Preparing your kid to become the next business mogul

Posted at 4:42 PM, Apr 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-10 16:42:18-04

Young entrepreneurs are nothing new, but today's biz whiz kids are going way beyond the lemonade stand.

Jake Dela Cruz makes music and money running his own DJ business. His passion for his work is evident.

"Just getting up there, just mixing music together. I just love it," he said.  

He's only 15 years old, but has been at it since he was seven. Jake was 'discovered' at a marketplace put together for other kids like him who run their own businesses.

Andrea Bowe helps organize the events that teach eager entrepreneurs the tricks of the trade. 

"They get a chance to develop their business plan, their marketing plan and then have a chance to go sell it at a live market and see if it's actually viable or not, without too much risk," she said.

Similar camps, classes and after school programs are popping up all over the country.

Hilary Levey Friedman, Ph.D. has seen the benefits, but suggests parents with mogul-minded kids start with baby steps. 

"It's so important to not go for Shark Tank right away, right?  o keep the focus at a manageable pace for a child, so it doesn't feel overwhelming," Friedman said.

Dr. Friedman understands business classes can be a great opportunity, but stresses balance should be boss.

"The danger is if their identity becomes over-involved in just one thing," she said. "What happens if they burn out? What happens if they experience a failure?"

She says it's important to manage expectationsfor the kids and the parents.

"Some kids, I would wonder, is it them that keeps showing up each month, or is it their parents encouraging them? Because you could see that they're tired. So absolutely, they get burned out. It's hard work," Bowe said.

Jake's dad, Jon, says he follows his son's lead. Right now, Jake wants to grow bigger, but even if he doesn't become a music star. 

"At least he's learning these life skills that he can take with him," Cruz said.

Jake says the business is still music to his ears, and hopefully, his wallet.

"I love doing this. I'm passionate about it," he said.