My eleven year old is such a little business man. The title on his business card reads “Junior Entrepreneur” which perfectly suits him. He makes his money by mowing lawns, selling homemade wares at the Saturday Market, watching homes for out-of-town neighbors, and removing snow from driveways. I remind him that when we move to the cabin he will need to find a new line of work, since he will be unable to perform most of these tasks. He saves all his money for cell phones and accessories and remote-controlled airplanes. He definitely has an aptitude for cell phone equipment and applications and r/c airplanes for that matter (is there a promising career in r/c planes?). So much so, that he is on a first-name basis with our local provider. Too much fun! The customer service staff often joke with him and say he could easily work alongside them (of course they would break a few child labor laws, but it’s all in good humor). When he goes into the office they actually ask him questions. I just stand back and watch in amazement as he shares his depth of knowledge about cell phones and how they function.
You might be wondering why an eleven year old is working (trust me, it’s not full-time). I told him over the years that when he turned eleven he would need to get a job to pay for extras. Of course, I wouldn’t expect him to do anything I didn’t do as a child. I became a babysitter at age eleven and have worked ever since. I cannot imagine him babysitting though. Yikes, that’s a scary thought! (What were those parents thinking when they hired me?)
He recently learned a very valuable lesson about business when a customer did not pay him what he expected for a job. He (and I for that matter) realizes that it’s good practice to get customer expectations in writing – up front. It was devastating to him when our neighbor paid him $300 less (than his calculations) for a job he performed over the span of five months. It broke my heart, because he had written in his journal and told all his friends how he was going to spend the money (on three r/c boats). One for him, one for his dad, and one for his brother. (Not sure why my daughter and I were left out, but I digress.)
Well, he is resilient and very creative. He has been brainstorming ideas on how to make a little cash (of course he wants to sell everything not nailed down) now and after we get to the cabin. Today he decided that washing bikes might be a lucrative venture. Here is the sign he created to solicit neighborhood kids (no bites today, but there is always tomorrow).
Some of his other ideas include: homemade birdhouses (like the one pictured here), bike repairs, and writing a blog (yes, I confess…that’s my idea).