By: Sharon Fuentes (Questions by Grace and Jay Fuentes)
When Grace came to me with the idea of starting this online magazine I agreed because well, I thought it would be fun. But then we read the book Richest Kids in America by Mark Victor Hansen who also happens to be the co-author of the Chicken Soup of the Soul Book series that have sold over a Billion books worldwide (That is a lot of books!). Suddenly we both started looking at this project differently. I don’t know if we have a million dollar idea here, but we got something! And the thought of that sure is exciting!
In his book Richest Kids in America, Mr. Hansen interviews 20 different kids between the ages of 9-23 who have become self-made millionaires. Yes, you read right… millionaires! These kids were just regular kids, like you! They all came from different walks of life, different economic situations and backgrounds. But these kids Hansen found out all shared a few things in common.
1.) They had passion
2.) They were not afraid to DREAM BIG
3.) They all were able to take adversity and turn it into an advantage
The book is inspiring and well worth the read. It tells story after story of real kids, like Olivia Bennett who at the age of 5 while being treated for cancer discovered her talent and love of painting during her Occupational Therapy appointments. She sold her first painting at the age at 8 for $50. Now at the age of 22 her paintings sell for over $20,000 each! And she sells a lot of paintings too! CHA- CHING!
Or McKay Hatch who at 14 decided to launch the No Cussing Club in his Junior High because he was tired of all the foul language being used in his school. Today he has over 35,000 members worldwide and has been asked to appear on many TV shows in an effort to help spread his anti- bullying and no cursing message.
REAL KIDS WITH PASSION
As I mentioned I read this book with both my kids. To say they got motivated by it well that would be an understatement. Before I knew what they were doing, they were jotting down questions that they would ask Mr. Hansen if they ever had a chance. Guess what… they got the chance! (I know how crazy is that?) And because Shout Out Online Magazine wants to help all you other siblings out there turn your PASSION INTO $$$ too… we are going to share their interview questions with you.
So get out a notebook and jot down some notes and then go out there and DREAM BIG! Or as Mr. Hansen told us, “Turn your trash into cash, something tragic into magic!” And when you get famous and rich and Mr. Hansen interviews you for his next edition of one of his Richest Kids in America books… remember to give a Shout Out to this magazine!
Grace: How do I get people to read what I write?”
Hansen: The answer for us was that most people aren’t readers, so I’d sit in front of bookstores and I’d say, “Have you read page 36?” It’s kind of like a movie trailer, and they would read page 36, which was like a one-page story, and one idea, and it touched their heart and soul, and then they would want to read the entire Chicken Soup book. So, what happens is, you’ve got to find like-minded people that you’re sharing with to get started. Like anything else, you’ve got to have a warm market for your writing and usually, that’s going to start with your family, your parents, your friends, your schoolmates.
Grace: Once folks are reading, how do I make money from it? Who is going to want to advertise on a site done by a kid?
Hansen: Great question. I’m sure there are companies trying to sell products to kids your age. When I was nine-years old, I sold more greeting cards than anyone else and started shoveling snow outside of Chicago, Waukegan, Illinois, and waking up my brothers to help because there was too much snow sometimes. We even got people to pre-pay for the snow shoveling, which was one of the reasons I believe in this. That’s my suggestion to you; find a way to get people to pay-forward.
Jay: I have an idea for an invention. I think it would be something that would benefit everyone. How do I get started?
Hansen: If you have an idea, what you have to do is first, make a prototype. Then, ask all of your teachers to help you get it done. Almost every school has a shop teacher, for example. There are three main types of inventions. Some that are 1) informational, which is where I’m the strongest, 2) some that are a product or 3) and lastly, some that are a service.
If you’re inventing something like the light bulb, just like Thomas Edison, did, you may have to go through a lot of different versions of it. I believe Edison went through something like ten thousand iterations. And if you’re inventing something electronic like Steve Jobs did when he helped create the Mac, iPhone, iPad and other inventions, you can partner up with somebody that really has the skillsets that you may not have yet.
Steve Jobs was the outside salesman and Wozniak was the computer geek. While they were in high school, they were able to get David Rockefeller to put up all the money while they were in their garage. Did you know that? They were kids, but they had this idea of having aesthetically pleasing computers that would work.
So, the first thing you need to do Jay is write your idea out as completely as you can. The second thing is you can go to all BusinessPlans.com, or find one for free online.
But don’t take it to anyone until after you’ve spoken with your parents and they agree it’s a good idea because together you should go to an intellectual property attorney. It may cost $300.
Jay: So, let’s say I can actually get this invention made. How do I convince everyone that they have to have it? We all know that infomercials are universally hated.
Hansen: Well, I don’t know about that. One of my seven fortunes has been in infomercials. The last number I looked at was something like a $35 billion dollar business, so everybody can’t hate it. In the middle of the night, one night, we were on QVC with Chicken Soup of the Soul cookbook and we sold 35,000 at 3:30 AM Eastern Time on QVC in five minutes. I was blown away. I thought, what in the heck are these people doing awake in the middle of the night? Anyway, infomercials serve a great position to keep products moving in America and they are a great way to influence people to buy. Seeing an infomercial with a kid your age might be a great idea for your invention. You never know!
Grace: How did you stay out trouble when you were a kid? It seems some of my best ideas are the ones that get me into trouble.
Hansen: I think you should write about getting in trouble rather than getting into it. Look at Charles Schultz, who created The Peanuts and characters like Snoopy and Charlie Brown. That’s what he did. He ended up making $50 million a year doing it too. Or look at Dr. Seuss and how he impacted the world. Those are great examples of where you can go with your writing.