Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog

14Oct/10Off

Business lessons from a 9 year old.

There's a boy who lives in my neighborhood named Ian. I don't know him well, but he looks to be about eight or nine years old. Despite his young age, this boy has a remarkable business sense. Let me tell you what he's accomplished.

One day I got home from running an errand and found a flyer in my front door. We get quite a few of those so my first instinct was to throw it away, but a picture on the flyer caught my attention. The picture was of Ian standing in front of the sign for the school he attends.

This caught my attention for two reasons. First, the picture was not a professional photo, and almost all advertisements have professional photos on them, so this stood out as different. Second, Ian put his own picture on it, and he's very young, so that stood out as well.

The flyer was offering what Ian calls "Trash Can Valet Service." Trash gets picked up in my neighborhood on Thursday morning, and each home owner is required to get the trash cans back to the house and off the road by Saturday night. But so many people were forgetting (or failing) to bring their trash cans back in a timely manner that the President of our Home Owner's Association had to email everybody with a "reminder" (more like a warning) that they needed to make sure they get their trash cans back in time. This is a requirement because I live in a nice neighborhood and it keeps everything looking nice and clean.

Ian, being the genius marketer he apparently is, saw a need -- people weren't getting their trash cans back in time. So he figured he'd offer to haul the trash cans back for people for a small fee ($1 per can per week). In my case it costs me $4 a week because I have two regular trash cans and two recycle bins. Is it worth it for me? Absolutely! Just saving me the time and inconvenience of having to worry about it is well worth $16 or so a month.

But wait, it gets better!

Ian is only eight or nine years old, and he's not a big kid. The trash cans weigh a fair amount even empty, because they're big. On top of that the trash cans are tall, and Ian isn't. He'd probably wear himself out trying to manually haul all of the cans from the long driveways to the houses. But he doesn't do that.

No, Ian rides his kick scooter around the neighborhood to his clients' homes, and he lays the trash cans down one at a time on the back side of the scooter. He then rides his scooter to the house with the trash can rolling behind it like a trailer (the cans have wheels). Not only is this much faster than doing it by hand (I've watched him do it -- he's quick!) but it's also a lot easier on Ian, so he can haul more trash cans than he would be able to do manually.

I'm telling you, this kid is brilliant.

I'm not sure how many clients he has, but even with only eight clients having three trash cans each (most of my neighbors have three) this pre-teen is making almost a hundred bucks a month with an hours work after school once a week! That means at eight or nine years old he's earning $25 an hour.

Ian is very reliable, never missing a day, and he does a great job. His service is worth every penny.

So let's recap. This extremely young, savvy marketer did the following:

1. Saw a need.

2. Created a product (in this case, a service) to fill the need.

3. Contacted his target market.

4. Worked smarter rather than harder to increase his earning potential.

That's a great formula for success in any business.

And remember, he's only eight or nine years old! So stop making excuses about why you haven't been able to succeed and just follow Ian's example.

Please post your thoughts and questions in a comment below.

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  1. That is one smart 9 year old! Inspiring! when I was 9, I was in to video games and card collecting! I did sell some collecting cards though.

  2. I can’t believe you guys are too lazy to haul your own trash cans back to the house..!

    Kudos to Ian though. Give him another year and he’ll be recruiting neighbourhood kids to do the work for him, for a pittance of course :-)

  3. Nice story!!! He will definitely become as a very Good marketer in his teen.

  4. Every company should have a 9 year old to make their businessplan. Great and funny post!

    Joan

  5. What can I say… you can learn a lot from kids, who haven’t gotten into the mindset of fear.

    Hah, love the comments from Rohn above, so true, but the more uniqueness you can inject to what you do, the harder it is to copy you.

    Easier said than done, I guess.

  6. Hi, Good inspiration from a 9 years old. Regards
    Madhan.

  7. Thanks for sharing the great story Jon. I guess kids are really getting smarter and smarter. It shows in the way how some very young college kids and grads in their twenties are already making millions of dollars and some already billions!

  8. …”and now the rest of the story…” as Paul Harvery would say.

    Ian has met and conquered his first challenge..
    And now –leat say, it’s a year later,…

    – not only one, but three “copycat” kids have come in and copied Ian’s idea. Sales have dwindled.

    Not to rain on Ian’s parade, but Ian has to face the challenge all of us entrepreneurs face every day.

    The question: “Will Ian hold up against the competition.? Will he fold? Will he come up with a new idea and leave the original businerss to the jackles?

    This will be to test Ian’s entrepreneurial strength.

    In other words, if he is turned down by his first girl friend, will he try again for love?

    I wish the best for this boy.

    Fine story, Jon.

    Rohn

  9. Wow. What an amazing kid. Makes me feel good reading this story, remembering the days when young people could be “paperboys”, before the needy grownups started taking over with their cars. Sometimes you gotta think outside the box….

  10. Ian’s story is one of a kind. This young boy is blessed and brilliant and has a bright future as a businessman.

    Its an inspirational story which teaches us all that its never too early to start business nor is it too late for any one.
    Thanks for the story.
    Regards
    Irene, Ruwa, Zimbabwe

  11. I saw this brilliant marketing in a HBO movie, the rule is just the same as he do, thats really briliant

  12. Wow what a great kid and a great story. Thank you for sharing it with us. I wonder what his parents are like.

    I always like to support any kid in our neighborhood who is willing to make the effort and do a good job.

    Next time I am making excuses I will think of Ian

  13. G’day,

    This is very good and everyone can learn from it.
    I just hope everyone that read this copied & pasted
    the last 4 points to their computer and will review them
    every week when their internet marketing week begins.
    Or maybe the re-read the entire story each week for
    added drive.

    Regards
    Daniel

  14. This is a great idea from a 9 year old. Just think when he’s 20?? WOW!

    Thanks for the great story John

  15. Thats a great story about youg Ian, thanks for sharing that with us Jon.

    If he is only 9 years old, where is he going to stop? Maybe you should get him into internet marketing?

    Thanks,

    Sandy…

  16. That’s amazing, and such a fun story to read. I often have ideas like this, but I’m afraid of acting on them because of the good ol’ fear of failure.

    I’m sure many other people have the same fear. They get great ideas but never act on them.

    But this is a great story. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Just do your best, if it fails, learn from it, and keep moving.

    Thanks for sharing this, Jonathan!

  17. Wow, nice find you got there jon. I’m hoping that my kids will do the same in the near future. They are currently 3-5 years old. Gonna give them some time to build up that sort of marketing ability :)

  18. I will relate this great story to my kids regarding 9th year old Ian and the effort to accomplish his feeling of business by looking into making cash at this very young age.

  19. Thanks Jon,

    That little guy really used a mind dump on that on.

    First kid I’ve heard about in a very long time that
    even tried to earn his own spending money.

    Used his head, improvised and made it even
    better.

    I’ll bet he even plays outside when it’s hot, instead
    of sitting in front of the TV..

    I appreciate you Jon.

  20. Wow,

    That is one heck of a brilliant kid!

    Quite an inspirational story and it should be a kick in the pants to people who say they, “cannot find anything to do”.

  21. I’m jealous of this kid – he’s pulling in more per month on a consistent basis than I am!

    It’s a great story about simply paying attention to what’s around you and filling a need.

    Thanks for sharing.

  22. Now this is funny. I started to read this story this (Saturday) morning and after the first couple of lines I remembered I worked late last night and came home exhausted and pulled into the garage right past my trash cans so in mid sentence I went downstairs and pulled my own trash cans.

    Okay now finished the story……LOL Hmmm I would like to sign that kid to a contract…

  23. The story is very inspiring and very encouraging. Can I put on my blog? Thanks for taking the time to share it. My God bles you.

  24. Wow, what a remarkable young man he is at 9 years old. He will soon outsource his business and move on to greater bigger plans ;)

  25. Did he get the proper permits, and are his clients going to file the proper non-witholding tax forms? Does he have his EIN and is he bonded and insured?

  26. Hats off to Ian. Great story – and yes – this is definitely a Just Do It kinda of kick in the butt we need. Thanks, Judy

  27. Jon, this shows that you are hungry to learn from everything you can. What a great example to follow, and what a delightful story of a young person inspired to work to make things better for everyone.
    Terry

  28. What an incredible young kid! Those are the kinds of kids we need more stories about. More inspiration for all of us about what kids are capable of (and if kids can do it, we can too).

    Thanks so much for sharing that story, Jon. I’d love to have contact info for that kid so I could get his picture and write up his story.

    Kama

  29. That’s a great story. I often wish I could revisit my youth with the marketing and business knowledge I have today. I could have cleaned up! Anyway, thanks for posting. Its great to see kids like this using their heads to start businesses to make their own money. I’ll bet this kid has parents that have the same mind set.

  30. Excellent story. Reminds me of an early eighties movie called Kidco.

    If you haven’t seen that movie, you need to.

    Thanks for another great post Jonathan. You my friend have my highest recommendation for valid information and tips.

    Keep em coming.

    Jerry

  31. Unlike normal sales processes in IM you need to identify the niche first. That is the hard part. The battle is won or lost in this area. To many people do what they like and then after poring their selves out wonder why their expertise or effort are not rewarded. Identifying the market first, the niche, creating the right product 2nd is important. this shortens your success curve.

  32. If your neighbours can’t get their trash cans home within 3 days (THURSDAY morning till SATURDAY night…) the kid should charge them at least $5 a can…

  33. I think that kid needs to be invited over for lunch soon. You can milk his brain to see what’s going on in there. I’ll bet you’ll learn something. :)
    Jan

  34. Good kid he has started out very nicely in life..plus the neighborhood will know him when he is older and has a grown up business in his local community…a big plus for the future. I have a story to tell..
    Because of my fathers work as a machine operator with civil works on the town..(the best heavy machine operator ) we moved a lot from town to town for work contracts..Most of the time our family as other families in this line of work lived in trailer parks .. Every week day at around 7.am I would ride my bike ( I was 9 years as well) down to the bakery to get fresh bread straight from the ovens to take back home for my mother to make the sandwiches and deliver to my dads 9am break at his work site before school starts at 9.30am. As Dad’s work mates seen he was having totally fresh bread for morning tea ( and shared with sandwich swaps) his mates would give me their empty milk bottles to refund for cash. Would take bottles home wash them and cash in Friday afternoon ..was worth $10 per week.

  35. I once heard a quote, can’t remember who it is credited to or even the exact words but it went something like this ” Please, please spare me the triviality of everydayness”

    I think that this quote is so true for many, many things in our lives, which when you analise it, is so full of boring mundane tasks that we do because they have to be done.

    Ian saw that this was one of these tasks and offered to spare people in his neighbourhood from having to do it.

    I image that before Ian pointed this out to people nobody had even thought about getting somebody else to do it. With a bit of thought I bet there are hundreds of trivial tasks that people would pay for, but it probably takes a 9 year old to spot them.

    Phill

  36. That’s a great anecdote for all our businesses. That’s deffinately the way to make money in our business and one which can take time to properly master.
    Find a need: Keyword research
    create or find a solution: clickbank or your own idea
    Contact the target market: PPC
    work smarter: outsource

    simple and effective….

    cheers for the enlightenment

  37. Wonderful anecdote and a superb example of good business practice. Children are masters of taking the shortest route to a sensible conclusion.

    It’s a relief to read a simple message which brings our focus back to the task in hand. It is so easy in the world of Internet Marketing to get swallowed up in the mountains of hype – it’s been my aim never to get sucked in and especially not to punt even more of it around.

    Thanks for getting my day off to such a clear thinking start!

  38. A good upsell would be to clean these cans, spray deodorant etc.
    Employ teams to do the work.

  39. Great story Jon. Good to see young people still have the burn to do well. That is the way that I was brought up and now at 50 that hunger has never died. Its a great thing to be self employed and build your own businesses as I have but it is just so important to enjoy the journey. Profit and money should never be bade words and there is nothing wrong with either of them. Its what you do with your money that counts.
    Great products by the way Jon. Thanks

  40. Great story. I knew one other child like that. His father told me that this child took after him – slow at reading, good with his hands. (His dad was a good employee, hard working and rose well in his work, through HARD work). This child liked gardening and looking after machinery. He looked after his dad’s lawnmower and decided to offer a grass cutting service. It was successful but people wanted it quite a distance away and the boy was too young to drive. He built a trailer for his pedal cycle and pedalled out to people’s houses to cut their grass. He was a bit older than 9 – about 14 when he did this but he knew he wouldn’t be continuing in school after the minimum leaving age. He created his flyers and built a clientele that continued growing after he left school. He is still doing the same business he had at 14 and making a good living at it. Like your 9 year-old – he was reliable. Reliability and good customer service are crucial!

  41. That’s a great story Jonathan and it beats me by a year or two. As a kid my house backed on to a golf course and I managed to earn good money golf ball hunting.
    I would get pretty scratched up in the bushes, but earned good money, collecting, cleaning and selling those balls to golfers arriving to play on a Saturday morning.
    Good luck to Ian

  42. He’s a clever boy… and it is good to see that kind of self motivation in any one yet alone such a young person.

  43. It is a really great story..he is a preliant kid..
    Really we have to learn from this kid how we can find the opportunities rather than waiting an see others achieving their success..
    Thank Jon..

  44. I bet that the best business courses at university can’t improve on the business lesson in this kid’s story! Thanks for sharing it with us. In the end, it is very simple. But the secret is getting down to taking the necessary steps to make a success.

  45. This story about Ian was just what I needed to hear at this moment. What it triggered in me was that sometimes you know enough and just need to act. Nothing happens until you take action! That’s just what Ian did.

    Always great info Jon. Thanks.

  46. This is truly inspiring me to work smart even better !

    Thanks for sharing – appreciate that, John :)

  47. Find a need

    Find a solution

    Offer it to target clients

    This is the best successful business policy and has been aptly demonstrated by the kid.

  48. Ian putting some of us grown ups to shame! I include myself in the list of grownups being shamed.

    Cheers,

    Rafael

  49. This post very inspiring me. Now I realize that there are so many opportunities around me.

    Thanks Jon…

  50. Is this true? I seem to recall reading this somewhere else. It doesn’t matter as it’s the overall message that’s important. Thanks for sharing.

  51. I learn a lot from this kids experience, thanks for sharing this , I’ll try to make some sort of plan using it :D

  52. Such an interesting story yet a great marketing 101 lesson from a 9 year old. It’s good to remind us adult that good marketing is about providing answers to questions and solutions to those who are facing a problem they may or may not be aware of.

  53. Ian is a brilliant boy. Or maybe his parents ask him to do that? ;)

  54. What a brilliant kid :-)

    When he grows up, he’ll be like Tony Hsieh…LOL

  55. Yes indeed he is very smart…and business smart as well. He could almost teach many of us how to succeed offline. Online might be a different matter.

    Paul

  56. Thanks for sharing the story – the lessons contained is simple yet very powerful and actionable.

    To my mind, here’s the key: ACTION

  57. Wow, this kid has one heck of a future ahead of him. His entrepreneurial knack puts some adults to shame.

    I wonder what his parents do for a living?

  58. That kid is brilliant. At that age I used to try to sell cola to builders on a building site near me, and door to door selling raffle tickets, but never really stuck to it (gave up to easily). However this kid had a brilliant idea, and the same principle can be applied to IM too.

  59. Brilliant!

    When that kid gets on the Internet he’ll be a guru in no time.

  60. Ian is a very smart entrepreneur!. His business sense will guarantee him a bright future. Only if all children thought the same way!. Good going Ian!!. Your parents will definitely appreciate having extra help around the house!.

  61. Wow such a great story. Thanks for this. I struggle with motivation and procrastination this is such a great inspiration. I guess it boils down to your four points and more specifically: Getting to it and working and working smarter not harder really hits me.
    Thanks

  62. Thank you Jonathan,

    I look forward to receiving your emails and appreciate you as a person and someone who knows internet marketing very well. Your posts are gold and I love them. This was no exception. Thanks again.

    Dallas Kelso

  63. LOL..

    That kid reminds me of… me. Brought back memories of when my brother Tom and I hooked our old man’s beer and stood out front of a bar selling them for a dime a bottle!

    I think we made a few bucks until either the law showed up or we ran out of beer.. I can’t remember.

    Very nice post Jon.Thanks for sharing!

  64. Coming from a working class area and attending our local school
    I was lucky enough to be in a class of kids, who instead of being interested in the normal kids things, where always coming up with ingenius ideas for making money. What was amazing, was most of the ideas where turned into action, Even in failure there was no disheartment , or derision, It was on to the next idea or an improvement on the original.
    Out of a class of 34 ther was 15 millionaires by the time they where 30, and 25, at the last count,
    This was before the IT bubble when brick and mortar businesses where the only options.
    The diversity of the busines’s is amazing, but they all had one thing in common, We spoted a need in the market, and supplied it.
    The other thing we had in common, was that we all had part time jobs by the age of 10.

    So good luck to Ian I’m sure we will be hearing more of him in the future,

  65. Wow what a great story Jonathan, truly refreshing and wonderful to read, and at the same time motivating for everyone who enjoys your blog.

    This is coming in a week where I have noted two high quality product launches with no hype sales pages. Maybe, just maybe, we can put behind the hideous, over hyped and somewhat depressing series of useless IM launches we have had to witness throughout the 2010 summer.

    Lets hope people learn from the mistakes of others and innovate, much like your local enterprising kid.

    Here’s hoping that 2011 will see a clampdown on the crap sales pitches, clearing the market for those who actually create products that deliver and add value, like yourself Jonathan. Left unchecked the cowboys have potential to spoil the fun for all of us.

    Regards,
    Michael

  66. Well, as nice as that sounds, I’m going to have to bring a little reality to the picture…

    I used to be that same kid. Sold everything to everyone, made more money as a kid than many adults…

    Ok, fast forward… you grow up, you have OVERHEAD, All the needs that are really profitable have 100′s of other “Ian’s” wanting the same customers and some of those “Ian’s” are so dull, they will do it for no profit or even lose money…by the time they go out of business, you have too.

    All I’m saying is Ian had no competition, so it’s like when Adwords was brand new.. any dork could make a fortune…well, now that there is tons of competition, it isn’t so easy.

    Don’t get me wrong… there is still lots of money to be made and losts of opportunity, but unless you become an expert in finding markets with zero competition, don’t expect anything to be as easy as it was for Ian.

    I am far more motivated by stories of those who creatively beat the competition.

    Having said all that, I do appreciate the post as it helped me to focus on my task for the day. :-)

  67. Now, that’s a good idea so I told my 10 year old about it and he just stared at me and said ‘”Me?….Trash?”

    Where did I go wrong?

    Nadya

  68. I don’t think what the boy does can be learned. You have it in you or you don’t.

    Such a shame that I don’t…..but I keep trying

  69. Refreshing. It shows the value of uncomplicated approaches to business.

    Along with good ethics, honesty and compassion etc, these are the types of lessons our children need. They won’t be taught this stuff at school so we have a responsibility to show them, and use great examples like this to show them what can be done with a little thinking.

    Ok, preaching to myself here, my 8yo needs to see this in action – by me :)

    Thanks for posting, Jonathan.

  70. What a fantastic story!

    Sometimes children can really surprise all of us and inspire people many years older.

    I just hope he keeps at it – it sounds like he will be a great success.

  71. Now he needs to leverage on his business and hire other kids to do the trash can moving for him, and concentrate on getting more clients!

    The entrepreneurial mindset starts young and looks like this guy has the bug….. Move over Wayne Huzienga, there is a new trash mogul in the works!

  72. Hi Jonathan, it’s a pleasure to be on your forum.
    Today we have learned an incredible business lesson.
    And you are right on every word.
    This boy’s a genius!

    Here in Italy there’s not so much I can do with thrash cans, because they are owned by communal service, but this idea is great and can be applied on everything we need to do every day or once a week.

    It’s important to think about it…
    Thanks a lot Jonathan, this is a golden case study :)
    Alessandro Zamboni

  73. How enterprising he is. You must live in a much “nicer” and “snobby” neighborhood. Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you look at it), we live in a “neighborhood” with no home owner’s association.

    Most of our neighbors just burn their trash in a barrel.

  74. Jonathan,
    Good story. I wish people who are out of work could read this and learn from it.
    I saw a story on TV not too long ago featuring a small town where there was a high percentage of unemployment. They showed children moving back in with parents and how busy the food bank was.
    Most of the unemployed featured had a home or mobile home on some land but I didn’t see the first garden or even a tomato plant on the front porch in a pot.
    Everyone needs help during down times but Ian’s story shows that there are opportunities out there if we can just learn to open our eyes and minds and look for them.
    Ian’s story can be a wakeup call for all of us.

  75. This story brings “trash talk” to a whole new level! Yet there was more than one marketer at work here.

    Somehow, a story about a 9 year old businessman prompted me (and us) to click on the link to read more.

    I need to learn from both marketers.

  76. Good old American engin Ingenuity!

  77. The next step would be to leverage the system. In Ians case this would mean getting other kids to do it for him at a fraction of the cost and move on to the next suburb!

  78. Very inspirational, and interesting.

    However, as a mother, i would prefer my kid at that age play outdoor, football game, play with his friends than spending his time on Internet.

    Just my opinion :)

  79. WOW! What a kid! I wish I had half of his gumption. Wonder where he’ll be at the age of 21??

  80. Great story about an enterprising young man who recognised a need and applied his solution with available resources.

    It is so refreshing to hear of young people who contribute to society in such a unique way. I hope you will keep us posted on Ian’s progress (Maybe he will be an Internet Marketer one day!)

  81. Smart kid. Find a problem, solve the problem and turn it into a money making venture. How simple is that?

  82. OK, Jonathan, you just took away my “loser’s limp”. No more excuses. I’m all in.
    Thanks for such a simple, yet efficient business model.

  83. This was an excellent story. It is nice to know that there are children out there who have a head on their shoulders and not just interested in getting into trouble or goofing around.

    You are right, this young lad managed to nail the basic principles of a good solid marketing plan.

    Thanks for this post, it is great inspiration and motivating for all of us. I have some children who are looking for ways to make money. Maybe I should get them to read this post.

  84. What I got from this is
    1) Ian obviously did not call some kind of ‘master-mind’ meeting to bounce the idea around.
    2) He took action.
    3) Kudo’s to his parents for their obvious support instead of proffering every reason why it was NOT a good idea (ie, liability, insurance, licensing, etc.)

  85. Very cool story – I didn’t know what to expect when I clicked through the email but it has such a simple and real business relevance.

    Like many have said already, kids have this knack of cutting to the chase, being real and just plain telling it how it is..(how many times have kids embaressed you by telling someone something you were thinking but it wasn’t appropriate to say? lol)

    Also Josip, I agree with you that adults tend to kick the free spirit out of people as we get older..not everyone of course, just the ones who have been convinced by society that life = Birth, education, job until 65-70, retire with very little, death.

    Hopefully this kid keeps his spark and nobody brings him down :)

    Altug

  86. Wait he opens his eyes into Internet marketing! This kid definitely will sell me an ebook at one point in the future. I see it coming.

  87. Great story. I will share with my 3 yr old. Tell Ian to keep it up.

  88. This is just what America is lacking these days. We need more Ians and less government

  89. That is a really goog story.

    I have had dozens of aha moments like that and never followed through.

    My children think money come from the bank and dad just has to go get it for them.

  90. Even better than that Michael.

    Once he had the pics he could put them on the flyer and have it saying: Recommended by Jon Ledger + [jon and ian on the pic]+the regular copy.

    And I wonder if there’s any other kids on the block willing to make lets say, 5 bucks an hour for doing ians work while he kicks back and enjoys… well, childhood. :D

    TheRazor

  91. I love the simplicity with which this story unfolds.

    But there’s also another moral to this story, and that is: don’t be afraid of rejection.

    In business, doors slam in our face and windows shut onto our fingers more often than not; this reality keeps a lot of people from pushing on with a great idea (that others yet haven’t picked up on).

    Now, that’s at least better than the ones who never got a door slammed in their face because they never tried in the first place.

    This child took what others may have deemed to be a simple task that, “No one will ever take you up on it, for just wheeling their bins back for them. They can do that themselves!”, but was not being done… despite how easy and obvious it was.

    We get into this fear mode, where we think our good ideas planned out with due diligence in all their dynamics… aren’t good. And then we get that, “I coulda been a contender!” spiel going, when someone else did take action on the same idea… banking with it.

    If the idea is good, if the market is needy, if the solution is effective, and the pricing is spot on… don’t ever be afraid to try it. Despite it being viable and the obvious no brainer, some people will still not take you up on it (in much the same way some smokers won’t quit smoking even though they’ve had a heart attack).

    Don’t ever allow that to hold you back, just the same as not allowing your small size to keep you from fulfilling the job.

    It’s better to take on business and wonder how you’re going to get it done it, rather than sit around cushy, waiting for business to come our way.

    Best,
    Josh Harris

  92. Just wow, can anyone say future business partner? lol That is one smart kid. Keep in contact with him and see where he is in 10 years.

  93. Great example of a brilliant marketing plan. We’ll soon see Ian’s name on Amazon for a book on marketing or at least small business plans for young entrepreneurs.

    Theresa

  94. I was really crossing my fingers for a great lemonade stand story, but this even topped my expectations. Cute story with a good lesson behind it.

  95. This is a fantastic story, thanks for sharing it. Ian is absolutely fantastic :) .

    Cheers,
    FIRE

  96. while it is great what this young kid is doing as an up-coming businessman, I must say koodos to you for recognizing this and even greater that you are writing about it . As you well know ,people can always find something negative to say about our young people but to read something so positive is indeed also uplifting. I enjoyed this read mary

  97. Hi Jonathan,
    Brilliant story,sounds like the young man in question need s financial adviser so he will be a millionaire by the time he is 30.
    We adults I think are sometimes snowed under with day to day stuff and can not think outside the box.

    Kind Regards PeterB

  98. Such a refreshing story. Does this suggest that kids are more likely to come up with this strategy than adults?

    Meaning that we adults have been constantly bombarded with messages about the ‘cost’ of achieving whereas kids think more about possibility.

  99. We all carry inside of us the innate clever resourcefulness Ian has exhibited – if we can just get out of our own way and let it come out.

  100. That is an awesome story! My son is just three and I would love for him to have that kind of a mindset when he gets older.

    I just have to say one thing though, is it really that hard for people to get their trash cans back by Saturday night?? haha. Must be a lot of travelers in your neighborhood. . .

  101. What an uplifting story – just what I needed today!

  102. ha, that is a really good story.

    I sometimes think that as we get older we complicate things. That kid has cut right to the chase.

    Some adults would probably spend hours getting a professional flyer done and then buy an expensive trailer.

  103. I’d like to see Ian go to each of his current customers, asking if they are happy with his service and if so, would they give him positive feedback. I’d like to see him then contact those who didn’t subscribe to his service with an updated flier, including that feedback (perhaps with pictures of Ian with his satisfied customers).

  104. That’s a wonderful story, Jon, and a great reminder for all of us to drop our excuses!

    It’s really fascinating to see such a brilliant business sense in such a young person, but I’m beginning to believe that most kids are like that until grown-ups kick the free spirit out of them.

    I have a nephew who’s a real no-limits type of kid, and success is almost inevitable for him.

    In any case, your post definitely highlights the simplicity of business success.

    Thanks Jon!

    Josip

  105. He does have good business savvy and also common sense…

  106. I love reading stories like this. Keep ‘em coming. It’s nice to read something uplifting instead of all the depressing stories out there. Way to go Ian!

  107. I wish my kids were like Ian! Me and my wife would be able to accomplish more with our business if our kids would wisen up and help us with all the ideas that we’re coming up with!

  108. Awesome kid!

    He’ll be something big one day, for sure :-)

  109. Awesome and fun post! Children are amazing! I didn’t learn what this kid knows till I was 25 and didn’t really apply it till many years later. Thanks for this uplifting message! Hope I can save my children many decades of failed businesses because of lack of knowledge, experience & application.

  110. I second Jack’s comment.

    Everyone needs a mentor…

  111. I wonder if he wants to write articles :-)

  112. What a wonderful story, especially in this day we are living in, when most kids seem to want nothing but the next video game or texting thier friends.

    I see millionaire status in this boy’s future.

    Thanks for sharing.

    God Bless

  113. What a cool story, and even better business lesson. Kids make life (and in this case business) so simple, and us adults just complicate things. I wonder what he’ll end up doing in 10 years?

  114. Wow, such a young kid being good in marketing. Maybe you should train him up. He’ll be good with proper guidance

  115. Now that’s one kid who’s going to be very successful when he’s an adult.


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