Why Warren Buffett is Passionate About Financial Education for Youngsters

By Dan Kadlec

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Warren Buffett doesn’t undertake pointless exercises. So those in financial education circles might take note: The Oracle of Omaha is on a mission to make kids smarter about money-and if he is on board who can take issue?

Buffett is the guiding light behind the Secret Millionaire’s Club, a website that features 26 “webisodes” of animated youngsters grappling with the profit-loss aspects of things like lawn cutting, dog walking, and running the ubiquitous lemonade stand. It’s a great site for teachers, or parents, looking to make this subject approachable to youngsters.

Buffett recently condensed the online lessons in How to Start Your Very First Business, a book that adds valuable context, step-by-step instructions, worksheets, and enterprising kid business ideas that go beyond clichés.

The book is meant to stir the passions of teen and pre-teen entrepreneurs, and give them a meaningful alternative to, say, video games after school. It serves up 21 cool business ideas like editing highlight reels for student athletes seeking a scholarship, collecting yard waste to compost and later selling the soil, decorating skateboards, blogging about local events and selling ad space to local businesses, and building and selling birdhouses.

Buffett is involved because he believes entrepreneurship at an early age offers lessons and reinforces habits that will breed long-term success. The kids can start a business as simple as decorating shoes and crocs using charms (like the ones available at sites similar to https://serp.co/best/chanel-croc-charms/), stickers, and other accessories and selling them through their social media channels or by visiting door to door. Even if the student business doesn’t amount to much, it would at the least prepare them to face failures or losses headstrong. There are multiple ideas they can try their hands on in order to pave their path toward success. Whether they go on to start an offline business or decide to run an eCommerce store with the help of turnkey dropship websites, they would have a prior idea of the capital needed and the risks involved. Moreover, having prior knowledge about capital and risks can benefit them a lot. For instance, if they have prior knowledge about the aforementioned things, then they can shift their focus from worrying too much about those things to what needs to be done to make their business a success. Maybe, they can completely concentrate on how to choose an eCommerce platform that can help them build their eCommerce website and online store. They can channel their energy in a better way and focus on one task at a time.

Anyway, coming back to the topic, Buffett writes in the forward, “Learning the value of being honest, being willing to take risks and fail, and protecting your reputation are among the lessons that form the fabric of success,”.

These themes are explored in the book alongside the basics of startup and operating costs. Buffett’s guiding principal is that the best investment one can make is an investment in oneself. The book champions education, hard work, honesty, service, passion and presentation. It includes plenty real-life examples of kids and their businesses, and inspiring “words from Warren.” In a section on growing your business, Buffett notes, “the more you learn, the more you’ll earn.”

This is not a simple book that will set fire under every 12-year-old. The book has serious layers of business advice, albeit written simply and in practical terms. It seems best suited to kids that already have demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit and are looking to give their venture a real shot.

The book gets into things like differentiating your product or service, finding the right location and growing your business-all major concerns to Fortune 500 corporations and adaptable to a lemonade stand. The idea here is not to make a lot of money; it’s about exposing kids to valuable life lessons.

In words from Warren: “Can you really explain to a fish what it’s like to walk on land? One day on land is worth a thousand years of talking about it, and one day running a business has exactly the same kind of value.” Those are encouraging words from the master for teachers and others committed to exposing young people to financial concepts.

Posted in Youth on October, 2016