Help Your Kids Start a Micro Business

by on September 17, 2010 under Business, Education

[singlepic id=38 w=300 h=226 mode=watermark float=right]At school kids are repetitively taught: do what the teacher says and you will get a sticker or an ‘A’. This sets kids into what I call an ‘employee mindset’ which can make it difficult for them to self actualise their own lives later on. Creating a Micro Business teaches them to take charge of their own financial lives.

In the absence of other influences the institution of school creates individuals who are good for jobs and little else. “Do what the boss says and you will get a raise, promotion, or bonus”. The challenge with this scenario is that many people feel dis-empowered because they feel they have to superimpose their bosses’ values over their own. This is what creates fundamental dissatisfaction in many people in the workforce. Unless you see how your values align with those of the company or undertake self-education around starting your own business, your only options are to fall into line or change to another job. Hence why the average person today spends only 18 months in any one job.

The other challenge is that many of us give our children pocket money. That’s right, this is a problem! Which part is the problem you ask? The word GIVE. When you simply GIVE children money, you are rewarding them for whatever action they think they did that led to the reward. Often this will be simply asking or nagging. If you respond to these requests frequently then you are creating a credit junkie. Today credit card debt per capita in Australia is among the highest in the world at over $3000 per person.

How do we get money in the real world? Simple: In exchange for products or services. If you want to raise empowered children then you must instill this in them from an early age. Teach them to offer a product or service in exchange for money and you will empower them to take control of their own financial future. Here is what I mean:

Last Christmas I had the opportunity to babysit for my sister who has 3 lovely children. I noticed that the eldest, 10 yr old Jaslyn, was into Hama Beads. Uncle Chad saw a micro business and educational opportunity: “Hey Jaz, why don’t we buy some magnets to stick on the back of these creations you are making and you can sell them as fridge magnets!” She instantly saw dollar signs. Off we went into town and got the magnets. We returned home and she went into production for hours making the magnets you see in the picture above (notice how inspired and alive she looks).

For 9 months now the micro business stand has stood in my sisters’ Bowen therapy treatment room and Jaslyn has sold over 25 Hama Bead Magnets at $4 each. That’s some good pocket money! More importantly, what is she learning? She is learning how to make money and how to create and run a business. She is learning that to get money you have to create and deliver a product or provide a service. She is learning the value of money because she worked to earn it. She is learning that if she wants to she can create an income for herself from her own micro business.

I believe these are some of the most important things you can teach a child. I know as a parent these days you may feel you don’t have time to help your kids start a micro business. You don’t have to go to this extent right away. The first step could be as simple as setting dollar values for household chores and stopping the gravy train of free money. Any parent has time to do this in the interest of teaching their child about the elephant that school ignores: Money.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Build Solar Panels

    I have been searching for this for quite a while. I’m writing a college report on this and this is going to help me. Thanks.

  • Chad Elliott

    Hi Catherine,

    I wouldn’t be declaring any income at all if I was under 18. No one will force your child to declare adolescent income. If, on the other hand, you want work displayed in a gallery then give them your personal TFN and withold tax from your childs sales revenue to cover your personal tax liability (say 30%).

    So you might pay some tax, but hey, your child will be beaming with confidence and building momentum towards a real business and a fulfilling life. To me that is worth it.

    Its easy to get a personal ABN on the net and it is free. Get yourself one and then get your .com.au set up easy as pie.

    I do hope that helps, let me know how you go…

    CE

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  • Catherine

    Our situation is (according to the Tax Office guidelines) that as soon as you get a single commercial dollar from selling art, and you have plans to continue this, you are classes as professional and thus you have to have an ABN and TFN.
    To have work up in a gallery you have to sign a TFN declaration form etc.
    It is doing my head in a bit.
    You also need an ABN to obtain a ‘com.au’ website domain.
    Have you heard of anyone else, via your blog, who has had to go this route for under 18 offspring?

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