It’s exciting to see my kids learning important life skills at a much younger age than I did, and actually earning money with these skills!
I suppose when I was around 14 years old, I did start doing random work for people, including typing documents, computer repair, or consulting people on computer purchases, just because there were people who insisted on paying me to do these things. But I didn’t consider myself an actual business owner or start managing other people in my business until my late twenties.
Recently, our daughter Emily (15) hired her first employee (part time contractor) – other than her sister – for her Crystal Cut Studios video production business! She started her business about the same way I did – at 13, people saw her videos and asked if she could do some work for them. But unlike me, she treated it like a business. And two years later, she has several consistent clients, and more asking her for work all the time. So she’s realized at a young age her ability to scale her services, as well as free up her time to pursue other creative passions and further her education. (Whether that’s creating an environmental documentary, studying biology, or animating a short film to your singing voice.)
How did she hire someone? She created a job posting on Upwork.com, looked through dozens of applications, interviewed the most promising ones, and hired the best candidate for a test period to see how he does. He’s a young man from the USA who has a good skill set and video editing experience, and she negotiated paying him a little less per hour than she has tended to charge her clients.
We don’t really know how this will go. Her income will take a hit at first, as she has her new team member help share the load. And she’ll have to train him in her processes, explain her creative ideas, allow for his creative expression, and carefully check the quality of his work to make sure it matches her standards.
Even if this ends up a complete financial failure, I’m happy to see her doing this because of the lessons she is bound to learn through the process. This is an education in management and business operations that’s hard to get without jumping in and doing it, and it will serve her well throughout her life.
When we’re traveling, or she has other things she wants to prioritize, she’ll be happy knowing that she can hand off a project to her teammate if she doesn’t have time to complete it herself, so her client’s projects can continue being delivered in a timely manner.
Lesson: The teenage years are the perfect time to start entrepreneurial endeavors, because teenagers are capable of doing so much, and the consequences of “failure” are much less intense when you’re living with your parents and have everything provided for you. Emily was nervous to do this, but through our encouragement and support, she knows we’re here for her, and it’s great to see her passion for her work help her push through her fears. What can you do this week to encourage your kids (or yourself) to create something you’re passionate about, or push yourself through your fears?
Note: This post comes from a recent email I sent on my free Weekly NOW email newsletter, where I share what I’m doing, what’s I’m thinking about, and what I’m learning each week. Would you like to get these emails? If so, click here to sign up to receive it.
12 Jun 2018