I met Aaron at a business building seminar. The in-class assignment was to introduce yourself to someone and sell them something. Aaron is a kid….20 something. He shook my hand, looked me in the eye and said, “I offer relationship advice. Help guys go from ‘Non Juan’ to ‘Don Juan.’ I also have a video production company. I could be of service to you sharing what’s great about you. I’ll film a little movie and we’ll let it loose on YouTube. You never know who may respond. Marketing – like dating – is about putting yourself out there.”

Well, Aaron sold me. And he produced this video clip. On time and as promised. Nice! It made me laugh out loud and it captures what we are all about at Bare Bones Biz

Aaron, you sold me on you! Here’s to the Youth of America! BTW, you can reach Aaron at APT@princeofcharity.com

Hmmm. Maybe you are scowling right now. Maybe you have a different opinion of kids today. What image pops into your head as you read this? Multi-colored hair? Multiple piercings? Pants too low and tops too little?

What about hiring a teenager or a twenty-something? Are you comfortable with the work ethic of today’s kids? Or are you thinking, “Surly attitudes. Lazy. Problems with authority?”

Perhaps you are thinking, “When I was a kid I knew how to WORK. Kids today…fuggedaboutit.”

Are you afraid that kids today are just not the kind of workers that you need to grow your business? This thought is particularly distressing as our industry is experiencing a skilled labor shortage.

Well, let me tell you more about kids today. Like DECA Champion Eric Smith.

Eric told me that he was not a great student. His grades were just OK and tests were particularly challenging for him. But when he got involved with DECA, he discovered a wellspring of talent he didn’t know he had.

State competition was held at the Lake Geneva Grand Resort, a four star hotel. No Holiday Inns for these kids! They dress in business attire (suits, ties for the gentlemen) at all times during the competition. The event requires a 10-minute presentation of the business plan. The judges also consider the written plan in the overall score.

“It’s like pitching your business idea to a panel of venture capitalists,” Eric offered by way of explanation. (I didn’t know what a venture capitalist was until I was 38 years old!)

“When the names were posted on the ‘Finalists’ board, I couldn’t believe it…I made it to the final round of competition as a Top Ten finisher. I hurried to the next room of stone-faced judges, and did the Role-Play presentation again.”

That evening, in an elegantly decorated ballroom, Eric won the Wisconsin State DECA competition! And fell head over heels in love with the business game.

Eric signed on to work with his dad and his uncle at Austin Plumbing & Heating. He intends to implement the award winning ideas of his business plan at the company. He wants to grow the business. And he wants a business of his own someday.

“After we graduated, a lot of my friends got scared. They don’t know what they want to do. I’m not scared – I’m excited. Now I can make my dreams happen for real. My idea of success is to be financially stable, and have good relationships with my family…and maybe have a family of my own. But not for a while,” Eric assured me.

Look into DECA. This fine group is turning kids on to business…and improving communication skills and self-esteem in the process. How cool is that?

No shortage of workers.

There is no shortage of great workers. Consider the 13,000 cream-of-the-crop kids who attended the DECA finals! There is a shortage of great jobs. Most teens are just too darn smart to work long hours in extreme weather for little pay and no benefits.

You can develop winners by training, by putting systems in place, and by holding people accountable. Kids today – yours and somebody else’s – are wonderful. Why don’t you get a few of them working for you?