My fondest speaking memory came when I was asked to teach my daughter’s first grade class about entrepreneurship through the Junior Achievement curriculum. Without hesitation, I jumped at the opportunity to inspire little minds.

I was prepped and ready to go and brought my mom to accompany me to the talk. Always my biggest supporter, plus, like me, I knew she’d get a kick out of this particular speaking gig. I had no clue how this would fly but I was about to find out!

As I stood at the front of the class with an EXPO marker in hand ready to go through the entire entrepreneurial process of what it takes to build a business, I looked out at the students who were anxiously waiting to participate in the discussion.

I shared with the students that today, we were going to start a fictitious business from scratch and I asked them to help me identify what business that is. Hands went up and the students began sharing all sorts of fun ideas until we finally landed on one – The Pizza Palace.

My next question was centered around what our USPs would be. The room flooded with laughter as student after student raised their hand and shared how the Pizza Palace would be known for their pizza monkey bars, all-you-can eat ice cream bar, a place where parents could hang out while Pizza Palace’s babysitters watched the kids (my kind of place, btw) and Ubers lined up outside the door so parents wouldn’t have to drive. Smart cookies full of zest and imagination!

My favorite part was taking them through the cycle now that we had our business idea on how we we going to market our location. No shortage of ideas, these kiddos really knew their stuff when it came to marketing shouting out that we needed to run FB ads, be on Google, Yelp, rent billboards and collaborate with other like businesses.

After we had exhausted all marketing ideas, their teacher and I shot each other a surprised look as we were both in shock at how much they knew being so young!

When we got to the ‘S’ word, I asked the class, now that we have our marketing strategy down and buttoned up, how are we going to keep thriving in our business? We need one thing that starts with an ‘S.’

I had stumped the class. Zero hands until one brave boy said, “Miss Tisha? I know the ‘S’ answer! We need a SALAD BAR!”

I let out a giggle and smiled and started to write on the board that while a salad bar would do the trick, what we needed was SALES.

I love little minds! So curious and fearless.

I finished out the rest of the talk and asked the students to dive in and tell me what traits entrepreneurs need to possess and once again, I was happily surprised that they already knew. Students shared everything from courage to positive mindset, passion, patience, confidence, creativity, and hustle, which shows me they are on the right path.

A handful of students gave me a big hug as I packed up my things to head out. Even weeks later, the teacher shared that the students couldn’t stop talking about how they were going to open up the Pizza Palace as they got older.

Now, that’s what I call making an impact and leaving a lasting impression on the next generation of future leaders!

We’ve all gained knowledge, skills and gifts on our journey. Rather than keep them to yourself, pass it along and remember that you were there, too, once. The next generation is looking to us to show them the way. Never stop leading them.

Rule of Life #113: 

Today I will suggest a vacation to Grand Rapisd, My Recipe Checklist will guide that.