If you’ve been around our site for a while you know that we’re here to help kids and teens go beyond the typical teen jobs like flipping burgers or waiting tables to finding a fulfilling calling in their own business as entrepreneurs.
In order for teens to stick to the business of choice, however, it needs to be a business that they’ll WANT to do, so some advanced brainstorming will come in handy to help you and your teen decide what type of business to start.
Brainstorming works best in a group setting so get together a small group of your teens family members, mentors and/or friends. Make sure this group includes only people who know your child well and can be objective as you brainstorm together. Possible group members would include parents, siblings, pastor, favorite teacher, best friend, etc. Don’t get the group much bigger than 4-5 people though as that can complicate the brainstorming process.
Set aside a good time for your brainstorming session and make sure you are meeting away from distractions like phone, tv and even computer. Using a large whiteboard, chalkboard or flip chart will be a tremendous help so if you can meet in a church classroom with one of these tools available, even better! If you don’t have access to something like this, designate one of your team members (not your teen) to be a note taker. The key is to write everything down that’s said without any editing.
Now comes the fun -the actual brainstorming session. The idea behind this session is to just throw out various ideas, responses, thoughts, anecdotes, etc., to help your teen begin to think through what type of home based business might suit him best.
Start by getting input to specific questions like:
1. What are your talents? Looking back on your teen’s life, what has he naturally excelled at and enjoyed? Invite your brainstorming team members to throw out thoughts, stories from your teen’s past, etc., to help him determine some of his top talents.
2. Do you have any hobbies? Again, focus on the things that brought or currently your teen enjoyment.
3. When you have an hour of time just to do whatever you want, what do you choose to do?
4. What makes you feel important, special or needed?
5. What types of “housework” do you prefer (not necessarily like but prefer over others) – usually talking this thorough will help reveal work patterns, etc.
6. Are you an introvert or more extroverted? Help your teen to discover what wears him out or fills him up in this regard.
7. If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream business look like?
These are just some starting questions to help ramp up your brainstorming session. From there more questions and comments will naturally flow as people freely share their ideas.
As you go through and discuss each question and idea write down all thoughts, stories and ideas but highlight those that create “ah ha” moments especially. If you’re working with a flip chart pad or just writing on paper you can just tear off the notes to review and with a whiteboard or chalkboard you can either have your teen copy the notes from the board themselves (thus reinforcing what was written) or take a good quality digital photo of the final whiteboard for his review.
After the session make sure your teen takes the time to thank all the participants for their input informally and then later formally with a handwritten thank you note. If needed, schedule another session to further the discussion once your teen has some ideas of his entrepreneurial focus.