“Kids are getting older all the time.”
Seems obvious, right?
But beyond being a borderline “Yogism,” the statement possesses valuable meaning when you really think about it.
For instance, when you look back to when you were younger, don’t the kids of today’s world just seem older in comparison?
Technology plays a big part in that—I didn’t have a cell or smartphone when I was a kid; I mean it was a big deal when I got my own landline, but the type of technology didn’t exist to the point of making it commonplace for kids to have their own “portable” phones.
Not to mention the fact that today, you have kids earning millions of dollars thanks to YouTube, video games, and other platforms. Kids just seem older today because they are doing things we couldn’t have ever dreamed about doing as kids ourselves.
All of this got me thinking—what are some things that have positively impacted me as an adult that I really didn’t start doing until I was an adult?
One big thing that comes to mind is reading.
Don’t get me wrong, I read plenty as a kid, but I was reading everything I was told I should be reading: Encyclopedia Brown and then Goosebumps, and other kids fiction. I loved it all, and reading in general helps the young mind, but I wish I read more of the type of stuff I read now. Success stories, self-help, business, and more.
Sure, it all comes with the mindset. As a kid, you don’t really know what you want to do when you grow up, so it’s tough to hunker down and dive into books that will help you build a certain skill.
Likewise, most kids don’t possess an innate entrepreneurial spirit, so they don’t care to read about how to monetize their strengths, etc.
As a kid, I did have a tinge of entrepreneur in me, but I didn’t take it further than trying to sell baseball cards on the street corner, or creating my own sports logos with Microsoft Paint. I didn’t realize that with some research, perhaps I could have actually made a buck or two doing so.
Which brings me to the ultimate point—kids should be reading in general, but they should also consider readings of a different nature—like blogs.
Such “real world” content sparks ideas; there’s nothing like life examples and student success stories to get the mind rolling.
With that, here are a few specific blog posts that your child might enjoy reading.
Disclaimer for parents/guardians: As with most things, it’s best to not just let your kids loose on the following entries. Be sure to take the time to vet these blogs yourself, and realize that you might not 100% agree with everything presented on them. Also, your kids might actually benefit from reading with you on a few of these, as you can better explain some of the harder-to-grasp ideas and topics presented.
Learning from those who have been there
Speaking of young entrepreneurs, here is a good group to start reading up on! Some of these kids and teens have already become household names, thanks to media coverage and shows like Shark Tank—as is the case with Mikaila Ulmer of BeeSweet Lemonade, Ryan Kelly of Ryan’s Barkery, and Moziah Bridges of Mo’s Bows.
These are real-life mobile game developers, online tutors, product innovators, and chefs who found the intersection of their skills and hobbies, then monetized their ideas through successful businesses!
Building a foundation of rock-solid principles
While the previous blog post is more focused on specific success stories, this entry from Inc. has 11 quick-hitting tips to get you and your child thinking about their approach and ideal mindset as an entrepreneur.
From learning the value of money and hard work, to the fact that it is actually OK to fail, these are the principles that aren’t talked about enough when it comes to raising successful children—not just in business, but in life.
“There’s an app for that!” Remember when this was a fairly popular saying? You don’t hear it as much lately—not because it isn’t true, but rather, because it’s so true that it’s no longer surprising; people know for a fact there is an app for basically anything they can think of.
So, of course there's an app that teaches kids about business. In fact, there are a few.
This blog post covers five of them, from Motion Math Pizza where kids can learn what it takes to run a pizza restaurant, or Street Food Tycoon, where they figure out how to get their food truck business off the ground, and then profitable.
My favorite? Football Chairman, where little sports fans step into the shoes as owner of their own football (soccer) club to construct rosters, manage stadium operations, and much more.
Sparking an idea (or two)
“It’s never too late!” But actually, according to the authors of Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas, “It’s never too early!” That is, it’s never too early to encourage kids to start thinking about the many benefits that starting a business can provide.
So, with that thinking, Kidpreneurs.org put together a list of 50 creative business ideas for kids, split up into different sections for the creative kid, or kid chef, or those who are more outdoorsy, techy, etc.
The list is full of great ideas, but beyond that, it just goes to show that many things, if met with enough passion, can be potential business ideas—even something like trash! Yes, trash. As the guide explains:
“... resourceful kids can offer to clean up trash after parties or events or even in yards. Along the same lines, cleaning curbside neighborhood trash cans is definitely a dirty job but one that many residents are happy to pay for.”
Cheers to learning, but here’s to doing
Hopefully you can use the above to help your kids ease into a different type of thinking and learning; one that can lead to immediate action and pay long-term dividends.
But more importantly, hopefully kids do in fact take that valuable next step of action! Some, depending on their ideas and goals, can jump right in right now. Others may need to develop their skills in a particular area, earn funding, and more.
Regardless of what group your child falls into, think about how their objectives can be bolstered through summer learning.
We offer over 50 cutting-edge summer tech courses for students of all skill levels. Your child will be building in-demand skills and innovating like a pro in no time!