Schoolboy entrepreneur and founder of children’s brand Not Before Tea, Henry Patterson, 14, is setting out to educate his generation on the value of money and work, with the publication today of a book that combines practical advice with the author’s own recipe for success and happiness.
Young and Mighty – subtitled “Your secret weapon for earning some money, changing the world, and spending your future doing what you love” – includes ideas for making extra money and fundraising for good causes, plain English guides to the basics of starting and running a business, and a section packed with tips and engaging exercises to help young readers to start to “turn their ideas into things”.
There are also contributions from some of Henry’s heroes and role models including advice from Sir Richard Branson, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, entrepreneurs Sarah Willingham and Theo Paphitis, Mike Krieger (the co-founder of Instagram), Ariana DeBose (from the US cast of Hamilton) and Tim Stockdale, the Olympic showjumper. All recount their early experiences of earning money (not all successful) and explain what drove them to succeed in their chosen fields (rarely just money).
In Young and Mighty Henry tells his own story too – his difficulties at school, his stammer and his journey to grow his children’s brand Not Before Tea and lessons he has learnt along the way.
He says: “The real point of the book is to help people my age to think about how to make their way in the world. Children today don’t know if they’ll get a job or have their own home when they get older. Schools don’t teach us how to really set up a business. They also don’t educate us on being flexible and agile when it comes to working. What do you do if you graduate and there are no jobs in your sector to interview for? You don’t learn about back-up plans at school”.
Henry says children should learn about money as early as possible as a vital part of their training for later life.
“I have had negative comments from parents saying I should not be thinking about money and business at my age. I totally disagree. I have spoken to lots of people who didn’t even think about it until they left school and were then overwhelmed.
“Leaving school and starting a job shouldn’t be something to dread but something to look forward to. I don’t dread work, I find it fun. Everybody should love what they do. That’s really what my book is about.”
Young and Mighty is published in paperback by Harriman House at £12.99, on sale at all leading book shops and at www.youngmighty.com