Art by Kate Cosgrove, in SantaToot (and representing my four kids)

How to Teach Your Kids to Be Entrepreneurs by Writing a Book with Them

There’s something more important than the book

John Mashni
4 min readJan 31, 2022


I wanted to teach my young kids to be entrepreneurs. And I wanted to spend more time with them. So I decided to write a book with them.

“What if we make a million dollars, dad?”

I stared at my daughter. I didn’t know how to answer the question.

“Could we go to Disney World?” my daughter asked.

“Yes, we can go to Disney World,” I acquiesced. Who could resist a cute 5-year old?

And so we began. It was going to be a real and practical education. Previously, my wife and I have tried different ways of teaching the kids about money and business. I played CashFlow for Kids with my older ones. And we’ve used money tracking apps for kids. But this was the best idea I’ve had so far: write a book with them. A children’s book, of course.

How to Write a Book with Your Kids

Here’s what I did:

  1. I asked the kids to help me write the book
  2. I wrote a draft (from a story that I made up, and told the kids about 100 times)
  3. I read the draft to them and figured out what they liked and didn’t like. (13 drafts in total, actually)
  4. I consulted them about each step of the process. Who should edit? Who should illustrate? How much should we charge for the book? They participated in all of these decisions (though my wife and I ultimately chose).
  5. I helped them understand how this is actually a business: costs, profits, marketing ideas (sell 10 and get a whoopee cushion), writing sequels, etc.
  6. I tried to teach the kids how to give to charity from the revenue. My kids picked three charities (without any of my input actually). We decided to give a percentage of the revenue to charities that the kids selected. We would give the money together, so they could see and understand how to give and support our community.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I made mistakes. I could have done better in a few areas. I forgot a few things. We can definitely get better with our next books. But I’ve…



John Mashni

I only write about what I have done: no theory. Writer, Attorney, Entrepreneur, Movie Producer, and more… the ONLY 3 ways to reinvent: