I have the entrepreneurial bug so I’m always checking out the latest news on successful business owners. I love technology based businesses. I salivate over the thought of someday working completely from home. So a few months back I was really impressed with a story I read in Inc Magazine about a teenager making money via myspace. It’s not what you are thinking…… no webcams and all that junk. This young lady was designing backgrounds and layouts for myspace pages. She had been using html since she was about 9 so she knew what she was doing. She started out making layouts for friends then expanded into getting paid. She also offers some layouts for free and makes money off of ads since her website is so popular. She made about $500,000 this past year! Not bad for a “kid” huh? This “kid” made more in a year than most adult Americans make in 10 years. She was able to do it because the tools were available to do so. The internet, cheap computers, and social networks made her business possible along with her ingenuity.
Stories like hers should be an inspiration to young people everywhere. Often, kids would like to have a job but cannot get one for any number of reasons. Either they don’t have a ride to work, don’t have time during the day, or are not old enough to be hired legally. But with an internet business they don’t need permission from mommy government, don’t need a ride from mommy, and can work at night after homework and sports. Obviously not everyone is going to make half a million a year but $5000 – $10,000 a year would seem like a windfall to a young person with no bills living at home. Elance is full of jobs for doing basic research online which would be a good fit for computer savvy students. Even though sites like Elance are very competitive due to overseas workers I think young Americans could compete on price since they are likely doing it for extra money.
I know some people think children should enjoy their childhood so they should not have to worry about jobs until after high school. But there are some that want to work badly so they should have the chance to do so. The kid growing up in a poor home deserves the chance to pull himself up by the bootstraps. And technology opens up another avenue for that person to change his or her life for the better.