Every summer, millions of young people go through the depressing process of trying to find a job. Some of them are fortunate enough to find challenging employment that gives them the opportunity to develop skills that they can use later in starting their own businesses. However, most of them end up working at the local hamburger joint or the local grocery store, making minimum wage. If they are fortunate enough to get jobs that pay minimum wage, they won’t even keep enough money after taxes in one hour of work to afford movie tickets. In addition, such jobs do not contribute much to their development as entrepreneurs. Sure, they can make a few dollars, but these jobs are not meant to encourage any entrepreneurial behavior.

Rather than working in these mindless jobs, young people are better off starting their own businesses or getting a job that will teach them skills they can use in starting their own businesses sometime in the future..

One summer, 17-year-old Ronald Silver decided that he was not going to take his usual summer job at a hardware store. During the previous summers, while Ronald was working at the store, the owner had shown him how to strip and finish wooden furniture. Instead of taking the same job for the third summer in a row, he decided to start his own business as a furniture stripper and finisher. By his calculation, he made about $7 per hour that summer—nearly twice as much as the minimum wage at that time. Ronald says, "Kids don’t have to settle for minimum wage if they have special skills people want."

Ronald was lucky enough to pick up the skills he needed for his furniture-stripping business. Young people who do not have skills that can be turned into cash should follow Ronald’s example and try to obtain an apprenticeship to pick up skills they can use in their businesses at a later date. One young person took a job one summer at a print shop with a desk-top publishing facility so that he could learn how to use popular desk-top publishing software. One year later, he started a business helping small companies create in-house newsletters and advertising brochures.

Not only does starting and running businesses enable young investors to make extra money but it also teaches them sound money management skills. When young people make their own money, they have a greater appreciation of the value of a dollar.