Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Encouraging an Entrepreneur

Last summer Jacob started helping to mow our lawn.  He often talked about wanting to mow neighbor's lawns to earn some money.  At 10 I thought he was too young, who would hire a 10-year-old anyway?  Well, this year he was determined to mow lawns and earn some money, he was 11 years old after all and much wiser than he was a year ago!  This year we told him to go for it and he has.

On his own he created and distributed a flyer throughout the neighborhood.  I thought maybe he would get a job here and there throughout the summer.  Summer hasn't even officially started and the boy has been busy!

He now has three regular weekly customers, and has already earned over $100.  That's big money for an 11-year-old.

Of course we are helping him a bit, I created a couple spreadsheets to help him keep his customers organized and Bob supervises the mowing a bit.  In our neighborhood the front extension is a fairly steep little hill, so it's a bit challenging even for an adult to mow, Bob helps with that portion.

Jacob is learning all types of things from cultivating phone/communication skills,  to time management, and money management.  His goal is to earn enough money to buy stock in Apple.  We are researching some options for that right now.  But purchasing stock opens up a whole new avenue for learning about the stock market and the way our economy works.

We are so proud of his leadership and his work ethic.  He didn't sit around talking about starting a business, he just got up and did it!  It's inspiring to me and he is setting a great example for his younger siblings.  These lessons that he is learning will serve him well for the rest of his life.

These are some of the books Jacob is working through this summer:

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy {this is on my to be read pile too!}
A Bluestocking Guide: Economics
Common Sense Business for Kids
Capitalism for Kids: Growing up to be your own boss

Small business owners are the heart of our country, and the opportunity for turning a passion into a business is really unlimited.  We are hopeful that this little taste of being his own boss will serve him well in years to come.


Robin said...

What a wonderful way to teach the value of a dollar, responsibility, and the personal rewards of a job well done! Yay, Jacob!

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Thanks Robin, he's really enjoying the experience!

Laurie said...

Good for him!! So many people have yard services in CA that it would be hard for a young person to make a go of it. I love his goal! I am having a hard time helping my son see the value of more long term goals (than purchasing a bike). We'll have to read some of those books. I am pretty sure we may have a few on our shelf.

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Laurie, we have many lawn services too {they do snow removal in winter!} so I thought the same thing - he would have a hard time, but I'm sure Jacob's prices are much more reasonable than a lawn service so that helps! I think long term goals are a challenge for everyone :)

Tereza Crump said...

It's amazing what children can do when parents are not holding them back. :)

My DD9 wrote a newspaper last month. We have been going around distributing it to friends and everyone asks how much does it cost. She never thought to charge it. But she did negotiate a couple of ad space in her newsletter with 2 businesses. :)

I will be checking out the links for the books you suggested. thanks. :)

Mary said...

I love it!! What a great way to encourage him and for him to earn money. We have a boy in out neighborhood that has done this exact thing - he is in high school now and paid CASH for a brand new riding mower and also pays for his own cell phone with all of this lawn money. If anyone needs their lawn mowed we all say: "Call Drake!".

Mary said...

This is fabulous and inspirational. My 16 year old is trying to earn money for a trip, but has been shy about offering his services! I am going to have him read this post.

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