"I'm going to be a millionaire by the time I'm ... " We've all said those words. We've all ended that sentence with an age when we were going to be rich and comfortable, and dedicating our lives to charity work and a Hawaiian beach house.
That age might be 30. Or 40. For Caleb Maddix, it's a bit less than that. It's ... 16. And he's already on the way.
At just 14 years old, Caleb is already addressing audiences about success and motivation. His first business was called Kids With a Mission, and took the lessons Caleb learned on more than 50 mission trips to bring kids together to help the homeless, children with cancer, and children in fatherless families. He's since written a book helping kids to find focus, set goals, and create achievements. And his Kids 4 Success coaching business helps children boost their self-esteem, improve their grades, and create habits that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.
And I mentioned that he's just 14, didn't I?
Caleb's focus is on helping other children follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps, but he agrees that much of his advice applies to adults, too. Asked to name the three most important actions for children to take to become successful, he starts by recommending that they determine their goals and define their dream, and then set their "daily three:" three things they can do every day to work toward that dream.
"When I was younger I had a dream to build my own business," he says, "and to be a shortstop with the New York Yankees. So I studied on YouTube about baseball. I hit every single day, had a bunch of hitting drills. And I'd field every single day. When I started in the success industry, I'd read every day, post on social media every day, exercise and work out to stay in peak performance."
Finally, with advice that will warm the heart of every parent, Caleb also recommends that children educate themselves. "There's so much information at the tips of our fingers. I am where I am because of the books that I've read. It's the K.E.Y. to success: Keep Educating Yourself. The more you learn, the more you will earn in return."
Caleb, whose father is a motivational speaker and has provided him with help and support to land gigs and promote his business, has already started addressing audiences, sharing a stage with Gary Vaynerchuk among others. Audiences tend to respond one of two ways: Some, Caleb says, question his experience and his age, but others pay more attention to the message. "Some are like, 'This kid's awesome. He's super inspirational.' They take it well, and they look for the good."
For now, in between doing his schoolwork, meeting his friends, and doing all of the other things that teenagers get up to, Caleb is focused on building his mentoring company. He's formed partnerships with leaders including Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank, and he's working toward his goal.
"The definition of success is to hit a target," he says. "I don't think kids realize how much they can accomplish."