This week, my lovely Community Manager, Renana, will be going on maternity leave. And while she’s taking time off with the newest addition of her family, I’ll be hiring an interim freelancer.
There were a lot of people who I could have hired. The Go-Getter community is packed with virtual assistants with various specialities, many of whom have been self-employed for years.
But instead, I’m choosing to hire my 16-year-old brother, Miles.
Onboarding Miles will take countless hours of training and his work will have to revolve around his baseball schedule. But I know that this is the best possible decision I could have made.
Last week, my mom called me and said that Miles was planning to apply for summer jobs at local fast food restaurants and coffee shops. Since he’s soon getting his driver’s license, he’ll need money for gas and some other relevant expenses.
And as she was telling me this, I began to think about my own experience in my first high school job. I was paid $7 an hour to work in a daycare center on Saturday mornings (diapers and crying galore!) and it was miserable. It taught me that making money = doing things you hate at inconvenient times for the rest of your life.
And for most people, this idea sticks with them. Thus begins the unbreakable cycle of minimum wage job hopping, money resentment, and overwhelming diffidence.
Although this mindset is challenging to shift for adults (this is why so many adults are baffled by the idea of starting their own business and leaving their safe 9 to 5 job), it’s easy to mold the minds of teens. This is a prime opportunity to teach them that money can come from a place of excitement, creativity, self-agency, generosity, and fun.
And I want Miles to know that this mindset can benefit him for the rest of his life.
I want him to understand that he is talented and capable of charging for his services.
I want him to know that today, in 2017, his age has nothing to do with his success. I cannot tell you how many countless teenagers I know in the entrepreneurial community who have their own startups, have been featured in top-tier publications, and are bringing in 6-figure incomes online all from the convenience of their family living rooms.
I want Miles to know that having his own business isn’t some far-off dream that only exceptional high schoolers can achieve.
I want him to know that this is something that he can achieve in the next month. Because if he learns these essential skills from me, there is no reason that he can’t go off and then offer them to someone else.
Our responsibility as millennial entrepreneurs is more than giving ourselves the opportunity to achieve something remarkable. It’s also to ensure that the following generation, Generation Z, understands that their opportunity is even greater.