How should I raise a 12-year-old girl to be a successful entrepreneur? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
Years ago, while I was raising my three daughters (they are all grown now with children of their own), my husband at the time and I decided during summer vacation we would take the girls to California and Disneyland.
Since we would be flying the five of us from Indiana to California, we both agreed that we would need to talk to the girls about earning their spending money for the trip.
Our oldest two daughters (12 and 14) were of babysitting age, each with well-established babysitting jobs. We felt confident they had a way to start saving for the trip.
Our youngest was only ten at the time. She was still too young to babysit -- too young to do much at all, outside of her weekly chores to earn spending money. My husband and I knew we would happily augment whatever she had saved.
However, her goal was to make her own money for the trip, and I watched proudly as she took up the gauntlet.
The morning after we told them about the trip, I found her packing a shoe box full of hot pads she had woven with a kit she got as a Christmas gift, which she then proceeded to sell door-to-door. At supper, she announced that they had all been sold.
At the time, we lived near a golf course, only a few hundred feet from the 10th hole. On day 2, I watched through the kitchen window for over an hour as she sat on the grass, patiently watching the golfers.
That evening during supper, she told her father and I that she had been watching the golfers when they came to the 10th hole. They were using cloths from their golf bags to wipe the sweat from their faces and she had figured out that they were hot and sweaty from playing golf.
She said had an idea. She wanted to know if her dad, or I, would take her to the grocery where she would use what she had saved so far to buy a case of different flavors of soda and a bag of ice.
Using our Styrofoam cooler and her wagon, she intended to plant herself on the 10th hole and sell sodas to the golfers.
Her dad and I talked about it, figuring this would probably only last one day, so we gave her our permission. Oh man, I knew I was going to be one very busy mother hawk continually watching our little entrepreneur from the window.
To make a long story short, we made over a dozen trips to the grocery during those weeks before our trip to Disneyland. Each time she ran out of soda, she took part of what she had already made and bought more sodas and more ice for the cooler.
The golfers bought her sodas. Maybe they were simply thirsty, but I tend to think it was because they were so enamored by the little blonde girl with the wagon and her little soda business, and her mama diligently watching her from the window.
Anyway, she made over $300 all by herself, even a little more than her sisters did babysitting.
Disneyland was a home run.