Most kids around the age of 14 don’t have it easy. That time falls right in the middle of the biggest transitional period in one’s lifetime, during which a child turns into an adult. And the changes it brings with it are sweeping, both for the mind as well as for the body. So it’s no secret, and perhaps no surprise, that most 14-year olds struggle a bit in life. Then again, there’s Caleb Maddix, who certainly doesn’t seem to be like most 14-year olds.
Maddix is an author, public speaker and entrepreneur, living in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is a homeschooler, and the founder and CEO of Kids 4 Success, an online motivational and training programme focused on boosting self-confidence in kids, and preparing teenagers for the demanding business world they’ll soon be finding themselves immersed in. Last year, he wrote and self-published his first book, “Keys to Success for Kids”, which currently enjoys glowing reviews on Amazon. And yes, he’s only 14 years old.
The Latest Young Entrepreneur in Business Today
Considered by many as the new hot thing in the business world, he was featured in a number of interviews earlier this year by well-known online publishing outfits, such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes. And what’s most surprising, both from these sessions as well as from Caleb’s other speaking engagements, is that he manages to impress his conversation partners not because of his young age, but because of his ideas, life view, and business acumen.
To clarify, the young entrepreneur’s views are not necessarily ground-breaking or grand. They’re more akin to common sense, an often praised human characteristic, which some might consider as being in desperate shortage today, in a world dominated by a million distractions per second. For instance, Maddix believes that “the gun that kills the most people is the ‘gonna’”, meaning that if you’ve set your eye on doing something, there’s no better time to do it than now. Rather than having a vague plan to write a book some day, put your fingers on the keyboard. If you have an idea you want to turn into a business, don’t just think about it; get on to it. Nothing’s going to work out on its own, not least if you keep postponing it for a later date. There’s no time like the present.
Caleb states he currently has a central purpose in life; true freedom and independence, both for himself as well as for others. He believes, like every entrepreneur does, that the way to achieve this for himself is through building his own businesses, rather than working for someone else. And perhaps more importantly, his reason for doing so is to be in a position to help those who are in need, without having to think twice about how that would affect his own financial standing. “Your impact is more important than your income”, he says.
Looking at what he’s already achieved by age 14 is certainly impressive, not just by most kids’ standards, but by many adults’ too. Apart from writing and self-publishing a best-selling book, his business ventures have made him over $100,000 already. He’s traveled extensively and had the opportunity to meet some of the most successful people in the world. And he states that he’s also helped dozens of kids deal with some very serious issues in their lives.
Caleb’s Life Goals
Furthermore, as you’d expect, he’s not shy when it comes to setting his own targets for the future, either. “My goal is to be a billionaire by 30”, he told Forbes magazine a few months ago. “I want to be able to pull out a $10,000 check and give it to a single mother without ever having to worry about myself”. Ambitious as all that may sound, you probably wouldn’t want to bet against him.
Inevitably, an outlier case such as Caleb’s is bound to invite some skepticism, maybe even some negative reaction. Some could argue that such a young age may be better focused on the precious last grasps of “child innocence”, which are likely not going to be around for much longer. Even more so, Caleb’s case may spark yet another debate about the pros and cons of home schooling, compared to more traditional forms of education.
In the end, though, there are positives and negatives in everything in life, and perhaps the key is to find the right balance between them. But what’s hard to argue with, is that Caleb’s case shows there are some clear benefits of thinking different in a world that’s widely conformist. Moreover, a future that’s progressively looking more and more uncertain in the business world is quite likely to make these benefits more apparent and necessary than ever before. That’s exactly why stories such as that of Caleb Maddix is a change that’s both inspiring, as well as refreshing. Not just for kids his age, but for adults many years passed it too.