Raising Entrepreneurs: Kids Starting Businesses

There are several reasons we encourage an entrepreneurial mindset in our family. Briefly, because there is freedom and variety in it, and unlimited opportunity, allowing a person to do what he or she is good at and loves. And, entrepreneurs turn the machine–they are leaders.

And it even goes beyond that: even if our children end up in a life work that is more mainstream, the entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable one of innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness. It grooms us to see that the world is full of ideas, and to solve problems and live optimistically.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever told this story here, but my son Brooks has a passion for machines. He loves to look at them, talk about them and ride them. He loves to watch his Poppy repair them, soaking it in like a sponge. He has wanted to operate a machine business since he was old enough to articulate it.

When he was 6, he began quizzing me about how a business operates.

“If I have a machine business, I want people to call me to work for them. But how will they know to call me?”

“Well, you have to advertise and list your phone number so they can find it.”

(Long pause) “How do I get a phone number?”

“You call the phone company and they’ll give you one.”

“How do I find the number to the phone company?”

And on it went like this for about an hour of pure, fascinating interest in running his own business. He got a crash-course in business that day that continues to propel his dream.

When we got home, I ordered him some business cards. By then, we had talked all about a business name, branding, marketing and saving up for his first investment–a skid steer, his favorite machine. I encouraged him to share his business cards and tell people about his dream business. Part of that, I told him, was to hone his relational/communication skills–something very important to a business owner.

 

Brooks has a jar of money he has been steadily saving for his first machine. He does odd jobs for us and for his grandparents to earn money. With an early vision of his goals and a growing understanding of economy, he should be well-equipped at a young age to launch into adulthood.

And even if his goals change, maybe he has a good start in the foundations of business.

If you’re interested in raising entrepreneurs, you may enjoy Raising Entrepreneurs, Raising Leaders.

Also, I’d love to hear your stories about how you’re encouraging business/entrepreneurial skills.

 



13 Responses to “Raising Entrepreneurs: Kids Starting Businesses”

  1. ann saylor says:

    love it! good luck to your little businessman!

  2. Carolina says:

    How old is Brooks? Yes, you shared that story one time, about how he was wondering how to make himself known.
    It is a great idea what you are doing.
    My friend´s children dig out earth worms (you can only do this in clear nights, and a couple weeks a year) and sell them for bait. They also trap in their property.
    In our family there is nothing now that we could think of for our oldest, 10. Right now there is nothing that he can market. One time they raked leaves for a neighbor, and of course, he “works” at home for his money, but in our neighborhood almost nobody hires anybody to do that kind of jobs. But I have already told my old neighbor across the street, that when my son is old enough, he should be hired to mow his lawn (what he does in our yard).

    • Brooks is 9 now, and just as inspired as ever. I love to hear about worms farms. How perfect is that? Virtually no capital up front. Have your kids think outside the box. The world is their market, thanks to the internet.

      • Carolina says:

        Not even a month after I wrote that, my children, 10 $ 7, sold out in their first mini-bussines! Baby raspberry plants taken from ours (what had grown too much) and transplanted into small plastic buckets.
        I just post it in FB, and my husband in Craiglist, and voila, in a couple days all the plants were gone. It wasn´t a lot of money, since there weren´t not so many plants, but it was a beginning.

  3. Mim says:

    So sweet! Go Brooks!

    My six year old son loves to give neck massages (he’s good too!) so he made a sign to let people know he has a neck massage business. So far he only remembers to bring the sign out when family are visiting, but they have all enjoyed their great value neck rub haha. His sign is very cute, and let’s people know he is raising money to send to children in Africa (my parents live and work in Tanzania so he has a real heart for helping Africa).

  4. my oldest is 11 y.o and she has a creative spirit. She loves to draw, paint and sew. A couple of years ago, we printed one of her original drawings into Christmas cards. She made a couple hundred dollars selling them. Last year, she did it again but wasn’t able to sell as many because we traveled for the holidays. Now she is hand sewing stuffed animals and wants to sell them. We should be taking pictures of them soon and posting them on my Etsy shop or I might just open one just for her. She has got the perseverance to be an entrepreneur. When she has an idea she doesn’t leave me alone until she gets it accomplished! ha! :)

    Thank you for this post, Kelly. Sometimes we need a reminder of what is really important in our children’s education. :)

  5. Dawn says:

    Our 15 yr old son works for his dad doing HVAC work whenever dad needs him. So far, he can run duct work from start to finish and wire up units. His goal is to get his General Contractors license, while also learning plumbing, electrical and further HVAC, so that he can build houses and do most of the work himself. He is very motivated, and like your son, we just had a long conversation the other day on what his next steps should be. It helps that his 26 yr old brother is a business owner. And dad is self employed as well. We strongly encourage ours toward being business owners. Nothing in this world like having God be your ONLY boss!!

  6. Kelly L says:

    That is very cool!

    My daughter wants to be a fashion designer. She is currently saving all her $ for when we visit New York and spend time in the garment district this Fall.

    This is inspiring to me to help her keep going on with her dream. Since we HS, one of her math courses is going to be business math so we can set her up a little for her future, too.

    Soon the HS room will become a room full of materials, I am sure!

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