My Ideas for Andrea and Adam

Yesterday I shared Andrea and Adam’s story with you. Wow, I am so incredibly impressed with many of you who posted. Such great ideas and such great big hearts! This is a great group of people who have been following this discussion.

Picture of a mother from the Great Depression

This is a mother from the Great Depression. Today, opportunities to exit poverty abound.

In case you missed any of it, here are links to the development of this:

  1. My article Government Assistance Sucks where I ask for a personal story from someone who wants off of assistance.
  2. Here’s the comment.
  3. A breakdown of their situation, including the actual email sent to me from Andrea and Adam.

Other than the kind exchange of emails these past few days, I do not know Adam and Andrea from – er, Adam. I suspect we will become friends, but for now I want to make a very strong point to you – the reader – who perhaps doubt my ambition to free people from government assistance. With the will to get off government assistance, there is a way. And it’s easier than some may think. I’m sure when I got to know Adam and Andrea better, we’ll come up with more and better ideas. For now, I am going off a few emails, and the ingenuity should grow from there. 

5 Assets Adam and Andrea Have

I encourage Adam and Andrea to focus first on the personal assets they have. This is an idea from my friend Ken Davis, a coach to hundreds of entrepreneurs in his Communicators Summit that I attended three years ago. Focusing first on your personal assets allows you to build products or services that can address markets that are in demand of what you have to offer. From what little I know of Adam and Andrea, I can assess:

  1. Adam has background in the lumber and supermarket industries.
  2. Adam enjoys eBay marketing and trading products online.
  3. Adam loves to serve customers and has supervision skills.
  4. Andrea is an honor student with impeccable organizational skills.
  5. Andrea and Adam desire self-reliance.

Ken Davis’ model works. Anyone can (and should) write out their personal assets before going into business. Without doing this step, entrepreneurs often make the mistake of rushing into money-making ventures that make little sense and waste away good talent. Once you have a firm grasp of your personal assets, you can move into creating products or services, or develop a business model that can bring in some extra income.

5 Entrepreneurial Ideas for Adam and Andrea

This family can start and begin to grow a family business. Really, I got excited when I read of Adam’s flare for customer service and Andrea’s organizational skills. What more do you need? Here are five specific ideas:

  1. eBay trading. This is a huge industry, and the trading cards can be the beginning. I did a Google search on “playing the eBay market” and found numerous resources on how to open your own eBay store. It is easy-entrance, meaning all the tools are readily accessible and low-cost entrance. That’s why Adam does it easily, and that he enjoys it is an added plus.
  2. Expand. As you get into eBay trading, look into other markets beyond the sports cards. From what I understand of eBay, much of the business is buying in bulk, breaking into smaller quantities, and reselling at an overall marked-up price. Write down all the markets you know a lot about (lumber, homeschooling, children, etc.). Which of these could be taken advantage of?
  3. Diversify. Think of Adam’s supermarket experience. A super “market” has several little markets inside. What sells in the supermarket that could be resold on eBay? Example: kitchen utensils. What is the markup at the supermarket he works? How could these be resold in an eBay store?
  4. Leverage your assets. With Andrea’s organizational skills and Adam’s customer service interest, the two have foundational ingredients for a family business. Add six kids – half of whom are homeschooled teenagers – and you have an awesome opportunity to build something bigger.
  5. Product or service creation. This may be down the road a bit, but what could Adam or Andrea create from scratch? If they were to develop a product or service that is unique without re-selling, they could sell directly to the customer through their eBay Store. That is the advantage of eBay: it is a customer-to-customer solution that involves no 3rd party other than eBay.

There were several other fantastic ideas shared in yesterday’s post (see comments here). Here’s the benchmark: $918. This family needs to bring in this much every month. Maybe even lower with the following encouragements.

5 Encouragements

I’m thrilled for these guys, I really am. This isn’t going to be easy, but I suspect it will be fun. There are some encouragements that I’d like to throw in…

  1. Drop the baggage. The baggage is food stamps. Get off it as soon as possible. Be free of the monthly social service calls and intrusive counseling. You’ll discover a self-reliance that is exhilarating.
  2. Focus on growth. Don’t downplay the “little bit of money” the eBay trading brings in. It’ll be slow pickings at first. As you get into it, you may find other resources to sell, perhaps a service to develop, or a more profitable venue than eBay Stores. Once business gets rolling, other opportunities will surface.
  3. Budget. Andrea has six children at home, we have 14. We spend less per month on groceries. Why? Because of basic frugal principles that can save a bundle of money. Honestly, I believe they could spend $500/mo. on groceries, moving the benchmark of self-reliance even closer.
  4. Include the kids. Make this a homeschool project. Have the kids help pack orders. Get them involved in as much of the planning and processing as possible. Above all, make this fun! Your enthusiasm for freedom will do them much good.
  5. Don’t listen to the trolls. You probably saw some of the crude and thoughtless comments from yesterday. Unfortunately, some are convinced that no one but government can help them. Don’t listen to that gibberish. You know better, and you’re family will be stronger with self-reliance.

I’m honored that their first step was to post on Andrea and Adam, know that you are in my prayers as you venture toward self-reliance. It is a beautiful and free life to live.

As you can tell, I’m somewhat evangelistic about this: I love being free, and I desire freedom for others. I would love to see families like this be empowered to apply their passions in wholesome ways. If you would like to tell me your story, feel free to post below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • RickStevens

    Adam & Andrea, Chris has put together a number of wonderful steps and idea for moving away from the government assistance program(s). Personally, I see the most important one as being the last encouragement…don’t listen to the trolls. While there are a myriad of people out there who are interested in offering guidance, encouragement and assistance along your journey, there are sadly almost as many who want you to share in their misery…or at least they appear that way as they take on multiple online personalities. Don’t listen to the trolls. Send them a couple of billy goats. 🙂

    • My daughter gets on me on this: “Dad, don’t feed the trolls!” The billy goat in me wants to tear them up. But she’s right; I shouldn’t feed them by giving them an ounce of my thought or time.

      • RickStevens

        Often, I also make the mistake of unleashing my inner billy goat on trolls…I know I shouldn’t…but boy does it feel good. 🙂

  • This is fantastic…and the best use of a blog I’ve seen in a long time. 🙂 Well done…

    • Thanks for posting, my friend. If anyone knows what a “piece of cake” is, it’s Joy Groblebe. =)

      • Wendy said that sounded bad. Everyone should know: it’s because one of your many successful businesses is cake stands. That’s the joke. Heh heh… heh.

  • Chris,
    I don’t know why I didn’t pick up on it sooner. Since Adam use to work in the lumber industry does he have any sort of passion for wood working? How about knowledge of where to get well priced wood?

    I know he’s been through a few injuries, but if he has the skill set, maybe small home projects aren’t out of the question, especially with the help of the teenagers. I recently started building projects from in order to get some of the things that we wanted without spending a lot of money. I’m no skilled craftsman and the biggest things I’ve built so far are an organizer for my daughter’s closet and a huge storage shelf in the garage. Next up will be a bunk bed for my girls.

    My point in all of this is that there is quite a selection of free plans on that site and all around the internet. Much of the stuff at Ana’s website is based on styles from Pottery Barn and Land of Nod which means that someone with the right skills could sell some pretty desireable furniture locally and turn a decent profit.

  • Good ideas! I thought about focusing on that, but I didn’t have enough information. I instead thought of “diversify” — there are probably better ideas out there. Point is: government dependency thwarts getting to those ideas, it sort of prolongs the depression. Wood working (or baseball cards or jewelry or whatever) may be a better fit, and eventually MUCH more profitable than $918 per month in food stamps.

  • tereza crump

    Adam and Andrea, you can do this!! All things are possible with GOD!!!

  • And what has happened with Andrea and Adam since last September?

    • I have not chatted with them for a while, but they have made progress since I published this article. Time for a visit! =)