Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Take Your Child To Work Day at Count Your Beans

Hello Aspierations blog visitors!

Today was Take Your Child To Work Day at Count Your Beans and Justin was excited to have the opportunity to stay home from school and learn a little more about what it is like to be an entrepreneur for the day.

Ryan was also home but that was because our little guy is still ill and he spent most of the day resting and playing a little of his favorite game, Mario Kart Coin Runners on the Wii.  (I can't believe how good he is!)

Justin's excitement about learning about the business I founded and now co-own with my husband, John (see his own blog, Life and Times of John Krejcha) really made me feel proud and warm inside.  Since Justin was spending the day shadowing and assisting us, John thought it would also be a great opportunity for Justin to take that information and use it to start working on his Boy Scout Entrepreneurship and American Business badges. Hooray for multi-tasking!

The day initially got off to a little rough start.  I was a little late waking up and when I got from the bedroom to our office, John and Justin were in there and both seemed rather frustrated with each other.  John was worried that Justin was going to want this to be a "Get Out Of School Free" card instead of wanting to learn.  Justin was worried that John was going to have him read Boy Scout merit badge information all day and it would be incredibly tedious.

John left the room and I took a few minutes to talk with Justin.  It turned out that Justin was frustrated because he didn't know his schedule for the day and was feeling out of sorts.  He was off his normal routine.  Justin has Asperger's Syndrome and for many kids on the autism spectrum like Justin, routine and following schedules can be very important.  The unknown can be quite scary and at times will make a kid or adult who is otherwise functional have a meltdown or shut down. 

Fortunately, this was an easy situation to remedy.  I got together with John and in just a few minutes we had an interesting schedule planned.  John printed out an itinerary "Justin's Day at Count Your Beans" and it included learning the history of our business, what a typical day might entail, the sales and marketing process, the customer service process and the shipping process.  We wanted him to have a hands-on experience so when a new order came in, we let him do the receipt, the UPS shipping label, pull the inventory, pack the box, notify the customer via email and leave her positive feedback online.

John and I alternated time with Justin in short blocks with recess breaks.  He was interested to learn how our business is both reactive and proactive and how time management and creating our own shortcut routines help us maximize time. Justin shared with us that starting, running and building a business takes a lot more work than he had expected.  It was a great insight and one that will hopefully help him appreciate what we do just a little bit more.

To give him a variety of experiences, John also took him on a field trip to our local bank in the afternoon where he learned about depositing payments and got to interview a Bank Manager.  To top off the day, the company bought him dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory.  Working at Count Your Beans definitely has its perks!

I was so very proud of Justin today and you know what's cool?  I could tell he was proud of us too! While we talked, Justin was attentive and engaged, asked relevant questions (something he normally struggles to do in a school setting) and eagerly participated in every task we assigned him.  It was truly amazing and very special bonding time.

Justin has wanted to be an entrepreneur for awhile.  I know it's in his genes. There are a lot of things he wants to do.  Currently, he has a dream with his friend of starting his own video game making company and with the technical skills he already has, I believe he has the potential inside to make it happen. 

It is wonderful to see Justin with his own Aspierations!  Today, he let his light shine and that light is bright!

Thanks for stopping by!

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