This summer my oldest daughter was sixteen. Many of her friends began seeking summer jobs to earn money. They were lifeguards, waitresses, babysitters, swimming teachers and supervised kids jumping in bounce houses. These bright young women would earn minimum wage and would learn very little in the Life Skills department beyond what they did not enjoy doing.
I had another idea.
I asked my daughter to spend a day thinking about what kind of summer she wanted. What were her ideal plans. Did she want to go to the beach, sleep in late, watch Netflix all day or maybe go to the gym? I asked her to write what that summer looked like.
Next, I asked her what she liked to do. She immediately answered, shopping!
We then began brain storming on how we could combine her ideal summer and what she liked doing into an income stream. We decided an Ebay store was a great start. I offered her the start-up money and out we headed to shop.
She learned to run her own business. She became an entrepreneur.
She learned to research a niche market, how to buy wholesale, how to create a small business with Ebay, open a bank and PayPal account, how to handle customer service, take pictures of her items, create and market the products she purchased. She created profit/loss sheets and was able to track what she spent on the items as well as the profits. She learned to create shipping labels and ship items and accept returns from customers.
At the end of the summer she had actually out earned her girlfriends. She felt motivated to spend time building and caring for her business because it was in an area she already enjoyed. She was able to see her friends work long, hot hours in the Florida sun, or in restaurants and the money they were earning. It gave her a perspective on what leveraging your time was when she was selling items while we were on vacation. She also learned what owning her own time felt like.
Build your own dreams or someone will hire you to build theirs.