86th Edition – September 27, 2020
For God’s sake, give me the young who have brains enough to make fools of themselves.Robert Louis Stevenson
1. The Mentality of a Startup Founder
Consider the following comments from this New York entrepreneur who started her business 8 years ago:
- “I wanted to help moms in the New York area find nannies for their kids.”
- “I was highly motivated to start this business – it’s not a 9 to 5 job.”
- “Letting go was hard when I hired my first CEO.”
- “I recruited my first clients.”
Pretty typical comments for a startup founder, right?
2. Who is Noa Mintz?
Well, she’s famous and she’s the one who made the comments above. I just learned about her this week as I was contemplating a fascinating question that I heard from one of my favorite CEOs. The conversation was about youth entrepreneurship and college education.
Noa is in her second year at Brown University. Yes, she’s young, but she was even younger when she started her entrepreneurial journey.
If you don’t know her story, it’s unique in that she started her nanny business when she was just 12 years old. As the agency grew, she hired a CEO which is both comical yet astute for such a young person.
Noa is also featured in the book, Girl CEO by Katherine Ellison.
3. Books for Young Entrepreneurs
I’m not the only person to query what books to have young teens to read if they are interested in business. Go ahead, do a search and you’ll see many listicles, and the first few are impossible not to click.
But my list is different. My suggestion is minimal non-fiction except for autobiographies by business founders. Yet, I broke my own rule with 2 non-autobiographies:
- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau (chapters 6 and 7 are indispensable)
- Cadence – A Tale of Fast Business Growth by Pete Williams (I think this reads better and faster than Gerber’s E-Myth)
4. How About Stock Investing as a Teen?
Yes, yes, yes – do it. But an investing education will be required which can go fast.
In the early 1990s, I was a member of Better Investing which is geared for investment clubs. But their training was also outstanding for individual investors which is what I used for my kids when they were young. Unfortunately, many of those materials are no longer in print.
But, my closest pick is David and Tom Gardner’s Investment Guide for Teens. In my humble opinion, learning to invest in public companies is the second-best method for learning about entrepreneurship.
What’s number 1? Doing it and learning. Repeat.
5. Financial Modeling for the Young Entrepreneur
I’m a huge fan of Peter Lynch who is the creator of A Simple Model. When Peter created the Excel-based framework for building financial models, I’m not sure if he had teens in mind. Like stock investing, this is another underrated way to learn entrepreneurship. Just think Moneyball for startups.
Incidentally, Peter will be a guest on the CFO Bookshelf Podcast in a couple of weeks.
Games can run for weeks and months and can be played with anyone around the world. The game includes video tutorials, a mini-course, and a solid user guide to help players get up to speed with the basics of business quickly.
Mathew says of teens playing the game is like, “running their own virtual businesses.”
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Always be learning.