Yesterday my sister-in-law told me about how her teacher is making the class read a book titled, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich.

I haven’t read the book but it sounds like the bottom line is that it’s almost impossible to live off minimum wage.

She told me how it was discouraging reading it because she’s 17 and feels like she doesn’t have many skills or any experience, so a minimum wage job is her only option.

I thought to myself, ’This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with our schools. They spend all this time indoctrinating kids into believing certain worldviews but almost no time teaching kids practical lessons that will help them in the real world.’

So I just said, “If I were you I would ignore minimum wage.”

“Ignore it?” she asked.

“Yeah, ignore it. Don’t even consider it. Because if you think that it’s normal to start with a minimum wage job then that’s what you’ll look for.”

I explained there’s a lot of options out there to make money that don’t require getting a minimum wage job. I shared some ideas, including buying and selling on eBay (something I did when I was 14 years old to make enough money to buy my first computer).

I also sent her a copy of 48 Business Ideas by Dan Miller.

If you’re younger and reading this then I encourage you to ignore minimum wage too. Instead of focusing on how that’s not enough to live on focus on finding creative ways to add value to others so you can make more than $10/hour.