My dad told me he would pay me ten bucks to clean the pool. It wasa pretty good deal. I’d take a net and scoop out all the leaves and dead bugs that had landed in the water. It took me about two hours
to clean the pool so I 3gure I was making about 3ve dollars an hour.
Not bad for a ten-year-old kid.
I thought it was going to be a one-time gig, but the following week my dad asked me if I wanted to clean the pool again.
“But I already did,” I said. He told me to go take a look. I couldn’t believe it. The pool was full of leaves and dead bugs again. I had spent all the money I made from cleaning the pool the week before
on a slingshot, two comic books and an ice cream cone. I needed
the cash so I said yes.
Next thing you know, I’m cleaning the pool every week and making an easy ten bucks each time. After a couple weeks, I realized I could save my money and buy that bicycle I had seen one time at that big
sporting goods store on Wilson Street. The bike was super cool.
When I looked at the sticker, it said the color was midnight blue. I didn’t know what that meant, except that it sounded dangerous and I liked that. I asked my dad if we could get it and he said, we’ll see,
which is the grown-up way of saying No, but I want to let you down easy.
The bike, the dangerous one, cost $225. Which is way more money than a ten-year-old could ever hope to get. That is, unless said impoverished ten-year-old had a job, which I now apparently had.
“It’s going to take forever to save up for that bike,” I said, after I had just 3nished cleaning the pool for the second time, and my dad handed me a crisp ten dollar bill.
“No, not forever,” my dad retorted. “You’ll save up $225 in no time.”
“Not when I’m only making ten bucks a week.” I started to feel sorry for myself and walked away.
Then I turned around. “Dad, how long will it take if I save all my pool cleaning money?”
“You 3gure it out,” my dad said, and handed me a paper and pencil.
“But I hate math!” I protested.
“Well then you’re right. It will take forever,” my dad said and returned to reading his newspaper.
“Oh all right,” I sighed. “Hand me the pencil.”
I started scribbling some numbers.
“Twenty…Twenty-two…Twenty-three! No, wait. Twenty-two and a half weeks!” I shouted excitedly.
“How many months is that?” my dad asked.
“Ugh. More math? Seriously?”
My dad has a way with words. I began scribbling numbers again.
“Let’s see, four weeks in a month, approximately, so that works out to…” I mumbled.
Thank you, Steve Searfoss and RABT Book Tours
About the author
I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they’d ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, “Let’s pretend you have a business that sells…” and off we’d go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.
I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important.
I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.
$25 Amazon Gift Card, 10 paperback copies