My 10 year old son has a business.
I had been asking each of my sons to come up with some goals for themselves and together we could develop a game plan to make it possible to achieve that goal. My oldest, who is 10, really wanted an iPad. Since that purchase is not within my means or interest, I told him he would have to come up with the money himself.
After some discussions about ways to make money (like doing more chores to earn allowance faster), we decided to try and come up with a plan to make money through a business. I thought that not only would it be a great way to work on him earning his own iPad, but also be terrific to tie into our homeschooling.
I first set him on the task to research – using Pinterest primarily – to figure out what he wanted to do and then, after he narrowed it down to making things, to decide what he could make. This was a great exercise, because it helped us both see where his interests lie and to learn how to realistically evaluate options.
Going to the supply stores and having to price out how much it would cost to make each of his intended products, figuring out a profit margin, how to pay his little brothers if they help him, and how to handle the income in relation to expenses all tie into the mathematics of how a business works.
When we started, I asked him a series of very challenging business plan questions that were intended to make him dig deep and think of his answers carefully. It was a chance for him to reflect on his strengths and weaknesses, figure out how to overcome or outsource areas that he finds hard, and also problem solve potential challenges. I was actually quite astounded by his answers.
My son tends to be extremely introverted and shy. He can find interactions with people he doesn’t know quite overwhelming and stressful, however this opportunity allows us to push his comfort zone through customer interactions. We are planning on doing a Christmas Bazaar or two over the season, and I know it will be hard for him at first – but he knows I will be there to help if he can’t handle it. I want to encourage him to keep trying.
The products that he’s decided to make allow for a lot of creative options. I love to see him researching new ideas and trying them out, and even trying ideas of his own. It’s been exciting to watch him think of new products and test them out. It’s stretching his creative side.
Learning about Failure
Not every product we’ve attempted has been successful. One that he really wanted to do just has not worked out at all. It’s been really disappointing. But, it hasn’t held him back. We just looked for something else to work on until we come up with a way to attempt this one again.
He hates writing. It’s like pulling teeth to get him to do any writing exercises but I’ve found that he’s very eager to take notes with this project. He has his own journal to keep track of everything from product ideas, prices, stores to get supplies, customer orders and addresses, etc.
One of the most important skills I feel this has offered is that he’s learning that he can’t just get whatever he wants right then and there. You have to save for things. I have been trying to drill the dangers of living on credit and instant gratification with my children. Helping drive home the need for financial responsibility is so important.
On top of all of this, it’s been a fun way to spend time together – just him and I, plus it’s helping him get some real life business experience that might help him decide on his career goals in the future.
He’s already doing quite well – having had 3 orders (one of which was quite big), and he has been very professional at making sure everything is completed properly and with his best effort.
I am excited to stand back as much as I can with this endeavor and let him shine. Anytime learning can be done in a creative and stealthy way, I’m on board. He has goals – I can’t wait to see him succeed.
Lisa Marie Fletcher believes in supporting homeschooling families – especially her fellow Canadians and strives to do so through her blog, The Canadian Homeschooler. A mom of 4 boys ranging in ages from 1 to 10, when she’s not teaching, cleaning, playing with her kids, watching action packed TV shows with her hubby, answering emails, or blogging – it’s likely that she’s reading or chatting online with friends.
2 thoughts on “What Running a Business is Teaching My 10 Year Old”
so just what is his business Lisa?
Well, so far, he’s making lollipop bouquets and melted bead keychains/magnets and products. 🙂 There are a lot of other ideas floating around too – hopefully we can figure out how to master them before we start the Christmas vendor fair circuit! 🙂