Dear Grandparenting: I want to tell you about my grandson Thomas. Our family calls him Little Mr. Businessman. Thomas is nine years old, lives in Baltimore and makes about $800 a month.
After dinner is when Little Mr. Businessman gets down to business, racking up “billable hours” by helping clients with their technology problems. He did weekend site visits and emergency service before the COVID pandemic, provided he could get a ride.
Most of his business comes by from word of mouth. People are amazed when they see him for the first time. They always think he’s older. He’s basically just this sweet little kid with glasses who knows everything about computers.
You can’t sell Thomas short. He had a plan. Friends laughed, but last year he printed his own business cards that read “TTCI” (The Thomas Club Incorporated). When I asked what his secret was, he said he tries to “under-promise and over-deliver.” Can you imagine a nine-year-old saying that!
Other people do what Thomas does but might not have his personal touch. He keeps it on the sunny side and is quite the little charmer with adults. And he doesn’t flip out when clients are losing their minds. He talks them down.
Thomas has trouble wearing anything except his favorite orange T-shirt and his personal hygiene leaves something to be desired. But he seems to have figured out making a living and making friendships too. Thought you’d like to know that nice guys don’t always finish last. Leigh Gibbons, Baltimore, Maryland
Dear Leigh: What else is there to say? Grandchildren go off in different directions, and it’s certainly rewarding for your Little Mr. Businessman enjoy such success.
It’s apparent your grandson delivers “extra value” — the kind of customer support that builds relationships and elicits favorable recommendations. Initiative, discipline and strong social skills are qualities that should serve him well in entrepreneurship, and in life. Thanks for sharing.
Grand remark of the week
When Julie Lee Johnson from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania talks about her grandchildren — “and I do all the time” — she likes to work in this quote from A.A. Milne’s classic book Winnie-the-Pooh:
“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.