The Budding Entrepreneur

Anna has a 9-year-old budding entrepreneur. Anna is teaching herself to be an entrepreneur, but what activities can she give him appropriate for his age to teach him these skills?

QUESTION: Anna in Houston has a 9-year-old budding entrepreneur. Anna is teaching herself to be an entrepreneur, but what activities can she give him appropriate for his age to teach him these skills?

ANSWER: Each time he has an enterprise like that, we just walk through with him and kind of in a sense analyze the enterprise. Why is this working? Why are people wanting these pencils and erasers? What made you think of that? What other ideas are similar? Are we really making money? We paid $X, and we sold them for $Y. Is there really a profit there? We want to look at the difference between gross and net. That’s a big deal there.

Kind of help him with the accounting because sometimes, people who are entrepreneurial work really, really hard and they bring in a lot of money, but they spend more bringing it in than they actually take in. That’s called a loss. A business that breaks even is called a hobby. We want it to make a profit.

That was one of the things my parents did for me. I think I did some of that for my kids. They did make us keep a profit and loss statement on our business. I was more like your son. I was kind of naturally bent that way. They didn’t have to get a whip out to make me do it. I wanted to do it. I’m selling little things here and there, and I’m working a yard-cutting business. This is how much my repairs were on the lawn mower. This is how much the gas is on the lawn mower. This is how much I’m getting paid, and so the net profit is this. It took me this many hours to cut that yard. Am I really making a profit? My goal was to make more per hour than my buddies who were working at Burger King flopping Whoppers. That really wasn’t hard to do.

That profit and loss statement and then understanding the market—the marketing to his peers. There’s nothing wrong with that. Why is it that you’re able to sell those things? What other things fit that same category that would allow you to do that? You don’t have to get too crazy about it, but you can just ask him lots of questions about his business. Just keep his mind thinking that way. I think you’ll take him a long way doing that. There’s no magic formula to this stuff.

The last thing is I would just encourage him that with that gift, he can be anything he wants to be since he has that natural bent—that natural tendency. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he’s old, he’ll not depart from it.” In the old King James, it says, “in the way he is bent,” meaning what are his natural giftings—his natural characteristics? Keep encouraging him in his natural giftings.