There are certain traits about myself that I hope not to pass along to my kids – like my insomnia, clumsiness, and lack of any sense of direction whatsoever (just to name a few). However, one thing that I really do hope my kids catch on to is my willingness to do things differently when “normal” doesn’t make sense.
As I was spending many hours at my computer making The Emerging Entrepreneur a reality, my daughter (age 7) kept reading over my shoulder. What’s a business, Mommy? What does marketing mean? Choose your own sales tax adventure – that sounds fun! We had some good talks about what it means to be an entrepreneur. She decided she wanted to run a dog walking business. People would actually pay her to walk their dogs? My little canine-lover was over the moon. She wanted to start tomorrow and was disappointed when we told her that she’d need to be a bit older before she could ride her bike to customers’ houses without us. Even then we’d want her brother to go with her. My son (age 5 at the time) interjected immediately with a loud “I don’t want a business!” Sigh. We clearly have some more work to do.
Running a business is not a requirement for every child or teen. It’s not like brushing your teeth or eating a balanced diet. However, running a business during the teen, tween, or young adult years teaches a student money management at a deeper level, and enhances their résumé when applying for future jobs. When I was a partner in a firm of Chartered Accountants, our staffing model was to hire new graduates and have them grow with our firm. One of the candidates we interviewed had run a car cleaning business during her high school years. Obviously car cleaning and accounting are not exactly related, but her business experience told us that she was resourceful, creative, diligent, and a hard worker. We were so impressed with her that when she negotiated a higher salary during the offer process, we gladly gave it to her.
According to Statistics Canada, the young adult unemployment rate is currently 14.2 percent – almost twice as high as the overall average in Canada. Some sources say that this number may be understated because many young adults aren’t collecting Employment Insurance or welfare benefits. Today’s new grads need something that sets them apart from their peers or a new way of earning a living.
I am so passionate about entrepreneurship that I recently completed writing, testing, and publishing an e-course called The Emerging Entrepreneur: Launching your part-time business in Canada. My goal with this course is to teach teens, tweens, and young adults everything they need to know in order to run a part-time business. I hope to empower students to think outside the box, and learn valuable business skills that they can apply to whatever path they choose for the future.
This course will help your student come up with a business idea that is practical for them to do using their skills, preferences, and stage of life (i.e. tiny or nonexistent start-up budgets). Next, your student will be guided through evaluating that idea to determine whether it makes sense logistically and financially. After that comes marketing, time management, sales taxes, income taxes, record keeping and evaluation questions to ask as things progress. Also included are links to bookkeeping-made-easy templates to use to make tax return preparation easy.
Even if a student has no intention of opening a part-time business right away, the concepts presented are still valuable for future application. We’ve all heard the stats about how many small businesses fail each year. Knowing how to evaluate an idea and implement it properly can save a lot of heartache and money when the time comes.
I wrote this course for students, but I had many parents of my beta-testers tell me that they found the course incredibly useful for themselves as well as their kids. So, if you’re thinking about starting a part-time business for yourself, this course can help.
The special launch price on the course ends on May 4, 2013, so don’t wait too long!