So they never have to be a slave to a job they hate to pay off debt they shouldn’t have.
Having your own business is a dream. Doing what you love, shaping your brand, making your own hours, building equity, maybe even cashing out and living on the beach someday. Right?!?
It can also be a nightmare.
Maybe you dump your life savings into what seems like a great idea, then borrow more, pitching family to invest and taking on more credit cards. Now, it’s sinking, and you can’t breath. Ugh.
It ain’t easy, and most businesses fail, but if you get it right – when you get it right – it can bring wealth and life satisfaction beyond your wildest dreams.
The real rich aren’t doctors and lawyers. Real wealth is owning a successful business. But guess what? Most businesses aren’t successful without much trial and error.
You don’t step up to the plate and hit a home run without practice.
In my last business, we lost money for years before getting it right. We finally found our groove and then raked in the dough for a decade before selling the company for eight figures. EIGHT FIGURES.
Here at BadDaddy Publishing, we don’t make squat. Na-da. We don’t even have any products, and hell no, we won’t take advertising. At our site, you’ll find only our own rich, succulent, juicy content (smothered in melted cheese and dressed in sizzling pepperoni…). No ads, no spam and no bull.
No money? What the hell are we doing?
Well, showing our stripes — our authentic, worldview — and earning your trust. We’re in it for the long game, building a tribe (and rest assured, the Better Bedtime Stories are almost here…).
So what’s going to happen to your kids after they get drubbed on by the school system and indoctrinated by peer pressure for 18 years before entering the rat-race?
(a) Take whatever shit-job they can find and daydream all day from behind the counter
(b) Pour everything into get-rich-quick schemes and multi-level marketing
(c) Go into debt to open a food truck and despite their best efforts, watch it fail
(d) Drink themselves into a nightly stupor watching Netflix and eating frozen pizza rolls
All of the above, and thank you very much, Department of Education.
Or… you can get their entrepreneur and operator juices flowing now. Let them toy around, start thinking like a business owner, and fail a few times while the risk is minimal.
The point isn’t to make them the next Mark Zuckerberg, just to get them thinking, testing, toying, trying. Maybe they’ll hit a single, or maybe they’ll strike out. Either way, they’ll learn how to swing.
Better yet, they’ll have no illusions later. Kick them in the pants with these eight steps-
1. Figure out what they want to sell, products or services.
Products might be slime, lemonade, crafts, or Craigslist arbitrage (looking for free stuff or deals to resell). Services might be cleaning, handyman, dog walking, pet grooming, snow-shoveling, raking leaves, babysitting, tutoring. This is the obvious stuff. Tell them to bring their 10 best ideas to spitball together.
Remember, they don’t need to invent Facebook.
Offering to dismantle and pack up Christmas decorations is fine for now. Who the hell wouldn’t pay a nice kid a few bucks to take down the decorations, string lights, get the tree out, and vacuum the needles?
2. Once they have their best idea (or two), they should land a couple jobs or deals going door-to-door or soliciting friends and family. This is to (a) prove the concept, (b) ensure they have follow-through, and (c) get a few testimonials and referral opportunities.
3. Once they’ve nailed a couple of gigs and still feel good about it, it’s time to name the business, and build a website to list and market their products or services.
This is the age of the Internet, so get the business online. The better the design, the more serious they’ll be taken by prospects they don’t know so well. There are plenty of free/cheap website builders and hosting options. They’ll get to pick a URL and write some website copy.
No one is going to find them on Google; have no illusions. If you build it, they won’t come.
It’s still about referrals, and serving customers face-to-face, but the act of developing a website and building a brand – their own storefront – is a great learning experience, and will help them scale. It’ll ensure their 2nd and 3rd websites (when they really need the skills) are much better.
4. In one line, they should describe what their business does, and how it helps customers. Think “Send Better Email” (Mailchimp) or “The King of Beers” (Budweiser). Ask them to elaborate with a five-minute elevator pitch and for the About Us page. Add images and testimonials, too. My son is working on a neighborhood clean-up service, “Ryder to the Rescue”.
5. Pick a social media platform (one to start), and create a business page. Start sharing some content and building followers related to the work they do.
6. Start capturing emails and building a list. Their followers on social media mean nothing if they can’t contact them. Ask for their email (for one free hour of service…) and then put out great content with a newsletter and offers (how we groom your pet in your own yard, without getting hair everywhere…).
7. Keep hustling, with great rates, and even better service. Build trust and loyalty by always doing right by the customer, going that extra mile. They will beg you to come back.
8. Once they’re at capacity, hire friends, train them, and manage talent. Watch closely, and reward the ones who embody your level of service, and fire the rest (and quickly).
Everyone wants a high-margin business that can automate and scale, but don’t even worry about that now. Your kids are looking to build experience with the basics, and services can be the easiest place to start. Good, trustworthy help is hard to find. Building a business around it isn’t that difficult.
The point for now is to toy, test, and tinker, before the weight of the world lands on your children’s shoulders, and they’re too busy just trying to make the monthly rent.
Whatever you do, don’t do it all for them. Help them realize what’s possible, but make them do the grunt work. And then follow in their footsteps, with a side business of your own.
Cheers, to the best year yet.
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