You’re never too old or young to have an entrepreneurial spirit and follow your dreams. Here are a few stories of some amazing child entrepreneurs. Share them with your children—maybe it will spark their entrepreneurial spirit!
Cameron Johnson- At the age of seven, Cameron was selling vegetables to his neighbors. At nine, he earned the accolades of being the top-raffle-ticket-seller at his school. After his parents purchased him a computer and printer, he started a business printing greeting cards, stationery, and invitations. At the age of 12, he made a sound business deal purchasing his sister’s beanie baby collection for $100. He later sold them on EBay and made $50,000! He then invested money in the stock market and by the time he was 15-years-old, his greeting card company sales had reached $15,000 per day. He was later asked to be an Advisory Board Member to Future Kids and Sega America. Cameron is now 24-years-old and spends his time lecturing on entrepreneurship and making television appearances.
Leanna Archer- Leanna is the founder of Hair Inc., a business she started when she was 8-years-old. She used a family formula to create a hair repair product and sold it to her friends and fellow students. Word got out about her product and before long she was receiving orders from stores across the U.S. While developing new products, Leanna also had time to be an honor roll student and eventually receive a scholarship from Harvard. In 2005, she founded her family-run business, Leanna’s, and has earned amazing profits. Her yearly revenues have surpassed $100,000.
She was also named one of Inc.com Magazine’s Youngest Entrepreneurs under 30.
Jason O’Neill – Jason is the founder of Pencil Bugs, a hand-made-bug-like pencil topper. Jason started his business at the age of nine. He also produced and marketed matching laminated bookmarks and t-shirts. His future projects include a Pencil Bugs board game and video game. Forbes.com identified O’Neill as one of the Hot Role Models to Admire on their list of Top 10 Role Models 18 & Under.
Today’s entrepreneurial children will be tomorrow’s successful business leaders. Parents can spark a child’s entrepreneurial spirit by providing them with the emotional skills they will need including modeling effective problem solving and brainstorming solutions, having a positive attitude, and having a willingness to take risks, potentially fail, learn from their mistakes and try again. According to Dr. Andrea Vazzana, clinical assistant professor of child psychiatry at New York University Langone’s Child Study Center. "Social emotional skills are important and the earlier you can help a child with them, the better."
Child entrepreneurs need to be comfortable with taking risks while also knowing that their plans aren’t going to come to fruition overnight. Set your child up with confidence by supporting their risks, and sometimes failures, and their desires to succeed.
Raising a child with an entrepreneurial spirit is an incredible thing, but parents should also model financial responsibility and provide their children with the tools they will need to manage their success. It’s never too early to begin teaching children the life lesson of financial literacy.
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