Mirrors from my Website blog #6: A Lesson in Business From an 11-year-old

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Blog entry by Texasgaloot posted 01-05-2009 09:29 PM 13344 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: A Lesson in Business From an 11-year-old Part 6 of Mirrors from my Website blog series Part 7: Politics, Religion, and Woodworking »

I’m trying to keep it all in the family, and it seems to make sense, at least to a degree. You see, in an effort to take a part of my woodworking business to the internet, I decided to pick up a pen turning lathe, a bunch of kits, and some padauk and rosewood. Good start, then I could get a feel for it, and perhaps hone my business skills. I shared all this great thinking with my bride, who thought it was great thinking and was therefore intrigued by the whole idea. Little did I know…

I turned about 8 pens, and then she came out to the shop and said, “Teach me.” Okay, sounds very cool. Pen turning is great fun, but I really enjoy case work which I could get back to if she were turning. So, I gave her a crash course, and before long her pens looked as good as mine. Or, at least as good as mine. Okay, I can handle this, I must be a pretty good teacher. Soon, my lathe was our lathe, and once in awhile I get to use it. While she is at work, that is.

This afternoon she brought my 11 year old son out and taught him how to turn pens while I was working on another project. He learns very quickly, and he got to finish his first pen and pencil set, made out of padauk with “rhodesium” hardware. Since he’s left handed, I teased him about making the set upside-down.

As I’m merrily banging away on this casework, my son starts asking my bride why we are doing so many. One of the reasons I love my wife so much is because she’s easily able to expound on the inner workings of capitalism and supply-side economics, which my son got a working lesson in as the chips flew.

After he was finished with his set, he brought them over to show me. “If I sell some of these for you, can I get a commission?” I like the way he thinks, at such a young and tender age. “Sure, of course you would.” “Well, Dad, how much?” “Well, Son, it would have to be a percentage of the net. Do you know what the net is?” “Is that the total profit?” I don’t know where he got his grasp of things. Not from me — I still don’t have all this figured out. “Exactly. How does 30% of the profit sound?” “How does 50% sound, since I am helping make the pens?” “Okay.” He dickered, I lost. Go figure.

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

8 comments so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4243 days

#1 posted 01-05-2009 10:08 PM

You have a remarkable wife and son. I wish we could have 90 percent of our next generation with this mindset. It would bring us back in line with the idea that with hard work and knowledge you shall be rewarded. Congrats!!!

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 3956 days

#2 posted 01-05-2009 10:22 PM

If all parents took that kind of interest in their kids, the world would be a much better place.


View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4445 days

#3 posted 01-05-2009 11:36 PM

Stay close to that boy. Sounds like he’s got a good business head on his shoulders.

-- Working at Woodworking

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4392 days

#4 posted 01-06-2009 12:11 AM

Great story, thanks!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4050 posts in 4570 days

#5 posted 01-06-2009 01:14 AM

Go git ‘em, Mack and Co.!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View TexPenn's profile


459 posts in 4194 days

#6 posted 01-06-2009 01:47 AM

Go Cat Go & good luck. Around the bend woodworks started from a lay off!
Count your blessings.

-- Ted, TX or PA

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4302 days

#7 posted 01-06-2009 01:09 PM

I like the way your son thinks! He sounds like he may well be one of the saviors of our country if things continue! I only hope my son develops the same way…he’s only 7, so I’ve got some time :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4667 days

#8 posted 01-29-2009 08:01 PM

I agree.. sounds like you have a business partner in the making!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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