Kids Business Blueprint

Lessons from the 4th of July Maverick Family Freedom Celebration

Just back from Park City, UT for the first-ever Maverick Family Freedom event held over July 4th weekend. It’s the first time ever Maverick families came together for a long weekend combining totally unique experiences and activities with business sessions for the children and development sessions for the parents.

Not only did we have the children (ages 6-19) learn about business but they actually participated in running different ventures. There were 2 product businesses selling July 4th related products and one service business selling photos with Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty.

They were given blueprints like this:

Kids Business Blueprint

Then they were provided the cost of inventory and had to figure out how to package and sell their product or service to make a profit. And on July 4th they hit the streets selling to the crowds gathering for their famous 4th of July Parade with over 70 floats.

It was great seeing how creative and excited the kids were before July 4th as they planned out bonuses, pricing, created their signs, etc. Check out a few of these pictures of the kids prepping the day before the parade:

Making Signagesigns

Here you can see Team #3 (the Noise Maker team) getting their packing together. They were bundling up noisemaker sticks with clappers and a tattoo all for one price. Smart.

Product Packaging

I wasn’t sure how Zack would do in this setting. Missy thought he was too little (he’ll be 6 in Aug) and I was borderline on it. But I wanted him to sit in the sessions to see. He actually really enjoyed it. In fact, we play a little ‘game’ each night where I ask the kids about their 3 favorite things for the day. (It puts them into a positive state of mind and builds confidence.) Well, his #1 favorite thing that he shouted was “Learning about business!”

So that was pretty cool. Hannah, one of the older girls really helped him and designed his sign with him so he was ready to go:

zack-ready to sell

I’ve got his first sale right here:

Zack making his first sale
Zack making his first sale

It was really exciting to see the kids gain confidence as they started to make sales on July 4th. And lots of them were antsy to get back to selling right after the parade and after lunch. It was awesome to see how engaged they were.

Even back in the hotel when Zoe was asking Zack for a glow necklace, he refused. I stepped in and asked if I could buy it. He said sure for $2. I guess I’m creating a mini-capitalist here. I’m really proud of small ‘ripples’ like this that might have started from the event. Everything from sparks of entrepreneurship to new friendships developed by the children there. One of the parents of an 8-year old said she wasn’t sure her child ever felt out of place in her “regular” school but she instantly bonded with other kids here because they were all the same. Even our sole 19 year old on the trip, “Critter”, said he got along great with the other kids because of the same reason.

Quite frankly there were a lot of lessons adults could learn from the kids. Everything from creating packages to giving customers a choice to two items to buy instead of just asking for a yes/no sale. Plus, they learned about getting attention (some of the costumes) and advertising (signage). Wouldn’t you want to get a photo taken with this crew?

Now it wasn’t all work here especially since the Maverick philosophy is about creating unique experiences & memories. The families spent time at Olympic Park with the Summer Comet Bobsled pulling nearly 4G’s, the Alpine slide and Zipline.

Here are a few of Mavericks getting ready to shoot down the bobsled track:


And Mommy and Zoe taking on the Alpine slide:

Mommy and Zoe -AlpineSlide

Some of the best feedback was from the kids themselves who called this their best vacation ever! But my favorite,might have to be from Sten Schmidt, who told his Dad,

“Mr. Silver is cool!”

I couldn’t have said it any better!

From the kind of response we got from parents (and kids) we’re going to do it again next July 4th, probably in Park City, UT again. So make sure you let us know if you want to be part of it or just sign up at to stay up to date.

Now if you’re a parent and wanted to work with your children – I have a couple resources for you from the special guests who were here and others who contributed.

“Avoiding the Entitlement Trap:
How Entrepreneurial Parents Can Raise More Positive, Independent & Responsible Children”

This Tuesday, July 19th, I’m conducting a free Teleseminar with Richard Eyre, author of the #1 Best-seller “Teaching Children Values” and the upcoming “Entitlement Trap” book…

One of the highlights for parents was an intimate session with best-selling author, Richard Eyre discussing the ‘Entitlement Trap’. It was so well received that I asked Richard to present to other parents in our network to share his wisdom in the upcoming book by the same name. (Note: You can pre-order it on his site)

Sign up for the special teleseminar here or to make sure you get the recordings.

Secondly, we had the winner of the 2010 Financial Educator of the Year, Elisabeth Donati, coming in to work with the parents and children. Elisabeth is the founder of Camp Millionaire and the Money Game. She played a shortened version of the Money Game with the kids having them physically go around the room collecting their earnings and paying bills. Then the game got more interesting when they were able to buy assets like real estate or businesses. That’s when they internalized the lessons of getting paid without a correlation to the number of hours worked. It’s an excellent way to make it fun to teach your children valuable entrepreneurial skills. She now sells the game separate and its worth picking up for your family or gather a group of families together to play. Definitely check it out!

Finally one more resource, Amanda van der Gulik, author of “Teach your child about money” has 7 gifts for inspired parents. Amanda wasn’t able to make it out to Park City but she provided Mavericks several additional resources and she said I could share with our InternetLifestyle blog readers too. Everything from 50 money making ideas for kids to her 6 magic piggy bank system and the ‘Allowance Secrets’ report written the top 25 ‘Kids and Money’ Experts from around the world! BTW – Amanda is pretty ‘excited’ on her welcome video 😉

7 thoughts on “Lessons from the 4th of July Maverick Family Freedom Celebration”

  1. Sounds like an amazing event, and thanks for having the insight to include the kids. They are all capable of amazing things, and treating them in a manner consistent with that idea spurs incredible growth. Keep up the good work….hope to make it one of these days.

    PS – see that the hole in one isn’t crossed off yet!


  2. Congratulations Zack (and Yanik) – what a wonderful experience for those young people – that is real world giving back Yanik — you really are the MAN!

  3. Yanik,

    This is fantastic! I really believe that educating children on business and entrepreneurship (along with traditional moral values) is the key to turning around our society and economy. The problem that I’ve noticed is that there just is not that many resources or programs which do just that, so learning about these programs is definitely a great first step. Thanks for for sharing this motivating info!

  4. Mr. Silver is cool :)

    I was a big champion of this event twittering away in hopes my followers with kids would jump at the chance to attend.

    Guess I’ll have to adopt between now and next July… unless you plan to offer a session on entrepreneurship for canines in which case Cokie is in!

    It sounded like a great event – next year I hope Entrepreneur or Inc or CNN is there to cover it!

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