10/20/17 Taking Care of Business..


"The bet way to achieve big goals is to take small steps." That notion seems so obvious and juvenile, but it's actually pretty hard to realize BIG goals don't just happen---they take a bunch of tiny, baby, sometimes unnoticeable steps before they turn into something big, or heck, even little! I had a couple of moments this week when I had to stop and remind myself, "HEY! You can't except to be half way up the mountain when you just got out of the car." $tart-Up! really has went from this vision to a full-fledge business in just a matter of months, and I find value in stopping and cherishing those small steps in the bigger picture of $tart-Up! Heres a few of those small steps towards our big goal that happened this week:

  • Our 3rd Location: Emergent Academy started classes on Monday 10/16/17
  • We added our 4th... and 5th location which will launch in Jan/Feb 2018!
  • Kelly Bethke joined our team to help us write grants and provide professional consultation as we grow
  • $tart-Up! Kids Club was awarded the opportunity to be featured as the SABA Sunshine Recipient for the first quarter of 2018! 

Crazy, huh? I am so proud of the big things that are in store for $tart-Up! Speaking of $tart-Up! lets see how this week went in the classroom. 

EMERGENT ACADEMY: This week, our third location, Emergent Academy launched! We had 14 students join us to start their $tart-Up! accelerated journey. As our first partner opportunity, it was different to just walk in and WA-LA! everything be done. 

Class started out with a quick review of expectations with Anna, the Director of Student Activities at EA. Because we are their first outside program to offer an after-school activity, she lead them in discussion about the "DO'S"of classroom behaviors. I loved watching them turn the "Don't talk over people" or "Don't be mean and bully your peers," into "Do wait your turn"and "Do be kind." The positive language approach is so uplifting! 

Afterwards, we headed to our space in the cafeteria for a little game and to get down to business. Since our program at EA is expedited, we started with the 10 minute business development game before our mentors spoke. Students were challenged to use the items presented to develop a "business" with the peers at their table. We had three groups. One created a musical shaker, one offered a magic card service, and the last created a vase with quite the sales presentation. 

Following the game, we were joined by guest speakers, Kurt West, of American Dream Vacations RV Sales and Rental Austin, and Matthew Vitalin, Reliant Wealth Management. As I mentioned, being an accelerated class, students here will be covering material at twice the pace of our other locations. Kurt spoke to the students about idea development and Matthew helped to answer questions about money and funding their business endeavors. Once they finished speaking, we started the idea development, metacognitive idea assessing, and started thinking about how to fund those ideas. Matthew was a great help in working with students to think through their ideas in their entirety. Thank you to both Matthew and Kurt for your support and mentorship at EA! 

EANES ELEMENTARY: This week, our EE students continued their project work. Our guest mentor, Cody Butler from HEAT Bootcamp, surprised them with what they said was, "the best game we had played all year." Students were divided into two teams and played a racing game version of tick tac toe. The first team to get three in a row won. You could really see the competitive nature from both sides come out. Orange team won taking two out of the three matches. 

Coming in from the game, the kiddos were so excited. Not only was this the first mentor they got to meet BEFORE class enough started---and he did a super cool activity with them, it was one of our $tart-Up! Kids, Ben's birthday. We all say happy birthday and celebrated the dedication of him joining us despite his birthday!

 When HEAT founder spoke, the kids listened with excitement. He shared his tales of trademarking and having to have a unique, memorable brand and explained to students how he and his staff made each class a special, personalized experience for their clients. HEAT isn't just about a great workout, its about community, feeling at home, and bringing the best out of yourself. 

My favorite story Cody shared came from his childhood. He told our $tart-Up! Kids how he started his first business as a child, renting his mothers jewelry on the playground. He explained that while he made good money, it wasn't very honest. He did such an incredible job sharing how honesty and ethics are at the core of a good business. You can watch his video here: 

Once the chatting and questions finished, Cody helped all our $tart-Up! Kids work on their business. He helped design business cards, mix air fresheners, and even assemble signs for the front of student, Henry,s business, Art Start. Thank you so much for your visit and support this week Cody Butler. We loved having you! 

Dittmar Park and Rec: AND, last---but not least, our final class this week at Dittmar! There too, we continued our project work. Sadly, our mentor that was scheduled to come and speak had a prior obligation, but we took a little more time for fun and mingling! 

We started class with a game I called the "$tart-Up! Buck Challenge". Students were given five $tart-Up! Bucks and had to challenge their peers to a game of: rock, paper, scissors, thumb wrestling, or coin toss. Winner took a $tart-Up! Buck from the opponent, and well, loser lost one. We took five minutes for them to go around and try to collect as many as possible, at the end, whoever had the most received a free ice cream card from LICK Ice Cream. Emergency Cupcake founder, Arden, won with 10 $tart-Up! Bucks. 

Before we broke into project work, we talked as a group about market expectation and answered any questions we could. Everyone was very interested in having help to plan their booth that the questions poured in! I can't wait to see what they come up with. 

As you can tell, it was another fabulous and full week for our $tart-Up! Kids around Austin. It really have been such an incredible experience getting to watch them work away with such enthusiasm. I have actually even gotten a few emails from parents this week FLOORED by the dedication and passion these kiddos are putting into their business. So with that, we hope you join us for our $tart-Up! Market on November 5th from 1-4pm at 7310 Ben White Blvd. These kids would love your support. 

Until next week---stay curious, 


Amber Wakem