Connect with us


How to make more 10-year-old entrepreneurs

Brayden Langlo, all of 10 years old, asked his mom if maybe I would teach him how to get started in business and earn his own money. The fifth grader had heard how I helped his cousin Andrew, my son, who at age 17 now cleans cars and boats inside and out and pulls down more income than his own high school teachers. Brayden’s mother is raising him and two siblings by herself — his father lives a five-hour drive away — while scraping by as a guidance clerk in our middle school in Honea Path, S.C.

Brayden belongs to the newest generation of entrepreneurs on the planet, the latest representative of an evolution that started with hunter-gatherers in New Guinea back in 17,000 B.C. and the later invention of money and runs straight through the Gilded Age billionaires of the early 20th century to the tech titans of today.

Early one hot Saturday morning, I picked Brayden up at his home to wash cars in my driveway. I taught him what I knew, strictly old school, about scrubbing away at windows, floor mats, door jambs, tires and rims, every square inch. Right away Brayden was all business, the sweat pouring off him. He never asked for anything to drink or how long I wanted him to work or even how much he would be paid. I had to stop him a few times to drink and take a break. Throughout, he barely talked, too shy to say a word.

Compare this work ethic to a teenage boy I recently heard about. He was vacationing with his family but fast getting bored. He mentioned his dilemma to a man in the neighborhood. As it happened, the man was renovating his house. He offered the boy $40 a day to pitch in. The boy worked all day the first day. The second day, he worked only half a day. The third day, he asked for his daily rate to be doubled. The man said no and never saw him again.

As we washed the cars together, Brayden opened up to me. I told him how a mentor once told me that nobody should ever tell me what my time is worth, and that if I wanted an opportunity, I should go out and create it myself. Five years later, I quit my job and went into business for myself, starting a financial services firm. In the 21 years since then, I’ve had the freedom to operate independently, spend more time with my wife and children and contribute to my community.

I see no better moment than now to congratulate young Braydon on his initiative.

Kids interested in following suit could join junior the nation’s largest organization devoted to preparing American youth to achieve economic independence and success through its programs, volunteers such as parents and retirees tutor — and inspire — kids to train for the workplace of the future. Every year, its network of more than 470,000 volunteers serves an estimated 10 million students in at least 100 countries.

Continue Reading