As I've written before on WalletPop, this is a tough job market for teens. The retail sector is the largest employer of teens and, given the uncertain economy, it isn't adding large numbers of workers this summer. I gave some suggestions for teens hoping to secure jobs, but the people at West Coast Asset Management -- Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea is among the founders -- have another wonderful tip: start your own business. Check out this article (PDF File) in their Exclusive Outlook for June.
Given the low wages that most teens earn, it's possible that many could do as well or better starting their own businesses -- even something as simple as mowing lawns. But the benefits can be more than financial and can more than compensate for any decline in income. According to the WCAM team:
... Many jobs for teens emphasize obedience, mindless activities, and hierarchical deference. Often, they train people to become followers rather than leaders. Starting your own business requires obedience too, but it comes from self-discipline. Your business may also require mindless activities, but you will understand the importance and value of the activity. And yes, owning your own business actually subordinates you to both customers and coworkers (if you do it right), but this is deference to an ideal of valued service, not power of position.
That's a pretty compelling argument for entrepreneurship.
Can't get a summer job? Start your own business!