I was at the World Domination Summit 2012 last week in Portland OR. I was proud to be an attendee at this second adventure and even prouder to be one of the few alumni from the inaugural 2011 event as well. As many of you may have heard over the webverse, news of the Chris Guillebeau’s $100 StartUp Challenge has been burning up the fiberoptics. I case you didn’t hear, Chris gave each and every one of us that attended a fresh crisp c-note to use however we chose. Chris gave a little speech about as well, basing it upon the story of the 5 Talents found in Matthew chapter 25 from the Bible.
As we left the conference and many of us talked ideas over regarding the money, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. I mean, what could I do that would multiply it. It would be too easy just to keep it, use it on next year’s World Domination Summit, or even invest it in my business. I also thought it would do too little to simply give it to a charity. Not that it wouldn’t go to good use, but that, even there, it would only be single use. I wanted it to multiply. Many of my other friends were considering running contests on their blogs and giving it away to th best idea. Since so many were trying that, I wanted to go another way and try something different.
My idea hit me on the plane ride back home as I was reading Chris’ latest book $100 StartUp. The book is about a wide range of folks who started functioning and profitable businesses on next to nothing.
I decided I would invest my $100 in a business run by a 9yo boy, my nephew.
My nephew Ethan Van Buren has been creating things out of duct tape for a few monts now, and he’s getting really good. I’ve seen wallets, purses, notebooks, and more. I think now he’s working on a Kindle case. Because he’s cool and super nice, he’s almost been giving these things away. He’s not doing it to get rich. He’s mainly doing it for fun. I went to his business manager first to clear everything before I spoke to him. His mom, my sister, said the idea was cool and gave her blessing.
You can meet Ethan here on the video. He’s a little shy and soft-spoken on camera…
So here’s what I’m going to do with the $100:
- Purchase materials for the next batch of items, mainly rolls of designer duct tape. Right now, he has about a dozen different style rolls of duct tape and tools.
- Sell the duct tape creations through my Graveside Services store, which I just created through Shopify’s Build a Business contest. I’m creating him a page in the catalog just for his projects.
- Remove any reimbursement costs from the sales. I’m not charging him any commision on the sales. After all, the store is already there to sell my goods. To show him how a business runs, his income will pay for his overhead, which includes shipping costs, materials, and the percentage taken for payment processing.
- Ethan’s profit will be split 50/50. Half will go to him and half will go into his 529 college savings account, which I helped his grandparents set up for him several years ago. His half will probably end up being saved for books, a bike, or anything related to Abraham Lincoln or zombies.
- I’m going to teach Ethan how to keep a ledger to track his sales, profit, materials, etc.
- Then repeat as necessary.
My hope is that I make Ethan what my kids call ‘kid rich’ and that he continues to invest his own money to pay the $100 forward even further. To my boys, kid rich means that you can afford to buy reasonable things for yurself and others without asking mom for more money. I hope you’ll check out the store and help support him and make him ‘kid rich’.
I’d like to offer many thanks to Chris Guillebeau and his crew for this marvelous idea and the vision to invest in the rest of us.