Audio for this transcript available
Transcription Services Provided by Verbal Ink
Russ: This is the Businessmakers Show, heard on the radio and seen online at TheBusinessmakers.com. It's guest time, and I'm very pleased to have with me Mr. Peter Shaper, serial entrepreneur, nine-year CEO of CapRock Communications, a company that when he became CEO was a US-based satellite communications company doing $30 million a year, and then nine years later when he sold it, it was a global powerhouse communications company doing $600 million a year. And today, he's chairman and CEO of Greenwell Energy Solutions. Peter, welcome to the Businessmakers Show.
Peter: Thank you, Russ. Thanks for having me.
Russ: You bet. And also today, you are city champion for Lemonade Day Houston. Right?
Peter: I am.
Russ: Okay. So now, there's a wide array of topics that our audience would love to hear about from you, but today, they're going to hear about Lemonade Day.
Russ: So why don't we start with you giving us your perspective on Lemonade Day.
Peter: Lemonade Day is a wonderful experience for children to really get exposed to entrepreneurship in a structured learning environment. We have a 14-step program where kids learn about capitalism, entrepreneurship, building a business, running a business and what does it take to be successful in a business, all around the experience of building and running a lemonade stand. And it has been a – it's a grass roots organization that has grown like wildfire with kids really enjoying and appreciating the experience of learning about business in America.
Russ: Well, we've featured Michael Holt House, the founder of Lemonade Day I think three times on the show. First time just about his company, Perana, but twice on Lemonade Day. And it just always inspires me. In fact, he gave the explanation in one of the speeches that I saw him give about what triggered his idea to do it was he felt pretty blessed with the success he experienced, and it just bothered him that maybe there's some people showing up with a disadvantage, and he got really focused on the disadvantaged children that might grow up in a household that hasn't had a working parent for quite some time. And that one captured me completely, and this has been working quite well so far.
Peter: It really has, and you know, for kids who don't have a great role model, someone who is entrepreneurial or building a business or even carrying a paying job, this is a fantastic experience and exposure they might not get. But for kids, for instance, my own kids who I'm a serial entrepreneur, my father was a serial entrepreneur, but in today's day and age, we no longer have the family dinner table. We all sit down to dinner, and we talk about business, and the kids might get exposure and learn and understand how did it come about, why is it successful, what does it take, and get that feeling for the hard work, the dedication, the planning that it takes to really be successful. Here is an opportunity for my kids to get exposure to that that I'm not even able to give them given the way our lives work today.
Russ: Oh, absolutely. And I've seen some of those videos that you guys have put together with kids that have participated, and oh, it grabs me for sure. Now look, I know, Peter, you have a around the clock job or jobs. What in the world triggered you to say, “I'm going to start carving out some time for Lemonade Day.”
Peter: Well, what got to me and what got me involved is the multiple layers of value from Lemonade Day. On the surface, it's kids learning about what does it take to build a business, whether it's a lemonade stand or anything else, the 14 steps of really building that business, the lessons afterwards with the money you make, spend some, save some, share some. All those lessons are tremendous. But if you peel the onion down another layer, there's really some fantastic lessons for kids really about life, about planning, about hard work, about dedication, about seeing that hard work can really pay off and that you can earn things that you want by planning it and working it. And in even a layer below that, you know, some of these kids just don't have the experience of seeing people be successful.
That feeling of success, that self confidence that they get by setting a goal and achieving it, by earning some money all on their very own. Just the multiple layers of value to kids are tremendous.
Russ: So let's say that we've got somebody watching or listening to us on the radio right now, and they're excited about it. What can they do to help?
Peter: Well, there's lots of ways to help with Lemonade Day. Obviously, as with almost every charity, we need donations to keep the wheel turning, and to be able to offer this opportunity to 60,000 children in the city of Houston this year, but we also need peoples' time and their ideas. Time in terms of we need lots of volunteers to help on Lemonade Day, to help prior to Lemonade Day with stuffing backpacks, preparing materials, et cetera. We need lots of peoples' ideas for how do we get more kids involved. How can you find a group that you're a part of, whether it's a work environment where you can all come together and agree you can help your kids participate, or a children's environment, sports, or anything else that you're involved in where you can get those kids to come participate.
How can we get this exposure to more kids in Houston and get more stands out there where kids have really learned the lessons and get the joy of building a successful business?
Russ: Okay, so how do they do that? Is there a website we can share right now?
Peter: The easiest way is to go to LemonadeDay.org. Go to the website but you can also contact us. There's numbers here in Houston. We're not hard to find at all, either on the web or for information to get the phone number.
Russ: Great. Well, Peter, I really appreciate you updating us on Lemonade Day.
Peter: Well, thank you for having me.
Russ: You bet. That's Peter Shaper, the chairman and CEO of Greenwell Energy Services, and this is The Businessmakers Show, heard on the radio and seen online at TheBusinessmakers.com.