Should I be encouraging my teen’s entrepreneurial spirit?

Should I be encouraging my teen’s entrepreneurial spirit?

He only reached the heady heights of 14 years old this week and my teenage son has decided that he has discovered the way to get rich quick.  It is a holy grail that so many people have sought for many years, but he reckons he has it sussed. But should I be encouraging my teen’s entrepreneurial spirit or putting a stop to it once and for all?

Apparently, he has a friend who buys and sells clothes and shoes and makes, and I quote my son here, “thousands”. He was telling me excitedly all about it and I did raise an eyebrow when he said the word “thousands”.  Are you sure he has actually made “thousands”? Was my reply.  Yes, yes apparently he buys and sells daily and he had seen evidence in the friend in question’s Paypal account.  So of course, he wanted to have a piece of that!

We talked about it and I said that I had no objection to him dabbling in a little bit of buying and selling but to start small and see how he got on.

A week later and he is hopping around with excitement, phone in hand.  “There’s a coat!” Ok, here we go, I thought to myself.  Apparently, a guy was selling two coats, both a premium brand and they were really cheap.  How cheap?  £125.  When I had stopped coughing, I pointed out that £125 was not what I would call cheap.  But what do I know??

I know nothing.

Yes, it was £125 but it was worth at least £300 to £400.  If that was the case, then why wasn’t the person selling the coat for that.  Call me cynical, but I was not really convinced.

It felt like we had endless conversations about this damn coat and in the end, I figured that he is big enough to make his own decisions and if he used his money and he lost the money, maybe it would teach him a hard lesson. But I was also open to the idea that it might be a success and he might actually make himself some money. So he paid for the coat.

He was so pleased with himself and I should probably applaud the fact that he is showing this sign of entrepreneurial spirit, it is great that he wants to make some money for himself.  When I was his age, I had a paper round and a year later, at 15, I had a weekend job and jobs were a lot easier to come by for kids.  These days many places won’t employ anyone under the age of 16 and some prefer 18-year-olds.  In some ways, that is a good thing as it means that teens can focus on studying and school.  However, it can be frustrating for kids who want to earn a bit of money.

There is money to be made in buying and selling, it takes time and it does require a good eye for brands or items that you can make money with but I know quite a few people who make a reasonable living out of it.  So who knows, perhaps my son might be one of those people …

A week has passed and so far there is no sign of the coat.  The seller said that he was going to post it on Monday but that is the last notification.  Will we get the coat?  Who knows.  My son doesn’t seem overly bothered and came down this morning for breakfast telling me that he has invested in something else, thankfully not quite as expensive this time.  Clearly, the non-arrival of the coat hasn’t put him off so far.   Luckily he did pay via Paypal so hopefully, we can put in a claim if the coat doesn’t arrive.

Maybe I will be reporting back this time next year that my son has made his millions or maybe he will be back to getting money from the bank of Mum?

Should I be encouraging my teen's entrepreneurial spirit

Photo by Philip Veater on Unsplash

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4 Comments

  1. February 4, 2018 / 9:18 am

    Eek! Did the coat arrive? My eldest likes the idea of making money from buying and selling and I’ve offered him various pieces of his sister’s barely-worn clothing that I don’t have time to sell myself. I’ve said we’ll go 50-50 on whatever he makes, but he actually hasn’t even tried to sell them!

  2. February 4, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    Oh dear I really hope the coat turns up. At least he paid via PayPal so you have the backing from them. I guess it’s one of those things that if it goes wrong it will be a hard lesson for him. Fingers crossed it turns up and he can start making his millions !!! x

  3. February 7, 2018 / 6:57 pm

    Oh gosh. Did the coat arrive yet?
    It really does sound like your son has found something he really wants to do and if he has the motivation to do then why not? Good for him. xx

  4. February 8, 2018 / 5:49 pm

    I really hope the coat turned up. I think it’s good for them to give things like this a go. There are plus and negative points and it’s a good learning experience x

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