Newsletter: August, 2009

The Vault, August 2009: Love Your Mistakes


Failure is your friend
On the path to business success you’ll make mistakes–sometimes a lot of mistakes. Any successful businessperson will tell you that. The key is to learn from your experiences and stay focused on your goals.


Lemonade stand contest–submit your entry by August 27!
Think you have a great lemonade stand? Tell your story! Inc. Magazine and Biz Kid$ have teamed up for the Best Lemonade Stand in America Contest 2009 and you could win big! Go here to submit your entry.


Biz Kid$ nominated for two Emmys!
Check our blog to learn more–and thanks for watching!
Fast fact
One of corporate America’s most respected CEOs was kicked out of his own company before returning many years later to lead it to glory. Do you know who it was? Read down to find the answer!


Biz Kid of the Month: Aaron Sacks
Aaron started You’re On Deck, a company that makes personalized playing cards. By providing better service and lower prices than competing companies, Aaron has built a successful venture.

Why do people love your product?
Personalized playing cards are great for businesses and trade marketing, or for gifts at parties. It’s different and it’s something that people will actually use.

How did you get the idea for the business?
My brother had his bar mitzvah with a casino theme. I looked online to find personalized cards. They were either very expensive or you had to buy a huge quantity. My parents are printers, so we decided to use their equipment to make the cards. Then, I got an assignment in school to do a business plan. I figured out how to turn the cards into a business through mass producing them and selling them online.

What are some mistakes you made and what did you learn?
I’ve gotten a lot smoother in dealing with customers. Once I said “quality isn’t an issue” in an e-mail. The customer thought I meant that quality wasn’t important! I was trying to say that my products are high-quality. I’m a lot more careful about what I say in e-mail now. Another time I printed an order before I got paid–and then never got paid. Now it’s all automatic.
Any advice for fellow Biz Kid$?
A lot of people will support you as a kid starting a business, but you will also have people who say it isn’t a good idea. But if you believe in it, you should run with it.



What is failure?
Most of the time, failure is something you don’t expect–something that feels rotten. Like, you end up spending more money on your business than you’re making…you make a customer mad…or you get fired from a job.

Learn to love your mistakes
Failure can make you feel bad in the moment. But the most important thing is how you respond to it. If you see failure as the end of the road, you’re not going to get very far. Look at it a different way–as an opportunity to:

  • Try a new tactic. Failure can mean that one approach isn’t working–look for a different way to attack the problem.
  • Learn. Figure out what went wrong so you can avoid it next time.
  • Change. Sometimes failure is really just change–your old way of looking at things stops working. Examine your expectations and goals. Keep moving forward!

Remember, everybody experiences failure–especially entrepreneurs. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’re missing the best opportunity to learn and grow. But don’t dwell on the past. Learn what you can and move on.



Ask John Paul

Q:  What’s the upside to failure?


A:  Nobody does something right the very first time especially if it is something worth learning.  Babe Ruth struck out almost twice as often as he hit home runs!  But if he was afraid of making mistakes (in this case, missing the ball), he never would have become the famous home-run king that we know today.  As my Dad always says, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”  And if you fail, great!  That is the fastest and most efficient way to learn.  People who are afraid to make mistakes will never be successful.  Here’s to hitting it out of the ballpark, (even if we miss it 66% of the time!)


John Paul Pigéon is a 12-year-old financial guru from Fort Worth, Texas. Visit his Web site at Send your question to It may be selected for our next newsletter!


Fast Fact Answer

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me…it freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” That’s what Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, had to say in a 2005 speech at Stanford University. Go here to read the whole thing.


Info to Go

Failure is just a milestone on the way to success. Check out these links to learn about some famous folks who faced big challenges on the way to the top: