14. What Are Some Businesses I Can Start As A Kid?

You don’t have to be a grownup to start a business. From neighborhood lemonade stands to homemade toys, there are so many ways for kids to be entrepreneurial.

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This is the transcript of our conversation:

Connor: Hey Brittany.

Brittany: Hi Connor.

Connor: So summertime is coming around and my kids are ready to make some money. So I wanted to take a minute and brainstorm with you ways that kids can be entrepreneurs. Okay.

Brittany: I like This.

Connor: My son actually bought a book. I’m trying to remember the boy’s name. I should have looked it up, but I follow him on social media. He’s the super bright boy. I think he’s like nine or 10. And he wrote this book called kid trillionaire, and he’s trying to be like Warren Buffet and he’s trying to earn money and save money and grow. And he is this young kid trying to figure out how to make money. So he shares a lot of lessons. And so that’s something maybe in our show notes page, we could point people to kid trillionaire.

Brittany: And this is a book. It’s not a website. It’s not like a blogger.

Connor: He has, I think like an email list you can join. Oh, great. I follow him on LinkedIn. And we got his book for my kids, so I really like this because it’s so fun to see kids being entrepreneurs. So Brittney, when you were young, were there, was there anything that you did to make money when you were younger?

Brittany: I was always hustling. I was always looking for money. So I had two primary businesses. The first one was mechanical, pencils were a big deal when I was in school. Okay. They might still be, I don’t know. But they would get jammed a lot. And so I would charge kids a dollar to unclog their mechanical pencils.

Connor: Wow.

Brittany: And I was actually kinda making a killing for a while because everybody has a dollar it’s not hard to find a dollar.

Connor: Right.

Brittany: So I think there was one point my parents were confused cause I was coming home with tons of dollar bills and they were wondering why, where is it coming from? So that was, that was one of my main businesses as a kid. I also, when I was about 11 or 12 started my own babysitting club. Okay. But it was just me.

No, no other people. I was the only one.

Connor: Yeah.

Brittany: But I loved that book. I thought it was very entrepreneurial. I loved that. The kids got to make money. That was so cool to me. So I started my own and I lived in a neighborhood and I lived in a community where there were lots of kids and lots of families with kids. So I was making, and this was back in the nineties. I was making, I think $5 an hour, which does not sound like a lot. But I was babysitting Thursday, Friday, Saturday. I mean, I was, making some money, so

Connor: That’s awesome. Yeah. So when I was a kid, you know, we did the typical lemonade stand. I, think we actually did. Kool-Aid I, was going through my old photos the other day of when I was a kid, I was looking for some photos of my grandpa for a different project and I stumbled across it. It’s so fun cuz they talk about lemonade stands all the time and for like our work and changing the law and stuff like that. And then here I found this photo of me selling Kool-Aid for 25 cents when I was like a nine or 10 year old kid. So it was a lot of fun. I didn’t really, other than that, like I didn’t really have any significant things. And I remember when I was 15, I started doing an actual job, but I didn’t really unfortunately have a ton of entrepreneurial type of projects when I was younger. So I think I’ve taken an active role with my kids and making sure when they’re young to give them some ideas. So that’s what I’d love to brainstorm with you for all of our listeners out there. Maybe they’re teenagers, maybe they’re younger kids, but let’s talk about some ideas and, maybe before we get into some ideas, Brittany, let me ask you a different question. Why do you think it’s important for kids to be entrepreneurial? Why, should kids wanna make money? Like clearly they love spending money and buying toys or whatever, but, why is it important for kids to, get a little bit of practice with like small business?

Brittany: Yeah. Well there’s the obvious answer of it’s gonna help them prepare for adulthood, right? When you’re adult, you have to deal with money and bills and it’s not very pleasant, but there’s something else I think is really cool about kids making money. And that is when you’re a kid and you can probably remember this. You don’t have a lot of power over a lot of things. You have to do a lot of things that maybe your parents tell you to do, or maybe it’s in school. But there was something really independent feeling about earning my own money because we didn’t get allowance. We had a lot of kids in my family. We were just kind of expected to pitch in with housework, but we didn’t get paid for it. And so for me, I really felt independent and like I could, do something without having to ask my parents for everything. And it was sometimes little things like I wanted to buy. If I wanted to buy junk food, I was allowed to, if it was money, I earned my mom wouldn’t buy it, but I could, if I had earned the money. Sure. So there was a lot of freedom in that and I really, really loved that as a kid.

Connor: How many outta curiosity, how many siblings do you have?

Brittany: So I have nine siblings.

Connor: Wow. So yeah. Big family, a lot of chores at home, right? Yes. That was good. Slave labor for your parents. Right. To get, to get all that help around the house. And that’s how it was with me. Right. Is no allowance. It’s like, you’re we provide for you? Yep. You’re part of the family you’re gonna help out. I do remember now that I’m thinking more about it, that my parents did what they called money chores. And so apart from our normal chores, they would say, look, if you wanna, you know, defrost the freezer and ship away, all the ice we’ll pay you, know, $2. Or if you wanna, you know, go clean the toilets that you’re not already supposed to clean, we’ll pay another dollar. And there were always those opportunities. And of course me as a kid, I’m like, I don’t want to clean, you know, like I wanna do other things other than cleaning. So I didn’t do a lot of money for it.

Brittany: But you could, if you wanted to,

Connor: I had that opportunity for sure. Yeah. So, let’s now talk about some different ways cuz I know there’s a lot of kids out there, my son all the time, he’s always like I wanna earn more money. Let’s think of more ways. And so we’re always sitting down brainstorming different ideas. So certainly there’s the lemonade stand. Although I’ve seen some kids perform even better. Certainly, if you’re gonna do a lemonade stand, you might not wanna do it on your driveway unless you’re on a street that gets a lot of traffic, right. You’re gonna wanna go out to lake the corner. Yeah. The corner of the street or at the park or you know, down the road where there’s gonna be a lot more people passing by. And I’ve seen people also have more success if rather than just your standard, you know, lemonade, maybe you have two options that people can choose from. Or maybe you have lemonade and brownies and cookies

Brittany: Or two, different options.

Connor: Exactly. So if you get people choices or if you do a little bit of food and a little bit of, drink, that might be more enticing. You always also wanna make sure, like I’ve seen some kids who just sit there behind, you know, their booth and expect people to come to them where I get really excited when I, frankly I always pull over when there’s a lemonade stand. I too.

Brittany: I always, Yeah.

Connor: So sometimes I’ll even like dump the lemonade off. I’m like, oh this is too sugary.

Brittany: As long as they get my money, I’m happy

Connor: Exactly take my money. And, kids listening. Think about that. I tell this to my kids too. My kids right now are, let’s see, 11, my son just turned 11. And my daughter is nine. They’re getting big. And a lot of our listeners have probably seen our tuttle twins videos when they were like, you know, six and four. No, I think they were seven and five. So anyways, I tell my kids all the time, you guys have this little sweet spot right now where people will pay you no matter what you do, just because they wanna support kids who are learning how to be entrepreneur, you could be selling them like a brick and they would still buy it cuz they think it’s super cute. So take advantage of this little window of time to figure out how to be entrepreneurial because you’re gonna make a killing. Right? So, the lemonade where I’ve seen itwhere, what I was saying is when I make really make sure I wanna pull over and support ’em is not just when they’re sitting there behind a table selling stuff. But when like they have two kids, usually it’s two siblings and one will be sitting there to kind of deal with the customers or, you know, take the money and provide the product. But when the other kid is about 50 feet down the road ahead of them with a sign. To give notice to these cars, oh Hey, you’re  about to pass this thing. So be sure and look at it and pull over. And it gives people like a heads up. Then I’m thinking, wow, these kids are not just learning how to be entrepreneurs. They’re also thinking a little bit about marketing, right? They’re thinking about how to advertise, which is very clever. So alright, so the lemonade stand, right. If you’re gonna do it, maybe think about it a little bit better. So you can actually succeed rather than just sitting there with a picture of lemonade and expecting you’re gonna make money. You can think through it a little bit more and, try and succeed. What’s another idea Brittany, that we might suggest for

Brittany: The so one thing I think that’s remember are important to remember is we have products, like things like lemonade that we can sell. Right. But there’s also services. There’s also things you can do for people. So I said, I had a babysitting company used, should babysit for people. A lot of people will mow lawns, but there’s these two, I believe they’re teenagers. So a little bit older in, I think it was Colorado who they started this long going business. It was going great. But then winter came and they thought we don’t wanna stop making money. So they did something they adapted and they evolved. And they started doing driveway shoveling for snow. This is a million dollar company now. And I wish I could remember their name. I’ll try to put it in the show notes. I wrote about them before, but they are now a million dollar company and I think they even have three or four employees now that they’re paying out. These kids are not even 18 yet. So I mean, taco, we talked about paying for college. In another episode, if you decide you wanna go to college, that’s a good way to start saving for it.

Connor: And then your parents are jealous of you. You’re making more money from your parents at that point. Right.

Brittany: So I love seeing, I love seeing when kids get creative and like I said, adapting too, right? Because the lemonade stand as well will only work when it’s warm outside. So what are you gonna do to make money in, the wintertime?

Connor: That’s true. Another thing dealing with the outdoors that my kids have done is they’ll do flags. If you live, for example, in a college town or anywhere near it, where people are passionate about usually it’s the football team here in America. You can even do this on patriotic holidays. Sometimes like the local boy Scouts will do this. So you can post American flags on independence day and things like that. But on the, what my kids do is on the college game day they’ll go around and put flags up. And so in our garage we have like 30 flags just sitting there already made you, buy the products you buy the, you know, you can find out how online to do this. Pretty easy. It’s just like a PVC pipe. And then you get the flag and then you figure out how to attach it to the pole. So it won’t move. And I think we use some I’m trying to remember what they’re called, but you just figure out how to Fasten it to the pipe. And then you go to their house, you just get some rebar and you put it in the grass. You get one of those little, I’m not a tool kind of guy. So I don’t know the names of these things, but the little bang, you get the little banger tool and you get bang, bang, bang, the, rebar down into the ground at home Depot, it’s red and it has two handles. That’s all I know. And then you put the PVC pipe over the rebar and that stays there. It’s waving it. And so these that’s people who are like really excited about their team. Yeah. And so then my kids will go out every summer, you know, in advance of the college football and they’ll have little flyers and, and they’ll go like door to door, they’ll call, you know, people that we know went to that college, for example, like their Alma mater. And suddenly they’ve got an easy way where you spend, you know, an hour driving around in the morning on a Saturday, an hour in the evening, you do that, you know, eight times, 10 times over the summer. And they make, you know, I don’t know if I should share, but they, make a pretty good amount of money.

Brittany: Now, do you take a cut for driving them around?

Connor: You know, if I was why as I would, right. But let me share another idea where we would take a cut. My wife makes amazing homemade pizza. And so what we’ve been thinking about doing with our kids, we actually, we sat down, we did a budget. We figured out the cost of all the ingredients and the dough and everything, what we’ve been thinking about, cuz we, what we like to do for our family is we will have our neighbors over periodically. We’ll kind of rotate through the whole neighborhood, invite a family over on a Saturday night, come have pizza. Let’s get to know one, another kind of thing. And so a lot of people now have, experienced this amazing pizza. So what we’ve thought about is what if the kids did pizza sales, homemade pizza, where they would help my wife at home, put all this together and then they would go out and do all the deliveries and they would take the orders and they would manage everything. So my wife would get paid because she would be helping. Right. And they would’ve to pay for all the ingredients. But at the end of the day, if they get enough customers, there’s another opportunity. I’ve seen kids do this with homemade bread. I’ve seen them do it with cinnamon rolls. I mean, imagine if you went to all your neighbors, even just once a month and you said, Hey, we’re gonna do monthly. Oh yeah. Fresh cinnamon rolls. We’ll bring ’em right to your door when they’re hot. And you know, you pay us, you know, $20 for a whole tray of, you know, Cinnamon rolls or whatever it is. Right? Yeah. You calculate the cost of the ingredients and your, mom’s time or your dad’s time to help and what you need to pay them. And, if you just did that, like once a month, that would be an amazing thing. And you would sign up a ton of neighbors. I know. I, if someone said that they would bring me fresh cinnamon roll .Remember when we talked about how capitalism or the free market is really about service. Right. And your, your people are serving you. Like, I don’t wanna pull my weed. So maybe I’ll pay a kid in the here’s another one. Right. I’ll pay a kid to, you know, a certain amount of money or whatever per hour to just go pull weeds. He is serving me cuz I don’t wanna pull weeds.

Brittany: No, I don’t wanna make cinnamon roll.

Connor: If I get fresh cinnamon rolls once a month, that is service for me.

Brittany: I would be happy with that. And you don’t have to drive anywhere to get them either. Exactly. So exactly. You’re they saving you all that stuff. Absolutely. Another good idea. And again, this is a kid that made a lot. So a lot of these are, you know, smaller scale. This girl, I think I wanna say it’s 7 million now, but I’ll, put in the show notes. She started a sugar free candy company. And I wish I could remember her name. She, I think one of her family members was diabetic or something and couldn’t have all the sugar. So she started making her own sugar free candy. Took off and Amazon it’s available. I believe it’s in whole foods now. And this girl is under 10 and now has a multimillion dollar company. So wow. There’s a small scale and there’s big scale, but it’s crazy to me that these kids just started at home. These kids aren’t celebrities, these kids have celebrity parents. They just did what you said, marketing. They used really good marketing. I think this girl got on like not Oprah. I don’t know who the big person is now would be Ellen. Ellen Think that’s how she got big. Yeah. So she was lucky in that regard, but I thought that was very cool.

Connor: I’ve seen some kids go on shark tank what was it? Mo there was a company called Mo’s Bows I think is what it was. And he made little bow ties and they were custom and unique and clever. And he was this really sharp little kid. I think he was like six or something at the time. He went on and so he had this company and one of the sharks invested, probably not because they thought that he would sell a ton of ties. It was just like, you’re a cute kid being an entrepreneur. Take my money, please. Now I will pause to say, I would encourage all the kids out there to watch shark tank, to go watch it on ABC, you know, figure out where to find past episodes. Sometimes that’s a little hard to find, but man, it is so fun with my kids sitting down and watching shark tank because they’ve read the Tuttle twins books. They understand a lot of these economic concepts. But when you see an interaction like that, where we had one of the books in particular, it was The Tuttle Twins and Their Spectacular business. And it was all about, you know, investing and business plans and marketing. And in the book it shows we couldn’t call it shark tank in the, in the book. So we called it shark pool. And so there were investors in the book and there was someone pitching that business. So my kids are familiar with this. Right. And, but when we sit down and watch shark tank and actual business owners and actual investors, negotiating, and, trying to make their pitch, it is number one, it’s just entertaining. It’s fun to watch, but it’s so great where me and my kids can sit down and talk about these ideas together. And I think it helps them think through like, man, what kind of entrepreneur can I be? What kind of business ideas do I have?

Brittany: And I think a lot of good things about that is, all these, really cool inventions or even products or services, they all start with a, solution, right? There’s a problem. Sure. And these kids are saying, how can we solve this? Maybe it’s, I’m hungry. And I want cinnamon rolls, or I have a sweet tooth. Maybe it’s I need my lawn mode. Maybe it’syou know, whatever it is that I need with the sugar free candy, maybe it’s I have a family member who can’t eat sugar. So all these really good businesses seem to all start with a problem that needs solving. And I find that really interesting because then not only are you an entrepreneur, but you’re a problem solver.

Connor: I love that. And you know, it could be as simple as doing market research, where imagine if, as a kid you took a survey door to door or you had your parents email it to neighbors, or however you want to do it where it’s like, Hey, we’re thinking of starting a business, we’ve got a few opportunities. Would you, know, buy cinnamon rolls once day. Would you hire us to shovel snow? Would you, know, whatever, I, even thought up one morning, what about a winter business for my kids where we deliver fresh, hot chocolate on Saturday morning, And they could customize it with marshmallows and peppermint and this, that, and the other. And like, Hey, we will come to your door and you don’t, you know, need to prepare it or anything. And so what are, the problems like you said, what are the problems you can think of, go around and ask your neighbors and say, what would you, you know, would you pay money for this? This is something you would do. And you’re gonna learn a lot in the process. They might say, well, I wouldn’t do that, but I would do this. And they may give you your next business idea. Just because you’ve been asking those questions. So super fun. This has been a great topic because I loveyou and I, Brittany have talked about how here in our state, Utahwhere I live, we do these children’s markets where we bring together hundreds of kids on a, you know, Saturday or a Friday night or whatever. We haven’t, we’re probably gonna not be able to do as many this,

Brittany: I was wondering, yeah.

Connor: All the coronavirus, but we’ve done it for three or four years now. And seeing these kids faces when they’re making money. And so what it is it’s like a farmer’s market, but it’s entirely for kids. I would encourage people in other state. Maybe we could add this to the show notes. It’s Brittany, to look up the act in business fair. Yes. So they’re kind of like the kids market we do, but they’re in other states as well. So you might be able to find one near you. And

Brittany: There’s one in Virginia, too. It’s real big.

Connor: Awesome. That’s awesome. And so it’s a great opportunity cuz all these kids together, all booths, they’re all selling totally different things. A lot of their, you know, parents and grandparents and uncles will come and be their customers and then shop around in the market. Frankly, a lot of what happens is that the kids will make money and then they’ll see all these things. They want to go buy in the market . So you have a lot of like inter you know, interchange going on between the business owners. But I love it because seeing their eyes light up. Right. When they’re making money, these kids are learning all these different business and economic principles. And why, because of something called the profit motive, right? When you are motivated to make money, you now have an incentive to work hard, to learn, to try new things to market you’re motivated in, order to make money. And so it’s very motivating, I think to these kids. So super fun episode guys who are listening, talk about it as a family, figure out what you can do, whether it’s summer or winter or whatever, what can you do? Not just to make money, but to learn how to be an entrepreneur. Like you said, Brittany, it’s gonna give you a lot of freedom. Especially as a kid, that’s really fun to experience. But as an adult too, we all want to be free from having to, you know, work a nine-to-five job or having to have a boss. It’s great to figure out how to be your own entrepreneur. So Brittany’s super fun topic. That was a fun conversation. All right guys, make sure you’re subscribed and we’ll see you on the next episode.

Brittany: See you next time.

 

 

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