25. Great Books For Entrepreneurial Kids

Have that entrepreneurial itch? On today’s episode, Connor and Brittany discuss some great books that will inspire listeners to start their own businesses.

Books:

The Babysitter’s Club 

Tuttle Twins

Lawn Boy 

Toothpaste Millionaire 

Uncle Eric Series 

This is the transcript of our conversation:

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: Hey, Connor.

Connor: Hey, I wanted to talk to you again about entrepreneurship. It’s a topic we’ve discussed before, you know, ways that kids can start their own business or why it’s important as adults to find ways to start our own business. Today, I thought it could be fun to talk about some of the books that might inspire kids to become more entrepreneurial. You know, I’ve got two kids Keaton is 11 right now. Lyne is nine, and I’m always trying to find ways to help them to be a little bit more like an entrepreneur. So first maybe let’s give our listeners a reminder, Brittany, if you would, of what that word means. What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

Brittany: Yeah. Well, I think the easiest way to describe it is a kind of business, a business person, right? Man, woman, whatever it is. But, there’s more to that. I feel like an entrepreneur is a, is a more special word, so to speak, because it kind of shows you that as a business manager, you just kinda think of a cold-hearted person in a building. I’m not saying that’s true, that’s just what we associate it with, but there’s something really specific about an entrepreneur, which is that they’re already very passionate about what it is they’re doing. So they want to create value, they want to, as we talked about how you can offer a service to someone, right? They really want to help you. They wanna help make your life easier. So entrepreneurship is a very a special topic to me, and I think this is a great idea to talk about books

Connor: And, and it’s something we’ve talked a bit about before you just mentioned, it’s like giving service to someone. Another way to describe an entrepreneur might be as a problem solver, right? Yes. You’re trying to solve problems. You see, they can be a small problem, they can be really big problems, but it’s someone who’s, who’s a good problem solver. Some, if you’re running a business, you’re just kind of like managing things and telling people what to do and filing reports and stuff like that. But a true entrepreneur is trying to find ways to solve problems that people still have and make their lives better. So if you, any of you kids listening, the parents, Brittany, you, and I, it’s always good to try and think what are the problems that we can solve. And there are several books I know that we’ve come across that are kind of interesting too, help kids learn a little bit more about this.

Brittany, maybe I’ll start. Yeah. And then you can go after me. I got one for my kids a few years back called Lawn Boy. And this is a book by Gary Paulson and Lawn Boy. You’ve got this old writing lawn mower. And so the boy sets out to start mowing some lawns, and then inevitably more and more people, you know, want him to mow their lawns. And so he has believe it was a neighbor, one of his clients this man named Arnold. And he offered, to teach this boy about capitalism, about economics, right? To understand why earning money is important and what you can do with wealth, and why it’s so important. So it’s a really interesting opportunity for little kids to kind of see, look, even those little businesses that we’re doing, right they’re not just ways to earn five bucks that we can go immediately spend at the store.

There are some really deep and interesting principles in there that we can understand that even as a young kid if you apply those principles if you try and actually set it up like a little business, you can actually earn way more money. Why? Because you’re solving way more problems or way more people’s problems. Maybe it’s the same problem. In this case, it was a lawn, right? Mowing the lawn. Yeah. But if you find an efficient, good way to solve those people’s problems, you can end up making a lot of money, and accumulating a lot of wealth, because you’re serving a lot of people. So, I, there’s Lawn Boy, I haven’t read the sequel law Boy Returns, but I know a lot of people like this book. And so it’s one that I would encourage folks to check out.

Brittany: That’s good. So my next one or I guess my first one is called The Toothpaste Millionaire by Gene Merrill. And just like you said, I’m glad you brought up the problem-solving aspect because this book is the same way. This kid, Rufus, he’s a sixth grader, He doesn’t set out to become a millionaire. He doesn’t even set out to make money. He just wants to solve a problem. He’s noticing his family spending too much on toothpaste, and he decides not only that he wants to solve the problem, but that he wants to do it better than anyone else has ever done it. So he tries to make his own toothpaste. He, I think the goal is that he wants to make a gallon of his own for the same price as one tube at the store. And so it, is not just him hanging out, wanna do it, right?

He has to develop a production plan. He has to get help from friends, he has to collaborate. We’ve talked about having networks before, right? That’s really important. He networks the time he reaches eighth grade, he’s making more than a gallon. He’s actually making a million, a million dollars on a billion gallons. But this is a, really fun story. It was recommended to be by a lot of parents because they’re saying it really just kind of showed the kids the same thing you were saying. Not just to make money, but to be a problem solver and to help and give service through that. So yeah, check that book out.

Connor: Cool. And by the way, we should mention to Brittany, that we will link all of these on the show notes page for today. And so head over to tuttletwins.com/podcast and you can scroll down and find the show notes page for this particular episode. If you wanna grab the links to any of these books that we’re talking about. The next one that I wanna share is I got this for my son in particular, cuz he’s the older of the two kids that I have. And I came across, I’m trying to remember how I found, I think this kid john is his name, might be a Tuttle Twins reader. I think they reached out and that’s how I found out about him. And at the time we connected, he was this 13.

Brittany: Wait is this a true story then?

Connor: This is a true story. Oh, this boy John Louzonis I think is how you pronounce his name. He wrote a book called Kid Trillionaire, How a Little Kid Can Make a Big Fortune. And he wrote it when he was just 13 a couple of years ago, and he’s trying to be like the next WalterBuffet, right? He’s trying to invest his money. Wait,

Brittany: Warren Buffet.

Connor: Warren Buffet. Warren Buffet, thank you, thank you. Yep. Warren Buffet. And so he’s trying to be really successful early on and learn a lot along the way with his parents’ help. And so he wrote this book and I’ve seen videos of John help you out front back, you know, before Coronavirus, when people actually went outdoors, And he would be out on a street corner with a little table and a stack of his books, and he would just be hustling, right? Selling directly to people and talking to ’em about this book. Hey, do you have any kids in your life? Do you want them to learn how to be an entrepreneur? Here’s a book that can help them. And I wrote it. And so this video, they do one of those time-lapse things, right? Where you see things go really quickly.

It’s like the, you know, two hours in, two minutes worth of video. Yep. And so you see all these people coming by and buying these books. And so he publishes a little newsletter. I think it might be monthly. You can, I follow him on LinkedIn. And so you can find john online and he publishes the newsletter, Here’s how much money I’ve made. And here’s, you know, how, So he is being very transparent with how he’s doing as a kid and trying to earn money and accumulate wealth. I’m not,

Brittany: How old Is he now?

Connor: Now? So he’s 15 now. Cause he published the two years ago. It’s called Kid Trillionaire. And here’s just a portion of this littleAmazon ex excerpt that will give you a little taste of how John, I’m sure with mom or dad’s help is really positioning himself to help other kids learn the things that he’s learned. He says, Hey kids, do you want to get rich? Are you sick of waiting until Christmas and your birthday to hope that just maybe you get a couple of things you want? Are you tired of constantly asking your parents for money to buy a pack of gum or even an iPhone, tired of begging them to take you to Disneyland? Do you wanna buy your own car the day you get your driver’s license? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ve picked up the right book.

And then he goes on to explain the things he’s gonna show you in the book. So I got this from my boy and I gotta say, it’s got some really interesting, powerful things in there for kids to learn. Taking the advice of another kid who’s really trying to do this well and learn a lot and succeed. And so I’ve been very impressed with what Young John is trying to do, and I think he’s gonna be going places. And so, again, we’ll link to that on the show notes page. But Kid Trillionaire is the name of that one. Brittany, what have you got next?

Brittany: So this one is special to me because this one helped me as a kid. So Babysitters Club specifically, the first one which is called Christie’s Great idea or Big Idea Babysitter’s Club is exactly like it sounds. It’s about a group of girls who decide to start a babysitting business. But like, we, like a common theme that we just talked about, it all starts with a problem, right? So Christie has a bunch of younger siblings and she has to go somewhere that night her mom is frustrated because she can’t get a babysitter. And she keeps thinking, I wish there was just one place I could call to find a babysitter so that I didn’t have to sit here and go through my phone book and call every single, you know, 13 to 15-year-old girl in our neighborhood, just for them to tell me no.

And we have to make more and more calls. So Christy gets an idea that’s Christy’s big idea. And she decides, you know, what if I create, what if I streamline that? What if I create that, the product my mother was talking about? So once a week, I think it’s four or five girls, in the beginning, get together and they set hours and they put up flyers around the neighborhood and they say, Okay, parents, you know, these are our hours. Call us to schedule an appointment and we will connect you with one of, you know, five girls and we’ll make sure that you have someone to cover your bases. So not only are the girl, these girls learning how to babysit, learn, learning a skill, but they’re also making money. But then the club ends up getting bigger and bigger. I think towards the end they have like 10 members, maybe more, but even better still as the whole neighborhood has their needs that they need.

They have all the babysitters so the kids are taken care of. Everybody wins. But what was so cool about this book and why I really wanted to share it with you guys is that this is why I started my own babysitting business. Oh yeah. And I grew up in a community where there were lots of kids. I mean, the average family in my community growing up had at least five to six kids. And so there was a lot of money to be made. So after reading this book, it was something I couldn’t just read and put down and forget about for me. I read it and then I started my own business. And that’s when something called a print shop. Remember? Print Shop? I think that’s it. It was where you could make your own flyers on an old printer. I mean, it took forever.

And you could make business cards and you could make all these things. And I remember sitting there and making a logo and, and making my own, you know I mean flyers and business cards and handing them out to people at church or in the neighborhood. So I got to this book not only gave me a really good fictional story, but it really inspired me to do the same thing and to act on it. And I think that’s what’s important about these entrepreneurial books, entrepreneurial books, is we want to inspire kids to do the same thing. So this is one of my favorite books.

Connor: First, the first part of being an entrepreneur is learning how to pronounce entrepreneur,

Brittany: Entrepreneur or spell it. But I think I just recently learned how to spell it,

Connor: So of the most successful entrepreneurs I know can’t spell exactly well at all. So cut yourself some slack if the entrepreneur is the hard word. Brittany, what I like about the story that you shared is that this is something I know you used to work at an organization called Fee, the Foundation for Economic Education. We love Fee and, and what fee is really good at, is taking kind of pop culture and stories and movies and drawing lessons from those movies. Like, oh, you know, here, here’s how to understand how the free market works inside Avengers. You know, Age of Ultron or whatever, right? And so it’s, it’s really fun to use books and movies and shows and things that people are familiar with. And so it’s interesting for you to draw those lessons from Babysitters Club, right? Because it shows that there’s gonna be so many more examples from things that we, you know, read and watch and encounter that we can still learn these things from.

We don’t have to read an economics book, right? Yeah. We don’t have to do that, to gain those lessons. Okay? Maybe the last one, I’ll, I’ll take this one and I would be remiss if I didn’t share this one after all. It’s a Tuttle Twins podcast, so of course, right? Or, I think it was our book number eight if I’m remembering right, It’s called The Tuttle Twins and Their Spectacular Show Business. And when I decided to write this book, I was talking with my kids about entrepreneurship. I think I had even just bought maybe Lawn Boy or I’d bought one of the books that we’ve talked about. And so I was thinking a lot more about, okay, how do you teach kids how to start a small business? What are the things that kids need to learn if they wanted to do that?

And so we, we kind of put together, together this story where I said, Okay, there’s a lot of stuff to teach, right? Because you gotta understand if you’re gonna be an entrepreneur, you gotta have a business plan and you gotta understand what investment is and what risk is, right? Because if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna start a new business, that could be kind of risky. There are things that you can lose. Maybe you’re losing time cuz you’re spending so much time trying to do this. Or maybe if you take an investment as the kids do in the book from their nana maybe you fail in your business and then that investment is lost and then you feel bad to that family member or friend or investor who, you know, gave you that money cuz they believed in you.

And so there are so many things for someone who wants to be an entrepreneur, to learn that we kind of crammed in this book. And it’s, you know, what’s the most fun part for me, Brittany, is we get a lot of emails and we get a lot of like social media posts from people sharing pictures and reviews. And here’s how my kids are, how I as a kid, like the books and those are so fun for me to read. And so everyone listening, keep sending them cuz it makes my day and I love it. But what’s really fun about this particular book, The Tuttle Twins and Their Spectacular Show Business is I hear from some different parents about how when their kids read the book and maybe they did the little activity workbook that comes along with it they decided to start a business and it was this book that led, you know, these kids to say, Oh, that sounds fun.

I wanna do a little business. And for some kids, it’s just a little simple, you know, lemonade stand or something simple like that. Or for other kids it’s something more serious maybe for like a tween, is that what they’re called now? A preteen? I dunno, I’m a tween or a teenager, right? Someone who’s got a little bit more time or a little bit more energy to focus on this. And it’s so fun to see these kids starting to be entrepreneurs. Brittany, I think I’ve shared with you before, that we do, these kid’s markets in our state. And maybe what we can do on the show notes page is a link to Lemonade which is an organization where you can kind of organize with other people and do a bunch of lemonade stands throughout the state throughout your community on a specific day to learn a lot of these things.

Another one is the act in Business Fair, which operates in a lot of states. Oh, they’re great. Yeah. So we’ll put that on the show notes page if you wanna check them out and get a link to their website. So there are so many opportunities for kids like we do with our kids’ market to come out and practice and get some experience even if it’s just a lemonade stand on the side of the road, you know, there are so many ways to kind of gain that practice and learn. And so this is certainly something where it’s not just to read a book, right, Brittany, It’s not just going read in a book and Oh, oh, that’s interesting. I now know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. The best way to learn, right? The most important thing you can do if you wanna learn how to be an entrepreneur is to start, yeah, right?

Is to, is to decide what little business you wanna do. And you’re gonna make some mistakes and it’ll fail, or maybe it’ll succeed or you’re gonna figure out from your parents or your relatives helping you, giving you ideas how to make it better. When I started The Tuttle Twins, I had no idea what I was doing with the business. And so I had to learn a lot along the way. And I’ve made some mistakes and other people helped me. I think that’s, that’s how it is for all of us as entrepreneurs. And so I would say Brittney as we’re wrapping up here at the end go check out these books and there’s a lot more out there that we could share as well. But what’s most important is, yeah, find an opportunity to actually put some of these things into practice and become an entrepreneur yourself. What are your parting thoughts here, buddy?

Brittany: I think you had the best thing and that’s the start of it. Get up and do something, right? So read these books and get inspired, but don’t forget to act on that. Take a risk, start a business and you might surprise yourself. You could be a kid trillionaire, you never know.

Connor: Well, and I think especially for kids they can have a lot of risks right now, right? Because they don’t have a mortgage and you don’t have bills to pay. Yeah. And so when you’re young, it’s the best time to experiment and try new things cuz you’ve got that soft cushion to land on. If you run outta money, you know you’re not gonna go bankrupt, you’re not gonna go homeless you’re not gonna be, you know unable to eat food. Like your basic needs are, taken care of. And so what better time in life to be kind of experimenting and trying new things and seeing what sticks? And so definitely sit down with your friends, sit down with your parents, and just brainstorm some ideas. It doesn’t need to be anything grandiose, but what’s most important is to start. So great thoughts Brittany. Guys, check out tuttletwins.com/podcast to make sure you’re subscribed by looking at the show notes page for some of the materials that we’re providing. And Brittany, I’ll talk to you next time.

Brittany: Talk To you next time

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