The 6-Year-Old Making Money While He Sleeps

“New order in your Shop”

Woaaah 🙌

It’s 10pm, I’m watching music on YouTube and get that notification.

It’s the first sale of my kid’s merch. This is a big moment.

He’s 6 years old and just made his first dollar online. Scratch that, he just made his first $8 online.

I want to wake him up and tell him. But I have to hold back — it’s a school night and he’ll be grumpy in the morning.

How did we get here…?

My son loves to watch YouTube. Mainly Minecraft YouTubers.

But he’s also aware of MrBeast and others. And he’s aware that they have big subscriber followings and can make big money.

One morning we’re talking in the car on the way to school and I said “you know anyone can make videos and start a channel on YouTube? You don’t have to just watch these people, you can do your thing too.”

He’s blown away by this possibility.

So we create a channel and start making some silly videos. Mainly shorts.

Some get traction and others fall flat. It’s not a huge focus — just a bit of fun. I’m not pushing him to become a “YouTuber” although he thinks that’s his future job now.

We started to get some views (55K so far) and some subscribers (116 at this moment).

My son says real YouTubers have merch. So he wants to have his own to promote.

Cool, there’s some lessons here. Like how print on demand works, and IP rights (“no we can’t just put the Minecraft logo on a t-shirt and sell it”) and pricing (“we’ll struggle to sell hats for $1000”).

Anyway, we need a design.

So he draws a ninja with a sword. It fits his “brand”.

It’s not the best picture — he’s 6 and drawing has never really been his thing.

I need to enhance it but I’m also lame when it comes to anything graphical. Like father like son?

Thanks to our AI gods, there’s a solution for people like us.

I uploaded a scan to Midjourney and got an improved, digitized version. It still has the look of being drawn by a kid and similarities with the original version.

We set up a shop with a print on demand service. And I grab a domain name matching his YouTube handle (redirected to the store — I haven’t gone full Shopify yet).

Side note… Now my kid has a good understanding of domain names as well — coming up with stupid ideas and saying “Daddy, let’s get the dot com”. Explains why my strangest domain I own is

Next, I buy him some of his own merch. Hat, t-shirt, hoodie. Now he looks and feels the part and he wears the merch all the time.

When he plays with someone new in a playground I sometimes overhear him promoting it. Telling them to go to his website to get the merch. I’m massively proud of him for doing it. Takes guts.

Sometimes I overhear the new friend asking their parents if they can buy some… “that kid’s a YouTuber can I buy his merch?”

As we only just had the first sale, I guess the answer is almost always no 😀

But back to the story — morning after I get the sale notification, I go downstairs and he’s already up. I told him he made his first merch sale. And he’s over the moon.

I told explained it was a $30 hoodie and he made $8.

He stops the celebration. “Hold on, why did I only get $8 and not $30. I want $30”

Another lesson — this time in sales, COGS, and profit.

I just about convinced him his $8 cut is good for retail products. Especially as we don’t take any risk in making and printing and shipping the hoodie.

A reframe helps — “that’s three week’s pocket money you made in one hit. Whilst you were sleeping”

Back to the celebrations and deciding how to spend that internet money.

It’s amazing the conversations we’ve had and how he seems to understand it all, age 6.

Am sure I was just dribbling and playing with toy cars at his age.

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