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Entrepreneurship and Our Children – What Can we do to Empower Them for the Future!

insaneWell it’s has been an incredible few week’s and I have been slacking off from posting on the blog. We have been working on a brand-new product launch with some of the top names in Internet marketing industry. Suffice to say, we are all very excited here and have been running around like crazy trying to get all of our ducks in a row and get everything ready for launch day.

As we work through our launch cycle and getting everything ready it reminded me of a small story from many years ago I wanted to share with you. I started off as an entrepreneur at the age of 10. Yes, I know that’s young but we all have to start somewhere.

I actually started my first business when I was in school and basically all I did was clean cars, pick weeds, and cut grass. Not much of a business you might say, but I was making a good income from that especially for a 10 year old! Now here’s where it got interesting, a lot of my class mates caught on to the fact that I was making good money and want to slice of the action. So what did I do? I hired them and covered a lot more ground. Instead of just working in my small area I ended up covering most of the village where I lived back in England.

I ended up with 10 kid employee’s all cleaning cars, weeding and cutting grass. I kept 50% of their earnings they kept the other 50% and I ended up making a lot more money than I would have alone. As soon as my little business grew I really didn’t have time to do the work myself, and the management side of this little business was a little overwhelming for a 10 year old. However, it taught me a some valuable life lessons.

  1. If you try and do everything yourself he won’t make as much money.
  2. Treat your employees well and they are more productive.
  3. Always have a backup plan and never stretch yourself too thin.
  4. People will let you down eventually, don’t take it personally.
  5. Keep your eyes on the prize and go for it no matter what.

Now thinking about it, this was very much in affiliate marketing model or franchise, model, not what I wanted to be McDonald’s at the age of 10. All of my employees were freelancers (with their parents permissions) and using my name and reputation to get work and they paid kickbacks to me for the privilege.

Also, because I was the one who got the jobs and contacts from the flyers I would spread around the village. Looking back I still smile and realize that even at that age, the fundamentals of success were learned very early on in my life even if I did not realize it. Now, I look at kids today and wonder which ones could turn into tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and what we can do to encourage innovation and drive. Luckily both my boys have an interest in business. My oldest son (19) is currently trying to set up his own business before he goes to college designing 3-D models and selling them.

My other son (12) is starting to let about affiliate marketing with Squidoo lenses with a lot of encouragement from me obviously. He has already made a few dollars here and there. He is also learning about video marketing as he is obsessed with YouTube and has made a few hundred bucks there as well. In today’s economy I really do feel that we need to enable our kids to create their own jobs and their own incomes and marketing online, creating their own businesses can help them either supplement an existing income or create an independent source of income.

It is a very powerful skill to not rely on any economy or job openings being available. In the US alone we have just seen it almost 10% unemployment and when I see students coming out of college off to four years with no hope of work, it saddens me. I was very lucky in the fact that my father encouraged me to get off my butt and start a little business as well as give me the little bits of advice I needed to expand and turn it into a thriving enterprise. These simple life experiences from over 25 years ago laid the foundation for my success today.

Now the aim of this blog post was not to give you a life story and I may have rambled on a bit, but I think it’s an insight into our children’s futures that we need to think about to help them succeed in life. Let me know your thoughts about this and share your stories about what you want to do with your kids to encourage them in relation to business or entrepreneurship.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...

One comment

  1. I think your right. Our youth is spending way to much time sitting around in front of video games and should be working and learning the value of the dollar. It’s great you are already teaching your sons.

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