Did You Have a Side Hustle When You Were a Kid?

Brian Winch | April 01, 2020


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!

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2 responses to “Did You Have a Side Hustle When You Were a Kid?”

  1. Eric Hartenbower says:

    Hi Brian, my thing when i was a kid was to shovel snow. Me and my buddy would go around and ask people if they wanted their driveways shoveled. It was hard work, but made us a few extra bucks!

    I haven’t really done anything entrepreneurial since, probably due to the ‘security’ i felt with the jobs i have had. My 16 year old son is giving me new motivation to search around for a business idea. He has autism and i realize his potential to get a normal job is low. Most of that is we, as his parents, dont want to leave him somewhere with someone else responsible for him. Which lead me to search for ideas of a small business him and i could do together. The more i read about your business, the better its sounding!

    Thanks for sharing your business with us.
    Eric

    • Brian Winch says:

      Hi Eric. Good for your son. Mine is also autistic (high functioning) doing very well in university. But I understand your concern about him finding a job. Each situation or circumstance is different. I know my son is academically inclined and is not interested in my work. If your son is interested providing a green service then perhaps this would work out very well for the both of you!