What do you do with a 10-year-old that has Entrepreneurship on his mind?
Our 10-year-old Lars is kind and has a gentle spirit, with an amazing personality and an incredible mind. The entire month of December, this 10-year-old was wondering what he needed to do to get into a good college. He was up countless times late at night secretly researching many of the top universities in the world, on his own. Each day he would come upstairs and spark up a conversation like: “Hey, do you think it would be good for my college application if I built a robot?” or “Can I have 2 majors when I go to college?” We didn’t instigate this topic of conversation, so where is it all coming from?
This went on for several weeks and the conversations took us everywhere. While we love him thinking about college and planning to attend, we don’t want him to forget he is 10! He should be playing with his friends and just simply enjoy life. (He does get plenty of “friend time” too). We kept reminding him he has plenty of time before he needs to think seriously about college. “How about waiting until you are at least in high school?” Either way he just couldn’t take his mind off of college. Finally after close to a month, and even a few emails with a family friend currently attending college, he decided he would wait to investigate any further. (Thanks M. Arceri!)
Then it was time for his mind to shift to Entrepreneurship! Just about every day for the next few weeks, he was researching how to start his own business on-line. One school night at approximately 10 PM, he found an article regarding a 10-year-old CEO and came running upstairs to tell us. (What is he still doing awake? We thought he was fast asleep). He wanted to be like her, he wanted to start his own business. Trying to be supportive, but a pragmatic parent at the same time, he was told to put the laptop away and go to bed! This too continued each day with new ideas all of the time. He wanted to make things and sell them. He wanted to start an export business from Spain and even researched how to set up such a business. We have a non-lucrative visa, which applies to the entire family so no exporting for us. We don’t want to shoot down his ideas, but there are so many that we aren’t sure are possible.
We don’t want to squash his dreams, but at the same time we don’t have a clue how to properly nourish and support this precious mind. We help him with research and try to figure out what we can do to help. Alan provided Lars with a blank eCommerce web space in our domain, so Lars could tinker all he wanted. He is also learning a little “code” here and there. We try to discuss the concept of “man power” and if he is “making” something, then he will reach a limit of what can be physically produced. These have all been great discussions, but we are leaving him empty-handed with no business or something to call his own.
Finally we asked Lars why he wanted to start a business so badly. It turns out; he wanted to earn money to fund our travels. He wants to travel more and see as much of the world as we can. We let him know if he makes any money with a business, that it would be “his” money. He would save it for college. “Mom and Dad” would need to figure out a way to extend our travel on our own. AHH, Great! The pressure is on now!
In the meantime, Lars is now eager to journal and potentially write an e-book on his experiences. Of course, he asked if being a published author would look good on a college application. He and I have decided to go to a little café once or twice a week and just write whatever is on our minds. Today is our first day and what better for me to write about than this experience. I sit here and look at him and wonder where “The Kid With Entrepreneurship on his Mind” will go in life.
Look out world; we hope there are big things to come. And if not, we love him and his spirit for trying.
If anyone has any clue how we can help support and nourish this mind, send us your comments, links, suggestions!