Teens can do several things to find their place in a world full of other teens looking to do the same thing. There are two basic avenues teens can take to begin making money for themselves: 1) they can get a J.O.B. or 2) they can CREATE their own job by providing a needed product or service business to a particular niche market.

1) Getting a J.O.B.

First off, they must begin by dressing the part. Teens must understand that success begins when they get dressed at home…before they go looking for a job…before they start asking who’s in charge…before they step foot in any business establishment.

Next, they must learn how to shake hands correctly. First, secure, full grasp of the hand, look the person in the eye, notice how the other person says ‘hello’ with their face and mirror that response back to this person. The action alone will help them build rapport very quickly. Also, teach them to ask questions more than talk.

Before beginning their job search, sit down and write out a list of skills they already have. This list doesn’t have to be from a previous job; any and all skills that might be relevant to an employer are fine. Look at skills involved with helping family, friends, neighbor solve problems in their lives. How have they helped others in the past? And lastly, what types of things are they good at?

Take this list and teach them how to set an Intention about what kinds of skills they would like to learn, in addition to what they already know.

Help them create a simple resume with their name, contact info, schooling, skills, careers aspirations (if they have any idea), what they’re great at, etc. List two references at the bottom.

Make a list of businesses they’d like to work for and learn from and go visit those businesses, but first, figure out when the busiest time is for the businesses (if there is one) and visit each one as a customer first! Find out what THEY could provide that the businesses appears to need. Put THIS on the resume!

Now, and only after doing the above, go visit these same businesses, resume and intentions in hand. Present yourself as professional, willing to learn, willing to do whatever it takes, and take what you get and make the most of it. Help them not to get discouraged. Tell them stories about your first job searches. 

When they DO land their summer job, talk to them about choosing to do their best, learn everything they can possibly learn from the experience (suggest they keep a ‘learning journal!), and leave the job in a better position than they found it. During the summer, if they start to complain, don’t lecture. Listen, ask questions, encourage and don’t get upset about it. We all complained at first…at least a little.

2. Now, for the second option…CREATING their OWN JOB.

This is my favorite option for all. Empowering your teens with the ability to make their own money is one of the best gifts you can ever give them. It’s the gift that truly never stops giving!

First…suggest that they start paying attention to what people are already buying, using, needing, wanting. Get them to focus on a particular niche market, i.e., kids, teens, babies, golfers, moms with school kids, dads with expensive cars, etc. The narrower the niche, the better. There’s a reason that niche rhymes with rich!

Then, teach them how to approach this group of people with questions that will help them narrow down their chosen niche’s ‘criteria.’ In other words, what is it that niche needs, wants, is buying. One of the biggest mistakes business people make is assuming they know what their niche wants. WRONG! If you want to know…ask!

When they narrow down a product or service, help them figure out how to provide it. Can this be done in person, via the internet, through developing a joint venture with an existing business?

Note: if they don’t want to create their OWN product or service, they can teach themselves the amazingly profitable business called Affiliate Marketing, in other words, sell someone else’s product or service and make a commission from each sale.

Now comes the fun part…the marketing!

First, help them create a simple webpage and the easiest way of all to do this is by creating a blog. They can start a simple blog at BlogSpot.com or, if they are a bit web savvy and have a place to host their own website, I recommend using WordPress software. There are thousands upon thousands of ‘templates’ out there for everything under the sun and a blog is the easiest way to get up and running on the internet FAST.

OK, so how DO they get the word out? This is a whole seminar in itself.

For now…

  • Get the niche
  • Figure out what they want
  • Figure out how to provide it (create or joint venture/affiliate marketing)
  • Name the company
  • Create a simple logo (or just use the name in a nice type style)
  • File a DBA (doing business as) with your local city or county (if you don’t know how to do this, call your local county office. It’s easy). Let’s teach them how to do it right the FIRST time.
  • Start a bank account for the business (you’ll need to co-sign)
  • Get a blog created and start adding content about the niche. Content does NOT have to be long and complicated. It can simply be finding articles that are written already and providing links to them or writing short articles about the niche and what they are providing.
  • Set up a Twitter account and start learning to TWEET
  • Set up a Facebook (if they don’t have one already) and start talking about their niche and product or service.
  • Create a nice one-page flyer and post around town.
  • Post information on Craigslist and other free bulletin boards online.
  • Treat each customer with the utmost respect because they have friends! 
  • Do the best job possible.
  • Develop self-esteem by knowing they can do it themselves!
  • Then, just keep doing the same thing and see what happens
  • Sit back, pat yourself on the back and know you’ve done a great thing.

At this point, helping your teen find a mentor is a great idea. It can be someone doing a similar thing or someone doing something they’d like to be doing or someone successful in THEIR eyes (not yours) who can share positive, effective business philosophy.

So, there you have it. Whatever you don’t, Do NOT let your teen sit around all summer and play computer games. Your number one job as a parent is to teach them to be a responsible human being. Empower them now and they won’t have to move in later! Enjoy…