The Disease I Have (Not Actually A Disease)

September 20, 2017

This is the disease I have. (Not an actual disease)

I rarely can have a conversation where my mind doesn’t go down the rabbit hole of “oh that could be a cool business idea.”

Last night.

Next door neighbor’s kid Ben comes up to me outside and says, “I’ll take your trash cans to the curb for 25 cents”

Of course, I say sure, because well, it’s only 25 cents and frankly I support his effort to make an extra buck.

Few minutes later I’m in my think tank (the shower) and my mind has this little conversation:

“Ben should charge $1/month to take out my trash cans every week.”

“There are two cans though, so really he should charge $2/mo for both cans.”

“I bet if he really wanted, he could go to everyone on the street and say, for $2/mo I’ll take your trash cans out to the curb every week.”

“He’s a kid though, so I bet folks would pay twice that to support a neighborhood kid.”

“Managing a bunch of $4 payments every month would be cumbersome.”

“I bet I could set up a web page for him, where folks could subscribe and pay $5/mo for Ben to offer this service. The extra dollar covers hosting and credit card fees. Could even design and print him a business card so he could hand it to folks.”

“I bet there are kids in a lot of neighborhoods that would do the same thing.”

“Kids can offer other services too like lawn mowing, dog walking, house sitting, etc.”

“So a web service that promotes entrepreneurship amongst children, and gives them a quick and easy way for kids (well, mostly parents) to setup a recurring service business.”

“There has got to be something out there already.”

Half-hour on Google yields, well, not much really. 



“So, Ben (with his parents) creates a business on this site, and gets his own domain (say like,, picks what kind of business he wants to start, how much he wants to charge, a few other details and boom, he has his own website. When he goes around the neighborhood he has an easy and impressive way to sell his service. I’m guessing leads, payments, communication would filter through the parents.”

“That would be cool.”

“I want this for my own kid.”

Reality check.

“Dang, my existing list is towering. On to the ideas Trello board it goes.”

So, for Ben, or whomever actually reads this. I love it when a child get’s excited about making money and goes out and actually tries to do it. I know as a kid you typically have a motive in mind, like ice cream or video games, but it’s a fantastic thing to spend your time doing. As a child, receiving money in exchange for work is a valuable lesson that builds character and teaches you that money is hard earned.

Also, I don’t know if this service is out there already (let me know if there is) or if I’ll ever build it, but let me know what you think.

Until that time, Ben, $2/mo. Deal?

2 comments on “The Disease I Have (Not Actually A Disease)”

  1. pretty cool idea Tim, lets run with this, we need to send this to legal, accounting, and insurance for their review as well.

    the kids would need liability ins, workers comp, and/or some sort of waiver for the home owner if a child breaks his leg on your yard or if you filled your can with noxious agents and they tipped over on the child are you liable as a home owner now for your garbage contents?

    We would want legal to review child labor laws /working ages. thinking we would hire as w2 employees, probably as an army of 1099 contractors, kids medical and liability would actually probably be covered by their family plan.
    We could put part of their income into starting a 529 college funds, part of the instilling of values theme you started this thread with, to start the idea of them paying for their own college :).

    Also tax implications for business and the kids.
    In some states such as NC you would have to collect sales tax on the service as well, so the monthly fees are up another 8%
    or something,

    since this would be an on the books job paying with a credit card for a service that creates a paper trail,
    the kids would pay income tax on this and get 1099s as trash contractors. they could now learn to do their taxes. this would be better than cash off the books as that would enforce tax evasion behaviors.

    ok i have typed too much now to stop here

    Minimum Income Requirements to File a Federal Income Tax Return

    You are required to file a tax return if your total self-employment income is a least $400. And you will receive a 1099 for income of $600 or more.

    but before all that.
    Looks like there is a work permit required for youth employment for some states and NC.

    The Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the federal child labor laws. Generally speaking, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the minimum age for employment (14 years for non-agricultural jobs), restricts the hours youth under the age of 16 may work, and prohibits youth under the age of 18 from being employed in hazardous occupations. is Trash hauling hazardous?

    Refuse collection is one of the top five most dangerous jobs in America. Waste workers deal with heavy and dangerous equipment daily, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatal injury rate for waste collectors is 33 per 100,000—ahead of policemen, construction workers, and miners.Sep 1, 2016

    since the job has so many injuries I don't think the idea would be allowed at all, however all the stats i found were for garbage pickup people, people who ride on the trucks and jump off to grab the cans and lift bags into the back of the truck... this requires more research by legal to see if you could get a youth labor permit for the "job" and how it would be classified. thinking the state would err on the side of caution, as you are handling city property moving the city trash containers they could classify the job as trash handler... which might place it in the same insurance risk pool as the trash men on the trucks, which might make it prohibited for youth employment, this that might be the first place to start?

    so it looks like if you are hiring a kid under 14 to do any work this violates state labor laws, if you pay cash for the illegal job you are contracting the child for, you are now teaching tax evasion behaviors assuming the child doesn't claim the non reported income, and in doing so you are opening your self to liability law suits in the event of any injury, probably safest to have your kids sit in the house and play video games.... idea full circle ha

    1. Incredible response - thanks for taking the time to type all that out - haha! That's an issue with society no? Always trying to stifle the small business owner or little kid entrepreneurs 🙂

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