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102 Business Ideas for Kids | Simple Startup with Arianna and Sheila | EP 308

Arianna and Sheila

What You’ll Get Out Of Today’s Show

  • Do you have a budding entrepreneur at home? Help them bring their business ideas to life, learn the value of money, and gain future-proof skills.
  • About a year ago, Rob Phelan, launched The Simple StartUp workbook and live coaching series aimed at helping kids aged 10-18 develop their first business idea. This episode will highlight lessons learned from his program.
  • The Simple StartUp has given Brad a language to talk with his own girls about business and entrepreneurship. His daughter, Molly, has grasped the concept of affiliate marketing and how it might help her Gardening Gals business.
  • Molly and her friend are now making slime and thinking about the costs of each component in the slime like little businesswomen. Rob says even if she doesn’t become an entrepreneur, she is learning personal finance skills, problem-solving, how to break down costs, and return on investment.
  • These are conversations every parent can be having with their child as we are all customers of different businesses.
  • Rob has put together a document that parents and kids can use as a launch board. Access it for free at
  • At the core of any business idea is something that will solve a problem for someone else. The Simple StartUp tries to help kids get past the idea that they need to come up with the perfect idea before they can start a business. In reality, you’re going to go through multiple businesses or many iterations with your business. It does not need to be super creative or innovative to get started and learn about the process.
  • In his document, Rob came up with 102 ideas that kids ages 10-18 can start at home right now if they have some skills and equipment available.
  • The kids taking Rob’s course usually start with assets they already have by thinking about their skills, hobbies, and interests. They go through a thought exercise of thinking about complaints people have and what solutions they propose for solving them. Can they solve it in such a way that people are willing to pay for it?
  • Parents can prompt their children to go through the thought exercise themselves when they have a complaint about something.
  • Everyone has something that they are marginally better at than the people around them.
  • Annalise messaged Jonathan to let him know that her Easter cards have been released. In The Simple StartUp, she has learned what a powerful selling tool word-of-mouth marketing can be and is working to create super fans by reaching back out to previous customers like Jonathan.
  • What Analiese is doing is core to business development. Like Kevin Kelly states, you can make a living forever if you have 1000 true fans. Recommendations from someone people trust are better than any PR you can pay for.
  • Rob has made some changes to the course since last Summer and Fall. Parents have been requesting to have immediate access to the course to feed existing passion and excitement rather than wait for the next cohort to begin.
  • Not every kid needs the structure of a group course. As an alternative, Rob has created a self-paced, on-demand course that any entrepreneur can start right now. It includes video lessons and an online community of course alumni.
  • The next cohort course will be The Simple StartUp Summer Challenge, beginning at the end of June and running for six weeks.
  • How can parents foster these conversations with their children and help them start? Use the 102 Business Ideas document as a starting point and ask them to come up with other ideas for solving the problem and then how it could make money.
  • The Simple StartUp student, Arianna, started a finger puppet business after talking through the business idea with Rob. She began using free tools create awareness for her product and after receiving positive feedback, switched to Etsy which would direct customers to her. She has learned a ton in the process and had fun doing it.
  • Arianna’s mother, Shelia, began listing to ChooseFI to learn how to take care of her debt but when she heard about The Simple StartUp, she thought it would be perfect for her teen.
  • Initially, Arianna wasn’t thrilled about doing a program over the summer, but she reluctantly agreed. Nervous at first, she liked the videos and found everyone in the chat to be friendly.
  • When coming up with her idea, Arianna knew she liked crafting, plus her grandmother had taught her how to sew.
  • Outside of class, Sheila helped Arianna understand terms like profit and to use coupons when purchasing supplies.
  • Arianna’s lightbulb moment came from selling items in the video game Animal Crossing. She realized she could incentivize people to buy more with quantity discounts.
  • Her business name is Plushet, a mash-up of plushie and puppet, and its mission is to bring the family together through imagination and puppets.
  • Arianna discovered that she’s pretty good at making logos after making one for a fellow classmate.
  • Not only does Arianna encourage other kids to take the course, but says it’s better than video games and she would also even like to do it again. Sheila believes the course opens the door to learning new skillsets.
The Simple Startup book preview image

The Simple Startup: A Beginners Guide to Starting a Business

This is a guidebook for teachers, parents, and students interested in starting student businesses - but aren't sure where to start or how to move forward. You'll learn everything you need to know to help students take their ideas and turn them into profitable businesses.

Resources Mentioned In Today’s Conversation

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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