From a young age, I was always intrigued with the possibilities for making my own income. I was about 6 when I gathered up some of my brother’s toys, cleaned them up and sold them to other kids in our neighborhood. My brothers were not happy!
Fast forward a few years and I was able to see firsthand how a side hustle could be successful. My father, a janitor for the Public Board of Education picked up jobs on the side to help supplement our family’s income. Sometimes he even let me tag along as a “little helper.” My business, Cleanlots, was inspired by a simple side hustle that my father used to perform cleaning up litter at a nearby shopping plaza. I remember thinking how easy it was. We would venture out in the early morning hours, then walk around the property cleaning up litter to ensure that when the stores opened, customers would find a clean, litter-free environment.
It’s fun to look back at my journey from a young boy. I had an inherent entrepreneurial spirit, but that was also reinforced by my parent’s words, thoughts and actions. If you have young children, are you encouraging them to be the entrepreneurs of the future?
Even now, after running my side hustle for more than 35 years I can draw inspiration from children. I recently discovered this story on business powerhouses who weren’t even old enough to drive before they launched successful small businesses. From candy inventors to equipment manufacturers, to businesses built on social entrepreneurship, these kids have no lack of wisdom – even in their young age.
Did you have a lemonade stand, cut grass or pet sit for money while growing up? I’d love to know more about your personal story. Leave a reply in the comments below!