Thought of the day: “All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU.”

Michelle Hummel

My first experience as an Entrepreneur, Age 11 by Michelle Hummel

Growing up on a small farm in Indiana gives you a lot of time to think and be creative. It also teaches you a strong work ethic. A perfect breeding ground for a budding entrepreneur. :) It was summertime and I was getting excited for the annual Fireman’s Festival coming up. I spent the day trying to think of unique ways to make money to play all the fun games! So I had an idea, let’s grab some vegetables from the garden to sell. Sometimes as a young entrepreneur you can get so excited about the potential that you forget some of the planning, “cart before the horse” as they say. So goes my story…

I told my cousin Michael, age 9, about my amazing plan and he was quickly on board with helping me to get this business started. So we both went out to the garden and started picking as many vegetables as we could carry. As little kids you can imagine we couldn’t carry that much but we were determined to get our business started as fast as possible. Now we had our products but still needed marketing. So I grabbed a large poster board and wrote, “Vegetables For Sale”, with a big arrow – easy enough! We also needed to set up shop, so I grabbed a large card table and lawn chairs from the garage. After several trips carrying the vegetables, card table, and chairs to the small intersection of our gravel road we were ready for business! We proudly displayed our total of about 20 random vegetables ready for purchase.

Now it was time to get the marketing out there. Michael and I walked down the long gravel road with our poster board, hammer, and nails in hand. Fifteen minutes later we finally made it to the end of the road and proudly hammered up our sign. As we were walking back we started to notice lots of cars were whizzing by our usually quiet dusty gravel road. It was then we realized – they were heading to our vegetable shop! Too bad no one was there to sell to them, haha. So we started running down the road to make a sale!

As you can imagine the shoppers were probably expecting a lot more than our little stock of random vegetables. Luckily they appreciated our efforts and ended up buying a few! :) It was one of our proudest accomplishments and we learned what we needed to do better in order to sell more next time! What is your entrepreneurial story? Please share in the comments and have a great day!


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