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How to make 7 million in 7 years …

The New-Age Lemonade Stand …

Lemonade StandPeople think my son is following in his father’s footsteps …

… but, I didn’t even think about beginning my entrepreneurial journey until I was 26 (and, didn’t actually start until I turned 30).

My son, on the other hand, started his entrepreneurial journey when he was 12.

Whereas most children begin by starting a newspaper delivery round, or opening a lemonade stand – although, at age 10, he wanted to start a cake shop outside his grandmother’s house (naturally, she would bake, he would sell) – my son was a little different:

At 12 years old, AJC Jr came to me and asked for $50 to start his new business on eBay. He offered me 49%. I accepted, just to see what would happen.

And, something did happen: a week later a package from China arrived at our front door, and over the next week a few smaller packages left the same way.

Two weeks later, my son came to me and said “here’s your $50 back” … he bought me back out!

[I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it doesn’t work like that. That’s probably the only non-commercial assistance that I’ve given his business in the last 6 years].

Since then, after growing his eBay store for 3 or 4 years, my son ‘graduated’ to an online service-based business that nets him in excess of $60k p.a. (turning over $100k++ p.a.) and has bought him a car whilst still in high school.

He contracts programmers in India and has 2 full-time customer service contractors in Manila. One of them just sent him a Christmas present and a card thanking him, saying that – because of my son – he can now fulfil his life ambition of opening up his own coffee shop.

Not only is my son setting up his own life, he’s changing other people’s lives already … and, he’s just finished high school.

With luck, and your encouragement and support (but, NEVER, EVER push) your children may embark on a similar journey … after all, the barriers to starting a business (i.e. by going online) have been lifted.

Why should your entrepreneurial child start a mere lemonade stand, when any child can now start an online marketplace for anybody who wants lemonade and anybody who can make it (or supply the ingredients and know-how)? ;)

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5 Responses to “ The New-Age Lemonade Stand … ”

  1. MITMBlog says:

    Wow. That is an amazing story. I have a 3 year old, so I can appreciate the advice to not push them. I feel the urge sometimes.

    Thanks blogging about this. Keep it up and I’ll keep coming back!

  2. What an amazing story. My son is starting off on his own business journey at age 8. We live near a big football stadium and there is always a big demand for parking spaces, with spots easily costing $20 on game day.

    My son noticed we had a spare spot in our drive (actually two spare spots) and ask me one day if he could sell the spots to people looking for parks.

    He decided he didn’t want to spend long selling the spots because he wanted to play at a friends house so undercut the nearby parking lot (who were charging $25 a spot) by $5 and sold the spots in a couple of minutes.

    He thought this was pretty cool and has now started asking other neighbors if he can buy their spots and sell them on their behalf and just give them the profits. I think being 8 helps his sales pitch, because so far he has asked 5 neighbors and 4 have said yes!

  3. Joe says:

    I love this. I have a six year old son and I have done no prodding at all with him on the values of entrepreneurship. I mean, he’s six after all. But, my wife and I have talked extensively of it recent months as we plan our futures. I came home this weekend to a house filled with signs and post-it notes advertising his “sticker store”. I smiled immensely and played along.

    He’ll need some work on his negotiating though. After asking his price, he told me $2 a sticker! After I said, “Really?”, he responded with “well, you can have it for free”.

    Baby steps. :)

  4. […] I mentioned in my last post, my 19 y.o. son’s online business is doing quite well […]

  5. Adrian says:

    Great stories; thanks for sharing!

    @ William – Interesting that your son has cottoned on to a business model that a number of ‘crowd sourced’ parking providers are trying to turn into an online business eg

    http://mashable.com/2012/11/21/streetline-parking-innovation/

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