What Can Your Teen Do to Earn A Million Dollars?

What talent does your teen have that could become their money tree?  What are they passionate about, what do they absolutely love to do and would do all the time if they could?  What bright ideas do they have?  Can they turn that into a profitable business?

Does your teenager want to be a musician or songwriter but they haven’t shown any musical talent?  What sort of businesses could they have around music?  How about selling music, either records, downloads, or sheet music.  What about musical instruments?  Start small by buying and selling on Ebay or Etsy.

Did you know that Richard Branson, now a billionaire who owns the Virgin companies started selling music from his home in London when he was boy?  He certainly parlayed that into a successful corporation.  He went from his home business to Virgin Records.

Recently on the show House Hunters International they featured a man who wanted to move to an island and work from home.  He started a business teaching piano on the internet using an online video platform so he could live where he wanted and teach piano to people all over the world.  He claims to have a multimillion dollar business and his home purchase seems to confirm that.  Granted he’s not a kid, but this is something a kid can do.

What skills or talents is your teen capable of teaching to someone else?  How about creating tutoring videos about math or history?  Teaching guitar by video or how to garden, how to can and preserve, how to crochet, how to scrapbook?

Have you heard about the tween who started a company called Man Candles because he was embarrassed to use perfumed candles?  They are masculine scented candles in a can.  The company grew from his home kitchen to become a real manufacturing company.

One young woman became a millionaire selling greeting cards she designed for teens because her friends complained that none of the cards in the store fit their age group.

Recently I saw a video about a 12 year old who was well on his way to becoming a five star chef because he got fed up with mother’s poor cooking skills.  He decided to teach himself how to cook.  He watched the food network, practiced knife skills then started cooking.  He turned his bedroom into a professional chef’s kitchen with money he earned and once a month he and his mother turn their home into a restaurant where he tests his skills on the neighbors.  This 12 year old is now apprenticing with some well renowned chefs and his goal is have his own 5 star Michelen restaurant in the near future.  You can see his passion when he talks about it.  It made me want to find out where he’s cooking and get an invite.

Another young man who is 11 was so repulsed by the effects of genetically engineered food that he has decided to become an organic farmer.  He is learning everything he can and is educating other young people along the way about healthy eating.

Ted Talks features a 12 year old boy who creates apps for android phones.  His apps are very popular, he’s earning a lot of money and has plans for a future in Silicon Valley.

And if you don’t think your kid can create a million dollar business around skateboarding, just google Tony Hawk and get back to me.

Kids are amazing and can accomplish awesome things when given half a chance and some solid support.  What are you doing to empower your kids to become an entrepreneur?

About the Author

Cathy - August 20, 2012

What a fabulous blog! You are right about what children do carrying over. I didn’t let my son work, except for occasional refereeing, so he could concentrate on his studies. He did volunteer his time to help coach youth hockey while he was in college. Now he is a PhD phycisist doing research in Oxford and running the youth hockey program as well as coaching adults at the age of 29. He isn’t making a million bucks but he is doing well, has taught his 3 year old to skate and loves life. It is all about sharing our gifts!
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    Julia - August 20, 2012

    Cathy, when I was in high school I wanted to be a physicist. The math was such a struggle for me and even though I got an A it took a tutor to do it, so I crossed physics off my list. It’s nice to hear your son accomplished so much and still participates in his passion for hockey.

    Thank you for leaving your comment.

katie - August 20, 2012

Julia, I just saw an episode of “Secret Millionaire” with the youngest millionaire so far on it. He was 24 and had started his own chair company at 14 that quickly became a multi-million-dollar business and supported his family — fantastic.

    Julia - August 20, 2012

    I love that show Katie, but I don’t watch much television anymore so I haven’t seen it in a while. Wow, he was 14. It’s great to see kids start so young when their imaginations have few limits and they are mostly fearless. Thank you stopping by and telling us about this young man.

Kama - August 20, 2012

So many fabulous ideas! My boys are now grown up but when they were teenagers we tried our best to encourage their creatives ideas. So important to let teenagers know that they can actually achieve anything they put their mind to. As adults we tend to forget this at times if it isn’t already instilled in our minds at an earlier age.
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    Julia - August 20, 2012

    Your boys were lucky to have you Kama. My mother, to this day, says the word imagination like it’s a bad thing. I’m lucky my father fancied himself an adventurer and pioneer. Thank you coming by to comment.

Andrea Feinberg - August 20, 2012

What an inspiring post, Julia! So much of what comes from our most creative years are ‘pooh poohed’ by the adults around us; often, brain storms we long for as adults we had as kids and just didn’t know how to take the next step unless we had the necessary support from parents or teachers. As adults, we’re encouraged to persist to pursue our dreams, even in the face of disappointment and disapproval. Getting a head start as young children is where every Olympic participant came from so it’s marvelous to realize the same level of success could come from any heart-felt endeavor. Passion and support can craft many million dollar dreams!
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sara - August 20, 2012

Love all these stories about these children. I’ve read about a number of them. I remember reading about the man candles and thinking – why didn’t I think of that. As far as crochet goes, Teresa aka crochet geek is a prime example of turning something you love into a lot of money. She’s another one to look up. Your passion will feed your success.
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    Julia - August 20, 2012

    Yes, Sara, passion does feed success. It’s the passion that keeps us going. Thank you for telling me about Teresa, I will look her up. It’s important to support our children in pursuing their creative ideas. They need to learn to cope with fear, rejection and failure early on so those things are not hurdles later on. Thank you for your comment.

Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. - August 20, 2012

Been the rule for me and mine since forever…And, I try, as it seems do you, to spread the practice to other young children (and the “young at heart”).
Great share
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    Julia - August 20, 2012

    Children need all the supportive, encouraging adults they can find in their lives. The children in your life are lucky to have you. It’s my dream that all children have a chance to pursue their dreams and passion. Life is dull without passion. Thank you for your comments.

Jan - August 20, 2012

Loved this post, and pointed it at my (now 20 year old) daughter… I can live in hope can’t I?
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    Julia - August 20, 2012

    Yes, Jan, not only can you live in hope, you should live in hope. How did your daughter react to the post? I’m gratified the post was well received. Thank you for sharing your comment.

      Jan - August 22, 2012

      I got the “look”. Don’t get me wrong, she is starting her 3rd year at Uni after summer, working hard and heading for a 1st.
      The chances of leaving Uni and getting a job around here are ever decreasing. Unemployment rates are sky high. Not being able to get a job after illness, even with years of experience and more qualifications than I care to count is why I went self-employed (and even with it’s ups and downs, I wouldn’t go back now!)
      She accepts she will have to think out of the box or continue education next year – and thinks I am far too pushy by urging her to start thinking now!
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        Julia - August 22, 2012

        My experience with why I started my own business is similar to yours Jan. But in my case, after the agency I worked for went bankrupt I was told I had too much experience which put me at the top of the pay scale and they were now hiring interns fresh out of school. Coupled with my age and the fact that I’m not bilingual, left me unemployed. Entrepreneurship was the only answer. And it was perfect, I should have been doing this all along.

        As for your daughter, the part of the brain that can reason about the future and comprehend consequences of actions is just becoming fully developed. Perhaps she’ll find a job in her chosen field someplace else. Not everyone is cut out to be or wants to be an entrepreneur. As you full well know, it isn’t always easy nor fun and can be very stressful when trying to get a business up and running.

        Thank you for sharing your story.

Amethyst Mahoney - August 20, 2012

Love this post! Too many people are told that they have to grow up, go to college, get a dumb job, slave away for 40 years, and then hope they have enough money to retire. If we would teach people instead to do what they are passionate about, more people would be much happier, more successful, and the world would be a much better place!
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    Julia - August 20, 2012

    Thank you for your comments and support Amethyst. I was one of those who was told to get a dumb job and build a retirement fund. When the agency I worked for went bankrupt, so did I. They lost all the money in the retirement fund and owed me $8000 in salary and reimbursements. We have to train our kids to be prepared to have to be economically self-sufficient. And yes, I agree, the world would be a better place with happier people and less stress.

      Debbie - August 21, 2012

      Yes, I have seen this happen to many people in one of the jobs that I worked. It was a place that many retired people went to. We the stock market took a dive, these people lost most of their retirement money. I personally don’t believe in retirement. If you love what you do, you do not need to retire. I have given my kids this gift. Some followed, some didn’t.
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        Julia - August 21, 2012

        You must have a lot of energy and really love what you do to not want to retire. I very much want to retire. That doesn’t mean I won’t pursue doing what I love doing work wise, however, there are things aside from work that I love doing as well that I want time for and not have to think about money. My grandfather retired at 62 and by 63 he was back at work and worked until he was 90 so I’m familiar with that way of thinking.

Emily - August 20, 2012

I Love this post. Children can do anything and still have the energy to actually do it with fewer self-imposed roadblocks.

My oldest daughter started a blog (long before I did) with her photographs on it and is very passionate about her hobbies. She could so easily turn it into a money maker if she wanted.

All children have such untapped potential and if we as the adults in their lives help guide them towards their dreams (rather than forcing them into a preconceived notion of the BEST way to do things-go to college and get a job)then they would be happier and ultimately more successful.

Bravo on a well written and inspiring post!
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    Julia - August 20, 2012

    Thank you so much for your comments and support Emily. I wish I could impart to all young people that they might have to be responsible for their own economic well being as things on our planet seems to be changing in a big way. Whether that’s good or not remains to be seen and they need to be able to take care of themselves. I agree that children can do anything. Too bad they have all the energy and fewer limitations.

    I have an adult friend who I am convincing to start her own business. She is a very talented crafts person who designs her own needlepoint patterns, crochet and knit patterns and other things. She could have a great blog to teach people these skills via video and sell her designs. One of these days she’ll do it. I hope your daughter monetizes her hobbies as well.

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