11/21/08

Your Kid’s Ability to Start a Home Business

. 11/21/08

Over the years, my girls (now 11 and 7) have asked me to help them start their own business. They have had several ideas come and go...an online horse game business; a political magazine and a fashion magazine; pet related products; girl related hard-copy magazines; a horse stable downtown; they wanted to manufacture their own toys and create their own video games; and oh, yes- the homemade treats they wanted to bake, package and sell themselves.

I have always told them that I loved their ideas and that we should "check it out" or that they should put it down on paper to revisit when we are not as broke, have more time, resources, etc. I always felt I lacked the knowledge and resources to help create businesses for kids and turn their ideas into a reality.

Then one afternoon, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of a show host interviewing a nine year old who had decided to go into business for herself so that someday, she could buy a horse of her own. I felt horrified over how much I had underestimated the abilities of my own children! However, I was excited to learn that there already are businesses for kids out there that have been wildly successful. Helping kids start a business is not such a crazy idea after all.

To make sure, I did some further research and learned that this 9-year-old girl is far from alone. So many successful kids have founded their own businesses that I will not even try to count. I read about Jason O’Neill, creator and founder of Pencil Bugs; Cameron Johnson, who started his first official business at 9 years old; Anshul Samar, who began to build his business, Alchemist Empire during his 4th grade summer; and Adam Hildreth who started his first business, Dubit, in 1999 at the age of fourteen.

In addition, more than just a couple of kids who have taken business on early in life have been wildly successful. So successful that some are actually multimillionaires now!

I thought back to all the home-business courses and books I have read over the years...How could I be so thoughtless? Starting a business for kids would involve the same basic steps one needs to take in starting your own home business for grown-ups. A kid or a teenager can just as easily get started in a niche of his or her own.

Only better...Kids and teens are a wellspring of imaginative thoughts and ideas, and are unafraid to take action. Moreover, by starting out at a young age, they have more time to build, learn from mistakes, and build again.

Chances are, your kid has already shown you his or her entrepreneur spirit, but even if they have not, you can easily ignite that flame. Maybe, like me, they just need to be shown that it has been done by other kids and it can be done by them too.

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