Have you heard the story of the man who made a series of trades from a red paper clip to a house in two years? We all barter and trade skills, items, services, and cash. This is one woman’s experiment to show her eight-year-old son how he can play a role in this economy.

I started my humble design business when my son, Alistair, was only seven years old. As a single mother, I wanted the opportunity to build a career that fulfilled my creative drive, and also provided for myself and my child. I am proud to say that a year into it, due to very good mentors and clients who believe in me, it is happening.

The challenges of raising a young man and being an entrepreneur are plenty. Should he know of uncertainty– the pitches that fall on deaf ears? Or, should he only know of the celebrations of success? I let Alistair know it all. My hope is that one day he’ll go into business for himself with eyes wide open.

What do I want Alistair to know about business?

  • Keep your mission statement clean and simple (bigger or better)
  • Always make fair trades!
  • Don’t be secretive, let people know what you do
  • Always give more than you take

Alistair, I challenge you to a game of “Bigger or Better.” Over then next two weeks, trade this pencil to your heart’s desire, always asking for something a little “bigger” or a little “better.” I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

The Rules:

  • No Cash!
  • The item can’t  be worth too much more than the item you are trading for it (that’s not fair)!
  • You can’t use up any item or decrease an items value.

Trades (from most current back to a yellow pencil)

Trade #3

18″ Gum Wall Pillow

Erin Christensen, with Norwex. This was the trade that ended the game! Alistair is so in love with this artisan pillow of The Seattle Gum Wall. The designer is Erin’s talented hubby. Not only did Erin trade with Alistair a hat for a pillow, she showed him how to clean windows with her amazing Norwex Cloths. Needless to say, Alistair is pretty smitten with Erin.

Check out Erin’s chemical free cleaning solutions here: http://erinchristensen.norwex.biz/

Trade #2

Nike Golf Hat

Michele Edwards, Vice President of Eastside Business Association. Michele was kind enough to provide a spotlight to Alistair at the Tuesday morning EBA Breakfast at the Bellevue Coast Hotel. This is a fantastic group for business owner’s to become more connected with other leaders!

Check out EBA here: https://www.facebook.com/EastsideBusiness/

Trade #1

8G USB Drive

Steve King is an elder-law attorney with Somers Tamblyn King Isenhour Bleck. Alistair traded Steve a yellow pencil for 8G USB flash drive.

You can find STKIB Law Firm at www.stkib.com

The Start


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This is where the journey begins!