Sixteen and Profitable

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Someday I hope to live child-free. And in order see that fantasy happen, I have to get them out of my house…independent…living on their own.  And to achieve that goal, I must teach them how to support themselves, so they don’t come back and live in my basement with their six children and deadbeat spouse.  See, I have goals.

One thing I’ve worked really hard at, is teaching our kids about money. It’s ultra-important to me that my kids are not reliant on others for their income.  I want them to pay their own way…to work hard for a living…and to someday get the heck out of my house.

It didn’t take her long to realize that a tiny drive-thru coffee shop in Ninilchik, Alaska, is not a ‘get-rich-quick-scheme” and that working seven days a week the summer of your sixteenth year, is not an easy commitment to make.So last summer we bought a little coffee shop here in Ninilchik, called it Hooked, and put Destini to work.  But we didn’t just give our kid a business…nope.  We loaned her the down payment…put the license in her name…and put her completely in charge, at sixteen.

But she did it.  She worked, and she worked, and then…she worked some more.  Six a.m. opening, ten hour days, seven days a week.  And when she got really cranky…I’d work a day or two and give her some time to sleep.  She’d also committed to a Youth Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, so I took over for six days while she was gone.  But other than an occasional fill-in, Destini worked pretty much non-stop for three months straight.

And walked away with little more than pocket change.

It’s the American way.But she didn’t come away with nothing.  She learned invaluable lessons about running a business.  She learned about taxes, profit margins, pricing, and ethical business practices.  She learned to calculate to the penny, how much it costs to create a product.  She came up with marketing strategies, product ideas and based them on cost versus price.  And she learned the hard way that sometimes you work your butt off for seemingly no return at all.

She’ll have her whole life ahead of her for that.This year I announced that since I have even more kids in the house than last year, there is no way I can work…short of a few hours here and there.  So she made an executive decision…and hired help.  That means even less money in the pocket…but it’s a small price to pay for sanity and sometimes at seventeen, late night summer fun is even more important than making the big dollar.

(visit HOOKED ESPRESSO and ‘like’ her page…we’ll surprise her with new fans!)

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3 Responses to "Sixteen and Profitable"
  1. Chelsie says:

    Such a great idea!! I wish more parents would get their kids involved w/money and businesses at that age!! 

  2. JessicaCorcoran says:

    I absolutely LOVE this!  We are self-employed and financially free and strive to teach our kids all about it – even though they are still little.  Most people seem to think children aren’t capable of comprehending these concepts – but they absorb everything!!  One of our businesses is a food concession stand (we sell food at fairs during the summer) and we have spent the last 3 years building her up so she is finally paying well – but it is crazy hours while we run it in the summer and we know all about working your butt off and feeling like you didn’t make any money.   It can be a challenge to get into – but something you should look into is the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. My husband’s best friend owns/runs a very successful stand out there (for 10 or 11 days) and makes $75k!  Not a joke.  Now, he has one of the most successful stands out there – but even the medeocre onces do around $30k.  We actually had a concept and applied and were next in line to be accepted.  We decided not to pursue it because the cost of us coming up to do it outweighed the gain, but I would gladly discuss it with you if interested.  (In case you don’t realize who I am – we have chatted on facebook – I was raised in Kasilof, you went to school with my cousins, etc.)  Good luck with everything!!  (This is a picture of our stand – and yes – those King Crab Cakes are shipped to us from AK 🙂

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