We immediately brewed coffee, whipped out the bean bag chairs, the funky furniture and did some stretching to prepare for the energy in the room.
Here is the truth: We had a “Clinton Middle School visit” on the calendar last week and expected 1 class to visit us, you know, maybe 12 students? Awesome. Then, through the grapevine, we found out that it was the entire 2019 7th-grade class! Can you imagine us scrambling? We were on nerves. Because let’s face it: kids are intimidating! Especially at 9am when we are still injecting coffee and they are in “seize-the-day” mode for being on a field trip. HA
Flash forward to the rush of students going “Oooh-ahhhh, wowwww” when they walked in and saw the bean bag chairs… they plopped down, perked up their ears (imagine if we had dog-like ears? It’d look awesome from the front of the room), and they simply engaged. We talked entrepreneurship, how to vet an idea, we talked about good ideas, bad ideas, ideas that “made it,” and we talked about THEIR ideas. Want to hear a few? Safer crosswalk, vegan cheese company, more efficient rocket fuel, adjustable basketball hoop ring, an activity book for boring shopping trips with mom and dad, charcoal filtered exhaust system, etc. These students are working on their own ideas to demo what it takes to be an entrepreneur in school. So, what’s the point of sharing?
If you couldn’t tell by those ideas, we’d like you to know that the students were AMAZING. They exceeded our expectations. They stumped us. They taught us lessons. They should be the audience that our entrepreneurs should pitch in front of. It would be a priceless experience to connect these vibrant, free-thinking, and unapologetically honest students with the wantrepreneurs, entrepreneurs and other members of our community.
Oh, and guess what? One of the questions they asked was along the lines of “How do we get adults to take us seriously?” Answering that is a tough one when you really think about it. We gave answers and ideas on how to approach someone, but at the end of the day, that question really just gives US something to chew on.
Ask yourself, “How can I be a better listener?”
“Do I dismiss people’s ideas too quickly?”
We often times hear that with age comes wisdom, but it can also bring restrictive thinking, doubt, and dismissive cues that could be in the way of a scalable, world-changing idea or even just a simple idea that could make a difference in our region. It could also be a 7th graders idea. Who knows? 🙂