Dear Grandparenting: I want to tell you about my grandson, Scott, otherwise known as Little Mr. Businessman. Scott is 9, lives in Kalamazoo and makes about $700 a month, on the side. He makes it look easy. I say on the side because Scott goes to school like any other adolescent. When he gets home he goes straight upstairs and does his homework. After dinner is when Little Mr. Businessman gets down to business, racking up “billable hours” helping clients with their technology problems. He does weekend site visits and emergency service, provided he can get a ride. Most of his business is from word of mouth. People are amazed when they meet him for the first time. They think he’s much older. He’s basically just this sweet little kid with glasses who happens to know everything about computers and anything that goes with them.
I don’t want to sell Scott short. He had a plan. Friends laughed, but last year he printed his own business cards that read “TSCI” (The Scott Club Inc.) with his phone number. When I asked him 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 can do what Scott does. But they don’t 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 people call acting like they’re losing their heads. He talks them down.
My grandson has trouble wearing anything except an orange T-shirt, and his personal hygiene leaves something to be desired. But he seems to have figured out how to make an honest living and make friends too. Nice guys don’t always finish last. Zippy, Marshall, Minnesota
Dear Zippy: What else is there to say? Grandchildren can go off in many directions, and it’s surely rewarding to see your Mr. Businessman enjoy such a successful launch.
From your account, it’s obvious he brings “extra value”: the strong social skills that build relationships and elicit favorable recommendations. More to the point, Scott exhibits initiative, discipline and resilience, qualities one needs in entrepreneurship and in life.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Rob O’Shea, of Atlanta, Georgia, was reminiscing about some of the old tunes that were popular when he was dating the girl who would become his wife.
“She really liked this one song called ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale,’” recalled Rob.
Wisecracking grandson Trevor, 12, piped up. “I’ve got a couple of love ballads for you to use Gramps. How about ‘I Love Hamburgers and I Like You’ or ‘I Think I Love You, Except When Sports Are on TV.’”
Rob played along. “No thanks. Why don’t you try those out on a girl you like and let me know how that goes, OK?”
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.