Entrepreneur Tips From a 9 y/o

caine's arcade

If you woke up this morning needing some side hustle motivation, you came to the right spot.

I was forwarded this incredible story last week about a kid and his arcade made solely out of cardboard and tape, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since. Which means it’s something that probably needs to get stuck in your mind too 🙂

If you have 11 minutes to spare, I hope you can watch this video – you won’t be disappointed:

Here’s the highlights if you can’t watch it right now:

  • Kid makes a fully functioning arcade out of cardboard boxes
  • No one buys a single ticket to play for months
  • He continues to build out the arcade even more
  • A random videographer stops by and becomes his first customer
  • He’s blown away and stages a flash mob to make this kid’s day
  • A crap load of people show up and buy tickets to play
  • It’s all filmed and goes viral hitting 1,000,000 views in 24 hours (it’s at 4.6 million now)
  • The scholarship fund the videographer set up reaches $60,000 in one day (later hitting $240,000)
  • The kid is so happy you want to cry 🙂 (Like the bodyguard of President Clinton did)

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because it all went down two years ago and you probably remember hearing something about it. Unless you’re like me who tends to ignore the media (too much garbage!) and thus misses out on greatness like this as well (oops).

Anyways, after being sucked into this kid’s story and all this videographer (Nirvan Mullick) did for him, I hit up their blog about it and spent even more time grinning from ear to ear. I learn that this dynamic duo tours the world giving motivational and entrepreneurial speeches, that people have since flown in from all around the world to play Caine’s games (even celebrities!), that an “Imagination Foundation” has been launched to inspire creativity and entrepreneurship among kids, and that Caine’s since retired from the arcade to focus on starting a new bike shop at 11 years old 🙂

Doesn’t he make us feel lazy! Haha…

But not to fret, I also came across his 5 lessons for entrepreneurs so that we can all follow in his footsteps. Written (hilariously) on a barf bag while flying to France to speak at the Canne’s Lions International Festival of Creativity – which made him the youngest speaker ever there.

cain entrepreneur lessons

Here’s Caine’s 5 tips for entrepreneurs

  1. Be nice to customers.
  2. Do a business that is fun.
  3. Do not give up.
  4. Start with what you have.
  5. Use recycled stuff.

Simple and to the point 🙂 And what a mantra for side hustling too! If you look at the 50+ hustles we’ve featured here over the years, you’ll notice most of them were done by people who thoroughly enjoy what they do as well. Which always bodes better for making $$.

In fact, this blog started out as pure hobby in itself. I had no idea you could make money blogging (I barely knew what a blog was!) and just had fun doing my thang and happened to get lucky. Prob not the best course of action if you’re setting out to make $$$, haha, but it still shows that passion is key.

Let’s see if I follow these 5 tips now that my hobby turned businessy*

  1. Being nice to customers. I think I’m nice to y’all? But you tell me 🙂
  2. Doing a business that’s fun. Check. (Except for when the internet crashes)
  3. Not giving up. Definitely a check! I blogged every day, M-F for 6 years straight without missing a day. And even at 3x a week now I’m still going strong, though I admit it’s tougher the less you write because you add more pressure to yourself.
  4. Starting with what I had – Yup! A crappy Blogger site (remember them?) and a mess of $$ thoughts in my head. All I knew is that I enjoyed thinking about money and sharing ideas, and thought a blog would be a good avenue to brain dump on. We all have a story to share, but it would take me years to figure out what that is.
  5. Using recycled stuff. Not very applicable here outside of using an old laptop I used to have, but certainly the topic of money in itself has been regurgitated over and over again in different ways, haha… the principles of money never change!

I bet if we ran these rules against some of our own favorite companies they’d match up pretty well too. At least in the beginning stages of their growth.

The takeaway from all this, of course, is that any of us can go out and start a biz so long as we’re passionate enough and apply ourselves. We may not hit overnight internet success as Caine did (though he’s proved that if you work your a$$ off and don’t give up it’s possible!), but we’ll each succeed in our own unique ways.

We just have to want it bad enough.

To learn more about this rock star, hit up CainesArcade.com or watch the follow up video Nirvan put out on what’s happened since (check out all the games he inspired other kids to make! Incredible!). Hope this motivates you today 🙂

PS: It’s also fair to say that Nirvan is quite the hustler too – he saw something amazing to him and then poured in the energy to share it with the world. So another takeaway here is to always keep your eyes open for opportunity! Never know how many gems are just waiting to be discovered by you…

*As much as I’d love the money turning this blog into 100% business, I would hate doing it (and you’d hate reading this) so I continue treating it as half hobby/half business. This is why I always have a slew of other income streams going on – so I can make up for the hobby part 😉