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Explaining business to a 12-year-old [VIDEO]

So about 20 minutes ago, my 12 year old son comes to me, it’s just gone nine o’clock, and he comes to me saying, “Mum, I had this enquiry, (so this school project), and I had to ask you a whole lot of questions about your business and I need to be presenting the answers now… like right now.” 

It was nine o’clock, he was due on his Google meet.  

So I said great, let’s just whip through them really quickly and I’ll just give you quick, one line answers.”  

So I thought they were really interesting questions, because they’re all about running a business or being in business.  

And so I thought I’d ask you these questions.  

A couple of things as I ask you: 

1. Firstly, I’m explaining it to a 12-year-old kid 

So obviously, you’ve got to make sure that a 12-year-old would understand, which is good anyway for you to get into that habit.  

2. Second thing is, he’s already late for his meeting. 

So I’ve got to get it out almost in one line or one sentence, so I don’t get a chance to elaborate.  

3. Third thing is, given that we’ve got no time already, it’s got to be just the first thing that comes to mind 

Right, so yeah, I answered the questions.  

And some of them, I would go back and revise or give more detail.  

But you don’t get to do that in this example.  

All right.  

So the first question he asked was, and I want you to think about how you would answer this really quickly in one line.  

What is a client for you?  

And the way I answered it was I said, a client, who is someone who pays me money to solve their challenge when it comes to growing their advice business” 

Ok, full stop.  

So he’s typing as I’m answering.  

So that’s why it’s got to be really quick, really succinct.  

Second question is: 

What does profit mean to you?  

My answer was, profit is everything. I did not go into business to breakeven.  

And if I’m going to be spending my time doing something, I need it to be commercially smart.”  

So that was my answer.  

What would yours be?  

Third question is: 

What is resource allocation to you?  

And that was an easy one, because I’m a coach, consultant, speaker, trainer, time is my most valuable resource.  

So for me, resource allocation is how do I use manage and spend my time?” 

It’s quite an easy one.  

Next question is: 

What does opportunity cost mean?  

So for me, opportunity cost is how I make decisions, whether I choose one thing over another”, depending on the opportunity cost of each and I get to weigh them up.” 

There was a question on trade off, too, but in the end, this is all about how I make my decisions in the business”.  

Next question was: 

Does your business look the same today, as it did when you started? And if it doesn’t, how has it changed?  

My answer was no, it doesn’t look the same.  

And the biggest difference is I now spend a lot more of my time working on the emotional and the human side of running the business than just the semantics and tactics around the business. 

Because what I find is if you build a better you, you build a better business.”  

And yeah, I did say that to him.  

So he did write it down.  

And he might sound a little bit crazy telling his 12-year-old peers, but hey, that’s what it is.  

The next question was: 

What do you like most about running your business?  

And you could answer this, even if it wasn’t your own business, but what do you like most about working in your business?  

And I said, “What I like most, is the freedom to be creative.” 

That if I want to come up, (that’s where I stopped with the answer to him), but I’m allowed to go beyond the lines.  

Like if I’m coloring, I can draw over the lines.  

“I can be as creative as I wish.” remembering, though that creativity is going to create something that people are prepared to pay for, because it’s going to help them grow their business.  

That’s my elaboration, not what I said to him.  

And the other one he said was: 

What is the difference between needs and wants in your business?  

And my answer was, I sell people what they want.  

So what they’re actually out there looking for, the problems that they want solved… but I actually end up delivering what they need.”  

Now in this case, he did say, can you give me an example, because that sort of didn’t make as much sense.”  

So I failed that answer, it wasn’t succinct enough for a 12-year-old. 

But I said, so someone might come to me wanting help with their pricing model, and that’s what they want and absolutely I help them do it.  

But where I spend most of the time is helping them build up the confidence to actually share that pricing model and implement it properly with their clients.” 

So a lot of the work is around what they need.  

It’s not what they come to me for, but I actually am selling them what they want 

Anyway, I thought that was quite an interesting way of looking at what you do.  

So what are some of the answers that you came up with, remember just the quick ones on the spot?  

I didn’t get a lot of time to think about it.  

But I thought it was really cool to reflect on some of the things that you do.  

Maybe even share with other team members, or friends and family just to give you that insight but also to give them a little bit of insight around what you do. 

Because after all, You are Valuable. 


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