Monday, June 20, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Start it up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions Into Pay by Kenrya Rankin

I’m always on a rather hopeless quest to find books and other materials that will get teens doing something. I get very frustrated with the large numbers of aimless teens who seem content to hang out (a phrase I am rapidly coming to hate) instead of, well, doing something! They’ll never have so much free time again in their lives and while many teens are certainly overscheduled with activities, I think many more are drifters, lacking any kind of interest or passion. Argh!

Ahem. Anyways, I really like Zest Books’ teen nonfiction. It’s fresh, funny, and practical (although the sex book was a little, ok a lot, too much for our library). I was excited when I saw a prepub notice for this title and even more excited to see a review copy of it on NetGalley.

Start it up is a practical guide to starting your own business for the modern teen. But it’s more than the traditional have your own babysitting/lawn mowing business book. The first chapter begins with an explanation of the qualities needed for entrepreneurship, ideas for setting goals, benefits of having your own business – and downsides – and finishes up with quizzes and suggestions for finding your own passion.

Further chapters give instructions and advice on mentors, investors, and partners. There is a detailed chapter on creating a business plan, including forms. More information on the gritty details of starting a business – coming up with a name, legal issues, tax questions, and more follow. The fifth chapter deals with money, from the prices you charge to what you do with your loot. There is also information on supervising employees, marketing, and customer service. The final chapters talk about “Doing Good,” using your business to give back to the community, or support good causes, and what to do with your business when you are ready to move on; what happens to your business when you go to college? Get another job? The book concludes with a detailed index, notes on the author, and a list of other Zest Books.

Every chapter includes quotes and stories from teen entrepreneurs talking about their successes; and failures. There is also a list of resources at the end of each chapter and various tips and ideas to add more information to the topic spread throughout the chapter.

Verdict: This is a must have for your teen section. Hopefully it will inspire a few of bored teens to explore the world a little and try out some new ideas; if not, it will provide a great resource for the ambitious and involved teen who wants to turn their passion into a profitable job. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9780981973357; March 2011 by Zest; Ebook provided by publisher through NetGalley; Purchased for the library.

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