11/29 The Power of Words


I can't believe it---we're down to our final stretch of the semester here in $tart-Up! With our last market coming up this weekend, students are working to fine tune the final touches on their business and are eager to see how the changes they have made from the last market are received! 

EA: This week at Emergent, we started class with the "Jelly Bean Trade" game we had used at our other locations last week. Students rushed around the room exchanging beans to try and be the first to collect every color of on bean in their bag. What I love about this game is the way it teaches kids to make deals, compromise, and persuade their peers into why they should be the best one to collect a color. 

Following the game, our guest speaker, June Lien founder, Liendani Creative, a marketing consultancy specializing in video marketing, took the stage. She talked with students about the importance of using not only video but selective marketing to target their audience. With over 15 years of experience in strategic marketing, communications, June built her career on a foundation of entrepreneurship and food, born from immigrant hopes to live the American Dream. She gave a fabulous presentation and helped inspire this group of enthusiastic entrepreneurs to take a stronger marketing stance on their business. While one group looked to incorporate customer feedback surveys as a selling point for future customers, we had a kiddo who sought out to completely change his business---six days before market, and set out to create his own marketing business. 

Thank you June for coming and providing your expertise and wisdom to our Emergent students! We hope to have you back soon. 

EE: This week at Eanes Elementary, we started class with a partner game called "Things Aren't Always What They Seem." Students paired with a partner and set back to back; using nothing but descriptive words, students had to describe a picture for their partner to draw without looking and then swap. When they finished, I asked students who drew exactly what their partner had described to them. I'm sure you aren't surprised to learn no one raised their hand. I used this activity to explain to the students that our partner, just like our customer has no idea about our business, our product, service, or mission and its our job to use precise language to help them understand what we are trying to tell them. If you said draw two circles on a page and then another circle, you might draw three the same size, when in actuality your partner is visualizing a large circle with two smaller circles as ears. The same thing is true with our business; we might tell our customers that our product is fun for kids, but they might be lacking that frame of reference---let them know WHY its fun for children but telling them, showing them, making them want it! 

After the game, our speaker Country Harris took the stage. As a Child-Centered Coach for Teens and Parents, Courtney supports children ages 11-19 in finding their voice, growing confidence, and thriving. She explained to students that through 1:1 and small group coaching sessions, teens and tweens are able to overcome anxiety, disconnect, and isolation as they discover their truest sense of self and develop a deep sense of empowerment. Courtney supports parents in self-care, growing alongside their children, and in developing balanced sensitivity towards the process their child is creating. Sessions with both teens and parents guide families in developing the trust, communication, and connection that's crucial for a life of ease. She also shared with children that by doing a lot of work online, she's able to touch more children in broader areas. When finished, Courtney stuck around and visited with the students, talking with them about their business and offering a gentle heart to calm any anxieties before our last market. 

Thank you Country for coming--we looking forward to having you back at some of our other locations next year! 


DPR: At Dittmar, we started with the same game as Eanes, "Things Aren't Always What They Seem." Students giggled and laughed seeing the differences in what they drew and what their partners explained. 

Our speaker this week, Cristina Schooler, owner of Rooted Retreats, a transformational hiking retreat business based in Austin, Texas. She let the students in both a great entrepreneurial talk and then also brought a camping activity to share with the kids. Her message to kids consisted of three tips for their entrepreneurial journey. 1. Find a community outside of your day to day school life. 2. Collaboration and problem solve with that community. Each person has their own special skill. 3. LISTEN! "Get outside of what you think you know and really listen to the conversations that you hear." It was a very powerful and inspiring talk! Check out the video online here.

Once she finished with questions, she gave the students a scenario and encouraged them to think about what types of things they would need to camp outdoors at Enchanted Rock with no water, food, or enclosure. After the students made a list, they had to pick only three things they could take. It was a very neat activity and really had the students thinking outside of the box. 

We very much enjoyed your words of wisdom and look forward to future collaboration with you! Thanks for joining us. 

And with that, we press through with our last market this weekend. Good luck to all of the kiddos and their businesses. 

Until next week, stay curious, 


Amber Wakem