Joe was 18 when he opened his first restaurant. He went on to buy a food truck AND open a second diner/bakery by age 20. Joe was homeschooled from the time he was in 8th grade.
Tara, his mom, found that homeschooling allowed far more freedom for building his business ideas (from paper route to lawn care to restaurant ownership). Find out how they did it.
What you'll learn from hearing Tara's story:
Tara runs a business from home called TheFreelancerRevolution (she helps parents and caregivers launch their own businesses so that they can be, live, and grow where they want to be.)
As a child, Joe was interested in running his own business... he even saved up for a real cash register at around the age of nine. He and his neighborhood friends would gather for their "business meetings." At 10, he took on a paper route, convincing the newspaper manager that he could do it at age 10 instead of the required 11 years old.
His first major purchase was his Mac computer. He immediately learned how to do spreadsheets.
Family Assets: Grandparents were farmers, brother and sister own trucking companies. Mom was self-employed as a medical transcriptionist. Mom often discussed her freedom as a self-employed person. Dad was an employee and had to get up early to head out the door and Joe gravitated toward mom's job lifestyle versus wanting to work the hours that dad had. Mom allowed him to go with her to a business conference with her.
He kept the paper route, then started a lawn mowing business which grew to the point that he handed the paper route job to his younger brother. The second son continues to run the lawn mowing business.
At 14, he gave up the mowing to get a job at a restaurant. He'd always enjoyed baking and knew he'd prefer working indoors instead of outdoors. He also wanted a people job.
At 15, he worked for a family diner/cafe style restaurant. By now, mom decides to fully homeschool him and he has a chance to work for the owner where the owner serves as his mentor. He learned to bake, cook, and prep. He worked there for 3 years.
Family situations landed a couple family members in the hospital and Tara went all in with homeschooling. Joe now realizes "I can be me and decide my future."
Joe is very self-driven so mom's unschooling style (when she realized "school at home" wasn't a good route) allowed him to pursue the topics he really wanted to learn about. Mom fed into his interests. She knew he was moving toward business ownership someday so she chose business math, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace curriculum, and science related to Joe's interests, to name a few.
He purchased a house at the age 15 (tune in to hear that story!) with the help of family members, and was able to build up his credit with small purchases between 16 and 18, such as small auto loans, that ultimately led to him being able to purchase his first restaurant at age 18.
Then he ran a food truck when the restaurant was shut down during the 2020 lockdowns.
I asked Tara what she felt her role was as a mom to Joe:
He's very self-driven and once he latches onto an idea, he dives in head-first. Tara was there as an encourager and to also check in by helping him think through what he originally stated was his goal, to make sure he's on the track he wants to be on.
With some situations (starting new jobs in his younger years), Tara made sure it was a safe environment and that he could handle what he took on. When he showed the initiative and follow-through, he would continue.
Their typical homeschool schedule: Two hours of focus in the evening because that's the time when all the interest-based activities were done for the day.
Minute 25 is all about Tara's philosophy of homeschooling. She figured out that life skills were becoming more important than book skills.
Minute 27: Joe bought a house as a homeschool project. He was in charge of the remodel, fixing it up, paying utilities budgeting, etc.
Tara also discusses what this lifestyle has meant for her son (compared to others his age).
HUGE TAKEAWAY: At minute 39, listen in if you're worried that your child will suffer in life if you don't cover "all the things" we should cover as a homeschool parent. Step back from being the hovering parent (because honestly, you're worried that you won't do a decent job. Stop it.) and allow the children to show what their true interests are. Take it from there to allow them to pursue and develop them.
Thank you, Tara, for sharing your son's amazing story!