Tips from parents of entrepreneurs


Are you hoping to raise an entrepreneur?

Maybe your child is full of ideas to make money.

You’ll enjoying meeting 3 parents of teen entrepreneurs in this episode of the Dollars and Sense podcast.

Listen to the podcast.

In this podcast, 3 parents, Bob, Suzanne and Jennifer, shared their experiences of how they encouraged their entrepreneurial teenagers. They discussed:

  • Their role as a parent
  • How to school work fit into their students’ lives?
  • What was most difficult for their child?
  • When should a parent step in?
  • How do you encourage entrepreneurship?

Some of their advice:

  • Don’t let school get in the way of your eduction (paraphrasing Mark Twain)
  • Arrange to get schoolwork done first. Balance schedule and manage time.
  • HALT-Never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired
  • Encourage, knock down obstacles.
  • Work with school to make changes in start time.
  • Find resources, field ideas with your student
  • Encourage. Recognize milestones and achievements. Get advisers.

If you have a teenager who want to make money check out the Micro Business for Teens books and videos.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

How to leave a review on iTunes

Thank you!

Carol Topp

Career Exploration Part 2. Personality Tests


This is the second part of a four part series on career exploration for high school students

Listen here

The 4 Step Career Exploration Process

1. Investigate: Discover your personality, abilities, skills, and priorities.
2. Match possible careers to your personality.
3. Research potential careers to see if there is a fit.
4. Prepare a plan to pursue your career choice.

Step 1 is to investigate your personality, abilities, skills, and priorities. Start by List skills, interests, talents, and what do you spend time doing.

Also ask your friends and parents to list your strengths and talents.

Personality Tests

There are several online personality tests that can be helpful and fun.
At —Take the Jung Typology Test. It is free and should take you about 10 minutes.

My tests show I am an ISTJ and some of the careers listed include: Engineering and Accounting! Amazing! Those have been my two major careers! This website offers another type of personality test. It classifies people into one of four temperaments.

Click on “Take the KTS-II!” in the upper right corner. It asks for an email address. After you determine your temperament, read about it and good jobs for you.—This is a fantastic personality test related to occupations. There is a fee involved of approximately $10, but it is well worth the small fee!
I mention ebook

I also recommend Career Direct from Crown Financial Ministries. It is much more in depth than the others listed above and also considers your personal values and Christian occupations. Cost $80 without a consultant or more if you desire to work with a consultant.


Listen in to Career Exploration Part 3, Episode 21 of the Dollars and Sense Show as I discuss how to research possible careers.

Carol Topp, CPA

Why a micro business works for teens

Recently the Ozark Ramblings blog reviewed the Micro Business for Teens books. The post gives a nice summary what a micro business is and why it’s such a great way for a teenager to make money.

Some of the characteristics of a micro business and why they work for teens.

  • Simple and fast to start up—Immediate gratification, not months and months of planning.
  • Usually only one worker—no complications of payroll tax, Social Security Administration or unemployment to worry about.
  • Sole proprietorship—no contracts, partnership negotiations, or lawyers to file incorporation documents.  Also makes closing a business much simpler.
  • Little start up money needed—starting a micro business shouldn’t mean taking on debt
  • Usually home-based—no need to rent space, easy to move (when the teen goes to college)
  • Low risk—you don’t have to be the next Bill Gates or create something entirely new, it can be a time-proven option like mowing lawns or babysitting
  • Manageable—teens still need time for school and socializing.  A micro business should be similar to working a part time job.
  • The worker can learn while earning—a teen can earn money and learn time-management, marketing, bookkeeping, customer service, etc.


Read other reviews of Micro Business for Teens here.


Video: Creating a Business Plan for a Micro Business – Financial Plan

Get a free report!
Sign up for my newsletter and I will send you my report, New Biz on the Block: Starting a Micro Business in Your Neighborhood.

Join Rachel Coker, teenage author and micro business owner, and I as we discuss how to take an idea for a micro business and write out the final part of a business plan, the financial plan.

In the video, we explain that in a financial plan, you want to list any start-up expenses you may have including: equipment, storage, start-up inventory, advertising, and maybe even a license such as a trade name registration.

Next, you’ll want to  list out the costs, your profit, and your pricing.

Finally, you’ll want to estimate your sales and calculate a break even point.

For more information about how to start your own micro business and how you can write out your very own business plan, check out Carol Topp’s series of books, Micro Business For Teens, available at:,and

Carol Topp, CPA

Video: Creating a Business Plan for a Micro Business – The Marketing Plan

Get a free report!
Sign up for my newsletter and I will send you my report, New Biz on the Block: Starting a Micro Business in Your Neighborhood.

Join Rachel Coker, teenage author and micro business owner, and I as we discuss how to take an idea for a micro business and write out a the second part of a business plan, the marketing plan.

In the video, we explain that in a marketing plan, you want to write out who your potential customers are, how you’re going to reach them (online or in-person), and how much will you spend (both in time and money) advertising.

Next, you’ll want to list who your competition is, what your competitor’s weaknesses are, and how you’re going to stand out from them.

Finally, you’ll want to survey at least 5 different people to ask them what they think about your product or service.

For more information about how to start your own micro business and how you can write out your very own business plan, check out Carol Topp’s series of books, Micro Business For Teens, available at:, and

Carol Topp, CPA

Teaching Dollars and Sense for Teachers in IN, KY and OH



If you are a teacher in Kentucky, Indiana or Ohio consider attending the

2014 Life Fundamental$ Regional Summit
Teaching Dollars & Sense
Monday & Tuesday, June 23-24, 2014
Holiday Inn Hurstbourne in Louisville, KY
sponsored by the Kentucky Council on Economic Education

I will be speaking on Micro Business for Teens on Tuesday morning June 24.

Register here

  • Fun field trip planned!
  • Free resources in every session and scan session QR codes for even more!
  • BYOD!  Bring your own device – lots of opportunities for interactive learning!
  • Enrichment sessions by business leaders from the insurance, financial, industries
  • Certificate for up to 10 hours for professional development credit
  • Exhibits/booths with educational resources

I hope to see several of you in Louisville in June!


Carol Topp, CPA

Author of Micro Business for Teens

Start a micro business with no money (podcast)


Do you want to start a micro business, but fear you don’t have the money to start?

Dollars and Sense host, Carol Topp and guest host, 17 year old Jonah Wilson, claim that you can start a micro business with no money!


Listen in to this podcast as Carol and Jonah share several ways to start a micro business with no money

In the podcast, Carol and Jonah mention Starting a Micro Business, a helpful book (and ebook) that can be very helpful in launching your micro business.

Show Notes:

What does it cost to start a micro business?
If a product-based business, then inventory, packaging & shipping and advertising costs
Maybe equipment like computer, lawnmower, oven, piano, etc.
If a service-based business, then not much start-up money needed except for ads, a website, business cards, etc.

Where does the start up money come from?

  • Savings
  • Start as a hobby/volunteer/only break even
  • Investor (or small loan from parents), but not a partner
  • Sell something
  • Work a temporary job
  • Start a service business and save up to launch a larger business

Listen to the next Dollars and Sense Podcast (Episode #16) where Carol and Jonah will discuss the dangers of starting a micro business with debt.


Rachel Coker is 18 and has 4 micro business! Copy her!



Rachel Coker is 18 years old and runs three micro businesses: author, piano teacher, photographer and now she’s adding writing coach!

You should copy her!

Watch the video below as Rachel discusses to a group of parents and teens at the Cincinnati Home School convention, how she started each business. She shares tips and ideas that you can use to start a micro business.

Did Rachel inspire you that you could take your interests and turn them into a money-making micro business?

A micro business is a small, simple and fast to start-up, sole-proprietor business that usually consists of one worker, the owner. Micro Businesses are usually low-risk and easy enough for a teenager to manage along with schoolwork and other extracurricular activities.

Check omicro-mid-1ut my books today and start your own micro business for success! Available for purchase on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Createspace, and as a PDF eBook on my website.

If you do publish (or self-publish) a book, then you’ll benefit from reading my book Business Tips and Taxes for Writers, because writing is a business!

Carol Topp CPA

Micro Business for Teens in Greenville, SC


I’ll be in Greenville, SC March 20-22, 2014 at the SouthEast Great Homeschool Convention helping teenagers start a micro business.

If you come to the convention stop by booth # 1404 and say hello!


Carol Topp, CPA


Tax tips and tricks for teen entrepreneuers


Kenneth over at Teen Business Forum asked,

My name is Kenneth and at the moment I am a freshman in college. As you probably already know, tax season is here! I do plan on filing them soon, but I was wondering what tips and tricks I could do to increase the amount of the refund.


Tips: Read all you can about tax deductions. My blogs at and are a good place to start.

Buy my ebook Teens and Taxes at The $3 cost is a business deduction!

Keep good records. Consider using accounting software like Quickbooks,, or Wave accounting.

Tricks: Keep track of mileage. It’s a bigger deduction than just gas.

If you travel out of town you can deduct a per diem amount for meals that is higher than actual meal expenses (unless you’re a really big eater!).

The standard rate of $46/day for meals is set by the General Service Administration which has higher per diem rate for high-cost cities. On the day of traveling to and from home, you can only deduct 75% of the per diem rate, but it still adds up.

For a trip to Orlando (with a per diem rate for meals of $56/day) my per diem totaled $196, a lot higher than my actual expenses of $94.97.

Hope that helps.

Money_small-259x300Money and Taxes in a Micro Business has several chapters devoted to federal , state and sales tax. There’s quite a bit to learn about taxes, but this book is written in clear English so a teenager easily can understand taxes in running a micro business.


Carol Topp, CPA