During supper yesterday, my 9 year old daughter asked me how she could open her own business.
“How do I do it, I guess I buy a building first?” she said between mouthfuls.
I looked at her, thought for a second, and gave her the one piece of advice most people just laugh about, “No little one, you never do that. You start a Youtube Channel.”
She had the look of fireworks behind her eyes, and I was instantly stuck in between an excited conversation with her younger sister about what they were going to do on their Minecraft YouTube Channel.
Was this intelligent advice? I believe it was, but let me explain.
Never destroy the dreams of a child…
Did you ever have a dream as a child? One that you had the courage to tell to a teacher or a parent, only to have them utterly CRUSH that dream with their grown-uppy vision?
Do you remember how that felt? Having something that was so on fire in your mind that you had to share it with someone you loved, literally thrown out with the garbage?
It probably hurt. A lot.
Will my daughter actually create her Youtube channel? Who knows, that’s up to her drive and interests. But why would you want to destroy a dream that a child wants to share with you? They want you to be a part of their life, and are seeking validation from someone they admire.
Encourage those dreams, enjoy the interaction and when they succeed (because they WILL succeed in life at some point in time) they’ll want to share the excitement with you. And wouldn’t that be something?
Really, how relevant is our advice these days?
Seriously, what do we as adults even know about what children see and comprehend? We look at the world with our own personal biases and fears, and the older we get, the more we want to play it safe and familiar, and a real business is where we felt secure.
YouTube is 17 years old, and still people see it as a novelty, but look at the stats:
- The number 2 search engine in the world, after Google (it’s parent company!)
- over 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors
- 694,000 hours of video are streamed each minute
- 80% of U.S. parents of children under 11 say their kids use YouTube
This isn’t a novelty, this is a major business! Some people laugh at the thought of starting a YouTube channel but celebrate the opening of a new brick-and-mortar small business. Interestingly, Fundera reported some statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- 20% of small businesses fail in the first year
- 30% of small businesses fail in their second year
- 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year
Personally, my brick-and-mortar business was over $100,000 to get going, and that was considered and incredible value at the time. Not many 9 year olds have that kind of capital to start with… but chances are they have an iPad or iPhone.
It’s also mind-blowing when you consider Ryan Kaji is consistently in the top 10 earners on YouTube. He started when he was 4 years old and earned $27 million dollars in 2021!
Yes girls, you can share your Minecraft hacks with the world… please.
The Exciting World of Digital Creation
A young child doesn’t have the the understanding of how income development and cashflow operate, but to be fair, neither do most grown-up.
The last few years have shown an incredible amount of change and the simple formula of “get an education and get a job with a pension” simply don’t fly. The world has become more digital and mobile.
Love it or hate it, things changed fast and when you look at the 10 top dream jobs children have, you would see the first 6 of them can be tied directly to YouTube creation. Even the bottom 4 can have benefit to content creation.
- Movie Star
- Business Owner
- Professional athlete
- Police Officer
If we want kids to pursue their dreams, goals and passions, why do we hold them back? It’s usually the fear of the unknown, the protectiveness we have over our children’s wellbeing.
But wouldn’t this be an amazing thing to collaborate with them on, and nurture their growth in a safe, family environment? Isn’t that why we havechildren, so we can help shape their growth?
Imagine the relationship that can build.
The final decision…
Whether they actually decide to try out YouTube or not isn’t really up to me. But the excitement is there, so why not encourage it? If this were a sport or musical endeavour, it would be a no-brainer. Get that kid a hockey stick or guitar!
So until they decide to start filming up some Minecraft videos, I’ll keep tossing them little ideas to stoke their fires… and work on building a little Minecraft house for myself.
(Originally posted on April 17, 2022 on Medium.com)