Child Entrepreneurs Spotlight: Meet the Monsters Who Eat Nightmares

5 min to read
Student surrounded by monster stuffed animals

When kindergartener Ben LaMont started having bad dreams, the tricks his mom used to help scare the monsters away failed to ease his mind. 

So, Ben took things into his own hands. He drew a good monster for protection, and his mom Michelle brought his drawing to life, sewing a “Worry Monster” complete with a zipper mouth to eat his bad dreams. With his Worry Monster sleeping next to him, Ben’s bad dreams disappeared, and he started sleeping through the night. 

That is how Ben’s journey to start his own non-profit organization and become a child entrepreneur began.

Kid-Owned Businesses

A recent survey by Junior Achievement USA found that 60% of teenagers are more interested in starting their own company than working in a traditional job; and many of them, like Ben, aren’t waiting until they are out of school. 

While there aren’t any firm figures on how many kid-owned businesses there are, more kids are jumping into entrepreneurship than ever before – and finding success. Whether it is providing a service, such as walking dogs, or making and selling products, like jewelry and Worry Monsters, this internet generation has access to the tools and technology to help them get their business off the ground, having the tools and knowledge to promote themselves and expand their reach to grow their business. 

Monster Adoption Agency

Now 10, Ben, along with his mom and eight-year-old brother Wyatt, ran with Ben’s Worry Monster idea and started the Monster Adoption Agency, which designs and sells Worry Monsters to help other kids overcome their fears and cope with anxiety. They use their profits to make monsters to donate to children in need. 

“It worked for me,” said Ben, “so I asked my mom to make monsters for my friends and teachers. It helped them, and helping made me happy so we just kept making monsters.”

In the six years Monster Adoption Agency has been in business, they have sold or donated nearly 800 monsters, including those donated to the Dougy Center, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, that offers support services to grieving children. Worry Monsters were also donated to the elementary school counselors in Uvalde, Texas, following last year’s tragedy at Robb Elementary School.

Going to School While Starting a Business

Starting a business takes a great deal of time, and even more time once the business starts to take off. Child entrepreneurs often find themselves struggling to balance strict school schedules and the time they need to devote to making their business successful. 

For Ben and Wyatt, they enrolled in Connections Academy, which gave them the flexibility they needed to be successful in school while growing their non-profit business. 

They are not alone. Many kids that are driven to start a business become homeschool entrepreneurs or they enroll in online schools like Connections Academy. 

The Benefits of Online School for Young Entrepreneurs

From flexible scheduling to developing soft skills, there are many ways that online school supports and encourages entrepreneurship for kids. 

Flexible Scheduling and Pacing

Students in online school can study their lessons at a time that is most convenient for them. This gives them the freedom to schedule meetings, attend business-related events, and perform activities that support their business during regular hours. Online school’s flexible scheduling allows them to balance their school and business obligations

Students can also study at their own pace, moving ahead on subjects that come easily to them. This can help them spend more time on their business because they’ve met their school obligations quickly. If students have trouble with a lesson, they can spend more time on it without fear of falling behind and taking precious time away from their business to catch up. 

Organization Skills 

Because students frequently manage their own schedule and can work through lessons at their own pace in online school, they must develop strong organization skills to stay on track. These skills can help them manage everything that needs to be done to run a successful business. 

Confidence and Independence 

Students in online school are independent learners who know how to take responsibility for themselves and do what needs to be done to be successful in school. With independence comes confidence, which are both critical traits in running a successful business. Online school students also know how to be their own advocates and champions, which will serve them well on their path to entrepreneurship. 

Student Interests

Online school offers a wide range of courses and electives that allow students to explore their interests, which can guide their business choices. They can also take electives to learn new skills to support their business. 

Soft Skills

For kids to be successful business owners, they need to develop soft skills including communication, teamwork, problem solving, leadership, and decision making. Online school can help students practice these skills in live virtual classes and in group activities, preparing them to be successful kid business owners. 

Kid Entrepreneurs in Action

Ben believes that his Worry Monsters can make a difference. Some children talk to their monsters about their fears while others place written worries in their monster's zipper mouth. Borrowing from the Tooth Fairy, parents can whisk these worries away while their children sleep. The process not only encourages kids to confront their fears but also provides parents with a window into their child’s mind. 

As Connections Academy students, Ben and Wyatt have time to learn real-world skills related to running a successful non-profit. Ben has learned how to set reasonable goals. He has mastered technical skills, like sewing zippers. And most importantly, he has discovered the importance of teamwork. Ben explains, “I can't do everything myself. Our monsters take all three of us working as a team.”

Ben’s advice for other young entrepreneurs? “Enjoy what you're doing and share that joy with others.”

Today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders. Attending online school can give kids a head start on achieving their dreams of owning their own business.  

E-guide for Connections Academy with a green background and a graphic of a laptop with the purple eGuide.

Ready to Learn More

About Connections Academy?

Explore the benefits of attending Connections Academy, a tuition-free, accredited online public school that’s passionate about helping your child thrive.  

Get Your Free eGuide


Related Posts