5 Ways Kids Can Make Money Under Age 16

Shonika Proctor, teen business coach, shares her knowledge of ways for kids to make money, even when they are under 16.

Po’ No Mo’

5 Tips on How Youth Under Age 16 Can Make Money

In his internationally best-selling book Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out, Dr. Farrah Gray, a self-made millionaire by age 14, discusses how, in one of the first of his many business ventures, he painted rocks and sold them as door stops door-to-door for $1.50 each when he was only 9 years old.

Despite common misconception, you do not have to have money to make money. All you need is a great idea and a persistent willingness to put that great idea into action. Here are 5 ways you can make money in the 21st century, even if you’re not yet 16 (or 14, for that matter), and even if you don’t have a dime to your name.

Competitions: Enter business plan competitions such as the ones offered by NFTE.com and BlackEnterprise.com. All sorts of contests and competitions exist for young budding entrepreneurs, and the cash or scholarship prizes you may receive are only half the benefit. The other half is the name recognition you can carry with you into your burgeoning business life as being the chosen winner amongst all the many entrants in such illustrious, business-related competitions.
Advertising: Seek sponsors and advertisers for your product or service. For example, sell advertising space on the flyers, postcards, and - yes - websites you put out there to promote your own business. The advertising funds you generate will pay for the production, printing, distribution, etc. of your own promotions, essentially making it free advertising for you!
Sharing Your Experience: It doesn’t matter how young you are. We all have expertise in something, even if that something is simply being ourselves. We’ve all lived unique lives and we all have an important story to tell. Get the word out about your endeavors by writing articles on the subject for your local newspapers. Write about the subject of your business. Write about your own experiences starting a business. Usually small local newspapers are looking for filler content. With just a single publication credit, you will instantly start to become known as an expert at whatever you do. You may even get paid a few dollars or more for your efforts, though that isn’t the point. The point is to get more free advertising for your business by writing about what you know best - you and all that you are up to.
Technology Training and Consulting: Put that way it sounds so lofty and complex, but it isn’t. As a member of the younger generation, you have natural abilities to work with computers that may seem like nothing but second nature to you but are a hot and valuable commodity to people of older generations who didn’t grow up with all this newfangled technology in their homes. You’d be surprised how many people older than you don’t know how to make a web page (or maybe you wouldn’t be surprised). The point is, even if you can do it in your sleep, there are people who will pay you big bucks to teach them how to do it, or more - do it for them. YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and all the other social networking and bookmarking sites as well as blogs, newsletters, and ezines are the new media. And guess who the experts are in this new media? That’s right - you are! And as a related bonus tip, you can even offer a free course for small business-people at your local library on the importance of having online presence, and then at the end of the class offer to sell your expertise to build their pages. Give them a discount if they order your services on that day.
Odd Jobs: This is one suggestion that never goes out of style. Random odd jobs like cutting grass, raking leaves, dog walking, shoveling show etc. may not be the most exotic, novel, or interesting forms of making money. But they’ve been around forever for a very good reason - because they work. This type of work may not be directly related to your business or business idea, but you can take heart that the entire time you’re toiling away at some seemingly boring task for some extra ducats, what you’re really doing is serving a much higher purpose - raising valuable funds for your business’s success.
Tired of being po’? Of course you are! Well, get over it - literally! Because you can easily be po’ no mo’. All it takes is a little innovation and a willingness to make it work. Problems equal opportunities. Be resourceful and creative. Make money by solving problems that exist around you, and before you know it you’ll have solved the problem of being poor and well on the way to your well-deserved riches.