Teach your child to be an entrepreneur!

It will help them develop essential skills such as problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking. They’ll also learn a growth mindset, resilience, and goal setting. Entrepreneurship can be a way to inspire children to become self-sufficient.

Regarding money skills, they’ll learn about financial management, marketing, and business operations.

Lastly, entrepreneurship encourages them to think about how they can positively impact their communities and the world.

Kid Start-Up by Mark Cuban (Book Review)

Kid Start-Up by Mark Cuban

Ask a kid if they want to start a business, and you’ll probably get a mixed response. Some kids are excited for a new adventure. Other kids may see it as a lot of work. A kid with either opinion is correct: Starting a business is both an adventure and a lot of work.

If you have a tween kid who is motivated to start a business this is the book for you. Kid Start-Up was written by Mark Cuban, Shaan Patel, and Ian McCue. I speculate that Patel and McCue may have done most of the writing, and Cuban lent his name to give the book credibility. I have difficulty believing he carved out a lot of time from his hundreds of business ventures to write a kid’s book.

I believe there are two clear-cut ways to make your kid a millionaire. One follows traditional personal finance methods such as saving, earning, and investing. Teaching compound interest will take them a long way. The second way to make your kid a millionaire is to teach them to be entrepreneurs. Kid Start-Up is the perfect guide for that path.

Kid Start-up Summary

Kid Start-up was written for kids. While the authors claim that kids ages 8 and 9 can follow it, I think it might be better suited for kids who are a little older. In fact, some of the advice is perfect for adults. I’m going to go through each chapter and highlight what is covered:

Chapter 1: What is an Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is someone who starts a business to make money. To be an entrepreneur, you must have an idea and take action on it. For example, I had the idea for Kid Wealth over five years ago. I only took action to make it a reality about a year and a half ago. Of course, right now, Kid Wealth isn’t much of a business – it doesn’t make money. Maybe it will make money and become a business someday. In the meantime, I enjoy the hobby of writing it.

One of the important things to know about being an entrepreneur is that they fail. Some of them fail a lot. Failure can be a good thing. As Jake from Adventure Time says:

Jake from Adventure Time on Sucking

The good thing about failing as a kid is that you get started on that first step to being good early.

Successful entrepreneurs have five main traits. They are hard-working, enthusiastic, creative, flexible, and motivated. I feel enthusiasm and motivation go hand-in-hand, but the authors decided to write about them separately.

The main thing that an entrepreneur aims to do is to create value for someone else (usually a customer). You help them solve a problem they are having. For example, imagine you are a parent of a kid who wants to start a business. You want to help your kid learn how to start a business, but how? The authors of this book solve that problem by putting it all in the Kid Start-Up book. You spend a few dollars to give your child the knowledge of several successful entrepreneurs.

The authors of the book created a business that sells that knowledge. If people have problems like their grass growing too fast and crazy, kids can create a business that mows lawns for neighbors.

Chapter 2: The Kid Entreprenuer

Kid entrepreneurs have a few advantages that adults don’t have. The book repeats the message that by starting, young kids have more time to learn from the mistakes they make. However, the book is realistic. Kids are in school a lot, so they have to plan their time outside of school well. That can mean cutting out video games and not watching Mr. Beast on YouTube. Kids need to use that time to build their businesses. There will be time later when they’ve made their millions.

Kid Start-Up makes the great point that when time is limited, people become more efficient. For example, if you have three months to read a book, you might take all three months. If you have three days, you’ll divide it into thirds and attack it a little each day. This chapter gives kids some basic productivity tips.

Success kid entrepreneurs say the following quotes every day:

  • “One Day at a Time”
  • “One Task at a Time”
  • “I Will Make Money”
  • “Two Hours for Business”
  • “My Reward Will Be…”
  • “My Goal Is to…”

The book also gives you the best predictor of success for entrepreneurs. Curious what it is? I’m not going to give it away: Buy the book to find out.

Chapter 3: Discovering Your Business Idea

The main idea of this chapter is to identify a problem in your daily life. You can’t help someone without some kind of problem. Once you have the problem, invent a solution with a product or service. Sell that solution and profit!

What’s the best business idea? It’s a business that you are good at and gets you excited about working hard. You need to have both of them if you are going to be successful.

Chapter 4: 10 Businesses Any Kid Can Start

This next chapter is just what the title says. It’s ten business ideas that kids can start. The two ideas that interested me the most are the scented soaps and making and selling duct tape wallets. One of my sons loves to cook, and the scented soaps would be up his alley. The other kid loves making things. He’s already made wallets out of construction paper just for his own amusement.

This chapter not only gives kids some concrete ideas but also walks them through the pricing examples. Kids will learn the cost of goods and how much profit they’ll make for each sale. Kids will also learn how and where to sell the products and services.

Chapter 5: Nuts & Bolts of Launching Your Business

This chapter walks kids through the technology that can be used to sell most products and services. Kids will learn how to make flyers, use social media, build a free website, and sell on eBay.

It finishes with a page on legal tips.

This chapter often recommends that kids work with their parents. In reality, very few of the ideas in this chapter make sense for an eight or 9-year-old. Parents will need to do nearly everything in this chapter.

Chapter 6: Successful Kid Entrepreneur Interviews

This chapter consisted of six interviews with six kids with successful businesses. These stories are motivational, but I don’t know how useful they are. The answers are often very specific to that specific kid’s business. They may not translate to a different business.

Chapter 7: 10 Business Principles Any Kid Can Follow

This chapter serves as a summary or reinforcement of the previous chapters. It brings it all together.

1. Business Ideas are Easy

Kid Start-Up stresses that coming up with a business idea is easy. I agree. I have at least ten business ideas that are just sitting around. What’s difficult is executing the ideas. It didn’t take me long to come up with the idea of a website that helps parents and kids learn about personal finance. It was a lot more work to find the domain, write the articles, promote it on social media, etc.

An important thing to note is that you shouldn’t guard your business ideas. Most likely, no one else has the time to execute your idea.

The section finishes with a template designed to guide kids to create an action plan.

2. Do What You Know

The best business to start is in a field that you already know. If you don’t have a dog and have never walked one, a dog walking business may not be a great idea. If you have no experience, you don’t know if you’ll be enthusiastic enough to work hard at it.

3. Don’t Expect to Win the Lottery

Starting a business is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It can seem like famous people on social media make money overnight. It’s extraordinarily rare to go viral on social media and also extraordinarily rare to make a big profit in your business right away.

Slow and steady wins the race. It will take some time to get your name out and for business to come in. Try to set some goals, such as making your first $100 in the first month. Then try to make $200 in the next month. Keep on trying to grow the business and profits.

4. Save Money to Make Money

You do not often see a frugal mindset mentioned in an entrepreneurial book. However, it makes a lot of sense. If you can keep your costs low, that’s less risk and more profit!

5. Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond

It’s better to do business in a small town with less competition. You wouldn’t open up a fast burger place right next to McDonalds. It’s better to find someplace with no McDonalds, even if fewer potential customers are there.

6. Make Money in Your Sleep

Be careful about trading time for money. It can work for some highly paid professions, such as doctors, lawyers, and plumbers. If you start an online business, you can make money in your sleep. For example, I could add advertisements to this website and make a little money throughout the day. However, my traffic is very low, and you might not want to look at advertisements. I’d prefer you email a friend or share Kid Wealth on social media. That’s more likely to happen if you have a great experience here.

(Are you having a great experience here? Let me know by leaving a comment.)

7. Just Start

This is perhaps the best advice in the whole book. The biggest thing is to get going with something. You can always change/modify/evolve it.

The only problem with this section is the assignment. It asks kids to take an online business idea from the previous section and build a website along with a payment system. At least it tells the 8-year-old to ask their parents to help with a PayPal account. The advice is to advertise the product or service even if you haven’t created the product or know how to do the service. I don’t think that’s a smart idea.

8. Be Obsessed

This may be the second most important advice in the book. If you are obsessed with your business, you will think about it every waking minute. That means you will want to work on it and improve it.

Kid Start-up separates passion from obsession. Obsession is much stronger than passion for something. It suggests writing some things that you are obsessed about. My oldest is obsessed with Pokemon. My youngest is obsessed with anything related to Legos. Maybe they could each have their own YouTube channel.

9. Give Something to Get Something

The advice here is to give away something for free to hook your customer. For example, you can offer the first car wash for free. I could offer a free ebook for Kid Wealth in exchange for your email address. Perhaps when I create a product (such as an online course), I could sell it to you.

In fact, the example they give is to create an eBook to give away. However, I don’t know how many 8-year-olds can write a 10-page eBook.

10. Start a Service-based Business

Finally, Kid Start-up suggests selling a service-based business instead of a product-based one. It feels like they ran out of ideas and just wanted to make an even number of ten business principles.

Chapter 8: Extra Content

The extra content is a page on affiliate marketing, which is completely inappropriate for a kid under ten. Next, there’s a glossary, which is a lot more valuable. Finally, there’s a list of software and online resources that can help you get going. Some examples are art programs for designing flyers or free website hosting services.

Final Thoughts on Kid Start-Up

Mark Cuban and other Kid Start-Up authors
Mark Cuban and other Kid Start-Up authors

Kid Start-Up is the best book on entrepreneurism for kids. The only nitpick is that the suggestions often go beyond the target ages of 8-9 years old.

It’s very difficult to imagine a book on entrepreneurism because it can be very vague. Kid Start-Up has to cover the process of creating any type of product or service. Yet it does it very well. I felt like I was ready to start a new company after reading it.

“Kid Start-Up” is not just a book; it’s a call to action for the next generation of entrepreneurs. It encourages kids to dream big, work hard, and take the first step toward creating their future. Mark Cuban’s passion for entrepreneurship and dedication to empowering young minds shine through every page, making this book a must-read for kids and adults alike. It’s a roadmap to success that starts with a single step, and who better to lead the way than Mark Cuban (or writers working with him)?

If you enjoyed this book review, please check out our guide to the best kids money books.

Brian MacFarland has reached more than 10 million people on his personal finance journey to financial independence.  He’s been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.

Read more on the About page.

If you enjoyed this article please Support Kid Wealth

The Lemonade War (Book Review)

The Lemonade War

A couple of weeks ago, the whole family was at the local church fair when my oldest son saw a book – The Lemonade War. He snatched it and said, “I’m getting this for my brother.” My kids often read similar books – they are 15 months apart in age. Usually, their love of books revolves around graphic novels such as Captain Underpants, Dogman, or Wimpy Kid. This was different. I HAD to figure out what it was. For 75 cents, we picked up three books in the Lemonade War series, with The Lemonade War being the first book (obviously).

I would soon find out that it was part of the third-grade curriculum at school. Author Jacqueline Davies somehow wrote about our family 15 years ago. Here’s her brief video trailer for the book (we’ll cover a lot more than what’s in this video):

The Lemonade War trailer from Jacqueline Davies on Vimeo.

Lemonade War Plot Summary

The Lemonade War is a story of sibling rivalry and entrepreneurial spirit. (You knew it had to be about money and business to be featured on Kid Wealth, right?) Ten-year-old Evan Treski is having a bad summer ever since he found out his younger sister, Jessie, was going to skip a grade. That would put her in Evan’s class. The two siblings are 14 months apart, and Evan doesn’t want to share his fourth grade with his little sister. Jessie is a math wiz, and Evan can hear it now, “Evan, why can’t you do math like your little sister?”

So that’s why my oldest son, entering the fourth grade, wanted his brother to read it. They both get great grades, but there are some things that our youngest is just a natural at. It drives his older brother batty. Just like Jessie in the book, he’s just trying to live his life and do his best. Fortunately, they’ll be in separate grades, so we don’t have the problem that Evan and Jessie do.

This sibling rivalry leads the Lemonade War characters to make a bet. The person who sells the most lemonade in 5 days gets the other person’s money. The book’s fourteen chapters alternate between the two characters’ perspectives. In the battle of the lemonade stands, will Jessie’s math-smart skills win? Or will Evan’s people-smart skills make him the Lemonade King?

Jessie has savvy marketing tips, while Evan has to resort to diagrams to solve math problems that Jessie could do in her head. Evan’s people skills help him get to a nearly insurmountable lead. Jessie creates a franchise model to quickly close the gap. The different approaches to the siblings’ lemonade sales make it a fun read.

The chapters start with definitions of business terms. They are named Slump, Breakup, Joint Venture, Partnership, Competition, Underselling, Location/Location/Location, Going Global, Negotiation, Malicious Mischief, A Total Loss, Waiting Period, Crisis Management, and Reconciliation. The chapters aren’t designed to teach you about the business term. It’s a fictional book that’s mostly about sibling rivalry, so it would be up to the parent or teacher to reinforce the concepts. There is The Lemonade War Teacher’s Guide, but it doesn’t focus very well on the business topics.

Perhaps the best money lessons come at the end of the book:

Ten Tips for Turning Lemons into Loot

Ironically, the kids never actually used real lemons, just cans of lemonade. Nonetheless, they learned these ten business lessons:

  1. Location – It all starts with where you put your lemonade stand.
  2. Advertising – Make sure your lemons stand out.
  3. Underselling – Cheap! Cheaper! Cheapest lemons in town!
  4. Goodwill – How to make people love your lemons.
  5. Value-added – Giving your lemons that something extra.
  6. Business Regulations – Be sure you know your local lemon laws.
  7. Profit Margins – How to calculate the limits on your lemons.
  8. Franchises – How thirteen lemons can earn more than one.
  9. Going Mobile – Take your lemons on the road.
  10. Employee Appreciation – Don’t be a sour boss – always say thank you to your workers.

The book ends with one loose thread that isn’t resolved. That serves as the cliffhanger for the next book in the series, The Lemonade Crime. The rest of the series is The Bell Bandit, The Candy Smash, The Magic Trap, The Bridge Battle (pre-order). I’ve only read The Lemonade War so far, but in reading reviews of the other books, it doesn’t seem like they help kids develop money skills. There are other things to learn in the other books, and as long as my kids are reading, I consider that a win.

Overall, the best thing about this book is that it’s an enjoyable read, and the topic is perfect for the start of summer vacation. It didn’t even occur to my 9-year-old to mention it to me as a “money book” such as American Girl’s Smart Guide to Money. It’s a subtle way to sneak some extra business lessons. Add The Lemonade War to your book collection today.

The Lemonade War’s Official Book Description and Awards

I hope my review was helpful to you in figuring out if The Lemonade War is right for you or your kid. Sometimes, I find that the author’s back-cover blurb is useful.

For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King.

Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart but not especially good with people. She knows that feelings are her weakest subject. So when their lemonade war begins, there is no telling who will win – or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.

Awards 2009 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award, 2007 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, North Carolina Children’s Book Award 2011, 2011 Nutmeg Award (Connecticut). Check out www.lemonadewar.com for more information on The Lemonade War Series, including sequels The Lemonade Crime, The Bell Bandit, and The Candy Smash.

Brian MacFarland has reached more than 10 million people on his personal finance journey to financial independence.  He’s been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.

Read more on the About page.

If you enjoyed this article please Support Kid Wealth

How Can Kids Make Money?

At some point, your kid will want to make money. They want some kind of toy and realize that they need money for that toy. Your kid will try the easy way out and ask you to buy it. Maybe they’ll try to annoy you until you cave and buy it.

Hopefully, you can redirect them and explain that they can earn the toy if they make money to buy it. When kids learn how to make money it opens a lot of doors. Suddenly, they can save and invest in a Kid Roth IRA and build a million-dollar retirement. The kids will be focused on toys, so parents, you’ll have to match their income, put it aside, and invest it for them.

Younger Kids Making Money

Kids Make Money

I believe that kids should do chores for the good of the family, not for money. Everyone in the family needs to work together and pitch in. I also believe that you should give kids an allowance. They need to learn how to make money mistakes. I feel it is very important not to tie the allowance to chores. You don’t want to give your kid the power to quit chores by choosing to give up their allowance.

With younger kids, a part-time job at a fast-food restaurant just isn’t an option. If they are really young, the best way for kids to make extra money is at home doing extra chores. The difficulty I have is consistently finding chores that they can do which aren’t part of their normal responsibilities. My 8-year-old is tremendous at building stuff, so he puts together anything we buy with “assembly required.” I supervise and sometimes join in, but he can do many projects by himself.

Making Money for Tweens and Teens

When the kids get older, they can do neighborhood chores for extra cash. My kids are too young for this now but I recently started following the local community using the Nextdoor App. I think I could look to advertise for my kids. The app may have a minimum age requirement, so it is probably necessary to have parents’ permission or assistance anyway.


Babysitting is a time-tested teen job. We’ve started to get some younger babies on our street – this is something I’ll revisit in about five years. My kids will be in the 8th grade and those other kids will be 5 or 6.

Pet Sitting & Dog Walking

I run a dog boarding service from our house using Rover.com. When the kids are older, I wouldn’t mind moving more of the responsibility and payment to them. It’s not terribly complicated, especially if you’ve lived with dogs your whole life as they have.

Yard Sale

We really need to host a yard sale this summer. It’s not about making money. I find that yard sales are more about responsibly decluttering and aren’t big money makers. (Maybe my stuff isn’t so great.) Yard sales are a great place for kids to set up a lemonade stand and sell baked goods.

Cooking and Selling at a Farmer’s Market

A bake sale can certainly make money, but my wife and kids are planning to step it up a notch. My 9-year-old loves to cook, but he’s taken an especially big interest in making dog biscuits. I showed him Ryans Barkery from Shark Tank and the first step is duplicating that at the local level. My wife had some plans to make cookies and brownies that they could sell together.

Playing Video Games on Twitch

This is a little like YouTube as one of the ways kids make money. The big money is made by Ryan’s World, but it’s a crowded space. Any good entrepreneur knows that a good barrier to entry is necessary to keep competition down. If it were easy to make money playing video games every kid would be rich, right?

Your Dad’s Blog

Wait, not every dad has a blog? It’s just me?!?!

Other Ideas

Kids can always wash cars, mow lawns or tutor younger neighborhood kids in subjects they can use a little extra help with.

Get Started Making Money

The most important thing is to get started trying something. It’s okay if it’s not perfect. It’s fine to make some mistakes and learn along the way. No one starts off as an expert, they reiterate and try to improve a little each time.

This article is a perfect example of that. The topic of kids making money is so big there are entire entrepreneur courses such as The Simple Startup. I’m not going to wait for this article to be perfect to publish. I’ll publish it now and revisit, revise, and republish in the future.

Brian MacFarland has reached more than 10 million people on his personal finance journey to financial independence.  He’s been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.

Read more on the About page.

If you enjoyed this article please Support Kid Wealth

Three Kid-Motivating Business-Starting Ideas

Kid Start Business Ideas

Have your kids ever come to you and said, “I want to buy a Nintendo Switch?” It may not be a Nintendo Switch, but it could be an Xbox, a new bike, or even a bunch of Roblox Robux. Sometimes an allowance isn’t enough. When kids want expensive things, this is a good time to get them interested in starting a business.

My kids are busy with every after-school activity under the sun. We haven’t jumped into starting a business yet. They are only 8 and 9 so we’ve got some time. This summer they have several day camps, but we have one week where none of the camps worked out. For that week, I’ll likely be doing some homeschooling, which will include some financial literacy and perhaps planning to start a business.

If you are looking to do the same, here are some ideas to get your kid motivated to start a business.

Bonus Idea: A couple of weeks I shared a business idea of making can tab bracelets. I got some feedback that it is a great idea.

Brian MacFarland has reached more than 10 million people on his personal finance journey to financial independence.  He’s been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.

Read more on the About page.

If you enjoyed this article please Support Kid Wealth

Inspire a Kid Entrepreneur this Earth Day

Yes, today is Earth Day. I don’t know about your kids’ school, but my kids’ school puts a lot of focus on the environment. Maybe it’s just being a good citizen, but I think some of it is because Rhode Island is the Ocean State and we see all the trash that gets washed up on our beaches.

When COVID shut down schools in spring of 2020, I “taught” Earth Day by introducing them to a classic show from my youth, Captain Planet. (Sorry, it seems no streaming service includes it. If you choose to buy it from that link, Kid Wealth may earn a commission.) We got through four episodes, which was enough television for a homeschool day. While I do encourage teaching kids with television, sometimes you need something more “hands-on.”

Kid Entrepreneur Earth Day

What if you could do something for the environment and make money at the same time? I was at a yard sale with my son and this can tab bracelet caught my attention. It was mixed in with a bunch of odds and ends. It was only a quarter, but I would have easily paid a couple of dollars. Of course, I had to have it. My son wore it religiously, but after a few weeks he moved on to something else. I guess he’s a typical kid, right?

We bring it out every Earth Day because it sparks a conversation about smart recycling. However, this Earth Day, I thought, “What if we made them and sold them?” Wouldn’t that be a good business? The cost of goods (can tabs and string) is very, very close to zero. Hopefully, you have access to a bunch of can tabs – recycling them is the point of Earth Day. We don’t have a bunch of them, so we’d have to buy them. If you already have can tabs, the biggest cost is the “Inspire” tag in the picture. You can buy 80 different motivational tags on Amazon for $11 – about 15 cents each. My 9-year-old says that his friends would probably pay $3 to $5 for one. That’s a profit of more than $2.50 and $4.50 for each sale.

Before you can legitimately consider this business, you’d have to know how to make these can tab bracelets. Fortunately, the internet has you covered. Here’s an Instructable on making can tab bracelets.

There are two remaining things to consider. The kid has to put in the time and sweat equity to make the bracelets. Additionally, the child has to come up with a marketing and selling plan. It sounds easy, but it wouldn’t be right to sell at school – we don’t want to distract from learning. Maybe it’s possible to sell at soccer or Little League games? You might have to check with the league and the rules on that.

Don’t Forget to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Ever since we watched the Curious George movie, I’ve been hooked on Jack Johnson music. It’s great for kids because there are no cuss words and the songs usually have an uplifting message. Jack Johnson is a champion of the environment. Check out this sweet video of him singing his song “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” with some children. It’s not only great for the environment, but it helps save money too:

Brian MacFarland has reached more than 10 million people on his personal finance journey to financial independence.  He’s been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.

Read more on the About page.

If you enjoyed this article please Support Kid Wealth