Mismatched Mittens

The Best Way To Learn

The best way to learn? By doing.

I’ve taught at Saskatchewan Polytech for the past four years. I’ve taught Marketing, Digital Marketing, and my favourite class to teach, Entrepreneurship. It’s my favourite because we actually start a company and the students experience Entrepreneurship first hand. They can’t just read a book a bunch of times, remember it better than everyone else and ace a test, no no, this class is much more difficult than that.

From the book the Mastery, throughout the history of civilization the best way to learn anything in this world is by doing it. Apprenticeship is the long forgotten method of learning how to do almost anything in our world. But instead of making student apprentice in a subject, we make them learn all the theory of the subject. The problem happens when you engage the theory in the real world and a different result happens. What do you do when what you’ve been told will work 100% of the time fails? What an amazing learning outcome.

Failure is a part of life and when you do something like launch a company you experience a lot of failure. These end up being the best learning moments in the classroom life.

Our ancestors decades ago didn’t have the luxury of libraries, schools and teachers, they learned anything by doing it.

Enter Entrepreneurship 2.0.

In my Entrepreneurship class we start a company. We don’t Uplifting T-shirts, Free Hugs T-shirts, and this year we did MisMatched Mittens. 

 

Uplifting tshirts website

Born out of an idea from Junior Achievement(JA) in our city. JA in the high school curriculum has students creating a company as a team and actually taking a product to market. What a novel idea, experiencing entrepreneurship instead of learning about it. 

So Uplifting T-shirts was the first project. Supporting a local organization who came and presented to our class on “Social Enterprise”. Tyler Gray from Carmichael Outreach talked about the importance of business creation and job creation to get our community out of the cycle of poverty.

The idea of Uplifting T-shirts revolved around donating all proceeds to Carmichael. 60 T-shirts were printed with the slogan across the chest which read

Kindness is Contagious
Pass it on”

We sold them for $28 a piece. 60 t-shirts were sold in Seven days and the students raised $1,000 for Carmichael Outreach. Pretty cool outcome for a class of only Five students.

UpliftingTshirts-a business,experiment and class

Next was a similar idea for a “Free Hugs” campaign. This was done by our Digital Marketing class and it was a Summer semester so we never did get to finish selling the t-shirts. I may or many not even have one lying around if you’re interested!

We got come press about this one!

FREE HUGS

Finally MisMatched Mittens was the 2016 Entrepreneurship project. This time profits going to the Redcross Anti Bullying campaign. “These mitts are different and they don’t care, do you?” read the tag the students hired Articulate Ink here in Regina to create. They sold 89 pairs of Mitts at $15 a pair. After expenses the class ended up donating $870 to the Anti Bullying campaign. How awesome!

I believe the learning outcomes are much more concrete when you experience Entrepreneurship.

mismatched-mittens-background-photo

 

 

where-to-invade-next

A Must Watch: Where To Invade Next

Michael Moore is always stirring some political pot. At times he’s not the most liked in his home soil of the United States, but one fact you can’t deny is Michael Moore, love him or hate him, doesn’t mind controversy in the search of truth. Yes he bias, what producer isn’t? Every movie of his you must watch understanding that there’s a hidden bias or else you’re going to take his movies too seriously (Sicko, Capitalism: A Love Story, Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine).

Enter: Where To Invade Next?

This is my favourite Michael Moore movie yet. It has nothing to do with war (though the title seems to make you think so). He visits various countries in Europe and talks to them about Government, Tax, Education, Health Care, Judicial system, food and much more.

Enlightening is an understatement.

Every place he visits seems to be beautiful, friendly people who work great jobs for great wages and have a very important family life. In some places the kids are never assigned homework because social connection and family time is so important to the education system. Two hour lunches with your family, 36 hour work weeks and lots of vacation time. Hard to argue with that!

One of my favourite parts was when Mr. Moore was talking to teachers in Finland (one of the best regarded countries for education worldwide) he asked “what’s the one thing you would tell me to take back and spread across the USA?”. Almost in unison they all said “get rid of the standardized test!” Hard to argue with some of the best teachers in the world.

The Documentary is on Netflix right now and I think you should watch it.

Everyone Has A Superpower, What’s Yours?

No one’s going to ever look at you and say “Yup, your superpower is ______”. After a while it may become apparent, but in the mean time try new things, experiences, really track what you love and don’t love about those experiences. If you keep trying new things you’re going to eventually stumble upon your superpower. It’ll be a magical moment in time where you’ll finally understand your calling, your purpose, the reason you were put on earth.

Everyone has a Superpower, What's Yours?

No it won’t be flying, invisibility or metallic claws coming out of your hands, no it’ll be something inside you, something unique that’s sets you apart from everyone else. If you still think it’s impossible, I will still beg to differ. Nothing is actually impossible and yes everyone does have a super power.

Nothing’s Actually Impossible

Remember when you were a kid, you’d tie a bed sheet around your neck and Leap from chair to chair because you were a super hero? Nothing was impossible. If you wanted to ride a bike, build a fort, fly to the moon, WHATEVER, no one could tell you it was impossible. You’d just fail and fail and fail until you got it right.

Some how between being a superhero child and “growing up” someone takes away our cape. They tell us to do what we’re told, don’t follow your dreams, after all, superhero’s are made up, right?

WRONG!

Everyone has a superpower, everyone has something they are amazing at. If you don’t know what yours is, just try a different cape!

We’re all meant to do something super, nothing is actually impossible, we just like to believe what the critics say. Critics don’t change the world, superhero’s do.
Go tie that bed sheet around your neck, find your superpower.

The Best Example of User Experience in Real Life

Big grass lawn

I heard this on a Podcast several years ago now but it has always stuck with me.

The Best example of User Experience in Real Life.

A brilliant architect was designing the new front outdoor landscape of a university. When it came time to plan the walkways through the grass the architect refused to and instead opted for grass to be put EVERYWHERE. Not knowing his brilliance, the administration let the mad scientist have his way. A year later the architect came back to find a perfectly worn path where people walked and now they knew precisely where to put the path.

A path is created

Moral of the story: don’t assume you know what people like, user testing is ten thousand times more reliable than “past experience”.

Don’t assume you know, assume others do and your job is to find out from them by observing and testing.

A Summer Camp For Highschool Entrepreneurs in Regina

Bigideacamp website

Yup, we did it! The first week of August this past Summer we ran “Big Idea Camp 2015” a one day, Amazing race meets Harvard business competition. We had 6 students who formed two teams and competed in 5 different challenges throughout the day. It was nothing short of amazing.

Here’s the Twitter play by play on the day… Remember to follow @BigIdeaCamp on Twitter!

Big idea camp on twitter

#InTheLab a weekly marketing video series filmed and edited by Eddy Alvaro

We’ve been busy over at Strategy Lab!! At the start of 2015 we decided to film a short clip every week on a variety of topics. Usually about marketing or some story that deal with business. Below are a couple of my favourites:

 

7 Things You Can Start Doing Today That Will Make Your Life better

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get the flooing you've always wanted-hardwood flooring regina

Just ideas that you can actually use in your life. Start saying hi to strangers, change your wallpaper on your computer and cell phone to something inspiring. Keep changing your salutation on your emails to something that will make the other person smile. Those and many more!!

Episode 15 – In this one I explain why I give away Stickers

I love to give away things that you can put up in your office that will remind you of how awesome you really are.

Remember youre better than you think you are

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