Part one was about teaching kids personal finance. Today I want to talk about encouraging kids to become entrepreneurs.
Hubby and I are both self-employed and have been for many years. I think I got the entrepreneurial bug from my folks. My Dad has run a successful business for 40 years, and my mom has had many business endeavors too. Ditto for my husband’s parents. As a kid he frequented flea markets, where he bought and sold baseball cards for profit.
We teach the kids that it’s safer to have many customers and clients who pay you, than one employer who does. I’m not sure if it’s our example or just their own entrepreneurial leanings, but the older kids already think like self-employed people.
For instance, my 12 year old has a thriving YouTube channel that earns about as much as I do each month via Google AdSense. He’s had an eBay business for a couple of years, buying items at wholesale and selling them for a tidy profit. His latest interest in coin collecting. He can tell you everything there is to know about what coins are worth and what they’re made of, what their “melt value” is (whatever that means!). This is the child who buys gum and candy and sells it for a profit to his siblings. I always joke that when he hits it big, I’ll be living in his basement. 🙂 Caleb, 15, isn’t as interested in buying and selling, but he wants to own his own business. In the meantime, he earns money in various ways, including eBay selling.
It’s difficult sometimes to watch your kids run a small business enterprise. I’ve had to bite my tongue and let my sons learn lessons and make mistakes. It’s heartbreaking to see your child lose money because of a picky eBay customer who refuses to buy insurance but wants a refund when the USPS loses their package, for instance. But those are important lessons for them to learn.
Recently we got a book called Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs With Big Ideas! The 8 and 10 year old girls devoured this book. Sadie even worked her way through the exercises and then decided to launch a blog, with her sister following suit. The book is a fun, very kid friendly way of introducing a child to the principles of starting a business: from market research to pricing and marketing.
Dave Ramsey’s book EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches is another that sits on our bookshelf. I got this as a gift for my husband, but imagine my surprise when I found the 15 year old and 10 year old devouring it!
More on entrepreneurial kids here.
What are your thoughts on kids and entrepreneurship?