Let’s hope, given all that we have been through, we have a mild winter. But if we happen to have a storm this coming season, save your strength and let a teenager shovel your walk. I know just where you can find one…
Growing up, my twin brother, Mason, and I did many of the same activities. Whether running a race in the backyard, attempting the steepest ski trails, or memorizing multiplication tables, we were in a constant competition over who was faster, braver or smarter. In those rare instances when Mason would do better than me, I was definitely envious and admittedly, a bit of a sore loser. However, when he launched his entrepreneurial endeavor, Rent a Teenager, I easily felt pride over envy.
Here’s how Rent a Teenager came to be: When our older brother, Daniel, was in middle school, he would practice tennis by hitting with a local varsity tennis player. My mom paid the player $25 per hour back then. As Mason became more of a seasoned tennis player, he realized that he too could provide a similar service to younger kids at a fraction of the rate offered by professionals. As Mason started booking up, he realized that there was likely interest for lessons in other sports. He recruited some classmates and expanded his services to include soccer, lacrosse, basketball, you name it!
This led to RentATeenager.com, a website Mason founded as a resource that provides responsible and talented teenagers to perform various jobs. His range of services now extends way beyond just sports training. You can now hire a teenager as a tutor, babysitter, dog walker, errand runner, house worker, weed puller, couch mover, photographer, and more. As Mason likes to say, teens excel at just about everything. I guess with the exception of me since he never hires me for anything!
His website soon reached social media pages, like Instagram and Facebook, where he expanded both his slew of customers and his audience. From this, the business quickly gained momentum. Mason also started licensing his Rent a Teenager materials so teens in other towns can be their own boss and provide the same meaningful services in their community. And for a philanthropic effort, he donates 10% of his earnings to the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund.
Rent a Teenager is at the cornerstone of discussion in my house. Ugh. And I apathetically anticipate the inevitable talk about his business at the upcoming holiday gatherings (I will shut my Zoom off if we just talk Rent A Teenager!) My extended family is so proud of his entrepreneurial skills. Hello? What about me? Of course, my mom and dad always use the opportunity to say that they already use some teenagers to help around the house–as they look skeptically at me and Mason.
Back in October, Mason creatively approached the problem of a lack of poll workers by advertising for teenage poll workers on Facebook. He boosted his posts so that they would reach parents and teens throughout the U.S. In some states you just need to be 17 to be a poll worker and now because of Rent a Teenager, teens not old enough to vote were able to meaningfully participate in politics. Mason got a lot of press coverage for this initiative.
And to prepare for the cold and snowy winter ahead, Mason plans to offer snow removal services. I bet my Dad, who is hounded by my mom to snow blow the driveway starting at 5 a.m. the day after a storm, will appreciate that. I keep trying to push Mason to start a hot chocolate business; that would be an endeavor I would support.
As much as I’d like to rent a new brother at times, and as much as this pains me to admit, Mason has created quite a successful business for himself and I know he will do quite well studying business in college. But not as well as me, of course!