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Charlie Hamilton: Most Successful People Worked When They Were Young

Want to raise more responsible kids? Then put them to work, says the Texas businessman.

Charlie Hamilton, a serial entrepreneur and champion of Lemonade Day in Lubbock, Texas, knows all about running a successful business. But when it comes to raising successful kids, he realizes you sometimes just have to say "no."

“Successful adults often worked when they were young," he writes in The Kansas City Star. "They mowed lawns, baby-sat, or had a lemonade stand. Learning how to work hard, provide good customer service, overcome challenges, ask for the sale, and understand the value of a dollar are invaluable life lessons that kids simply can’t get from a textbook.”

Those are great building blocks for any entrepreneur. 

"When told they will have to spend their own money on that toy at the checkout line, they don't want it quite as badly," Hamilton continues.

Quality family time is another perk with this training. Helping your budding entrepreneur think through projects and face challenges will strengthen your bond, and the skills learned are useful for both business and everyday life. 

"The self-satisfaction and confidence that the child develops as a result of these experiences prepare him or her for adulthood," Hamilton says. 

The Texan opened his first business, a fireworks stand, when he was 12. 

Last updated: May 20, 2013


Julie Strickland covers start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurial endeavors of all kinds for Inc. Her work has been published in Brooklyn Based and City Limits in New York, the Free Times in Columbia, SC, Real Travel Magazine in London, and Daegu Pockets in South Korea. She lives in New York City.

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