Teen Entrepreneur: Hustling to Break the Status Quo


Junior Max Valdez has found a business in buying, selling, and flipping various items.

Emily Harter, Writer

While some teenagers choose to go the traditional route of applying to a fast food joint or maybe a retail store for their first job, junior Max Valdez has chosen a different path in order to make some extra money. 


“Over quarantine I bought and sold a lot off Facebook Marketplace,” Valdez said.  “I started with buying an Xbox, and then I traded it for a paintball gun, and then I sold that for a drone and then traded that for a minibike.” 


When he first started his trading business, Valdez started with a small amount of savings. 

A drone that Valdez got from a trade, that he was later able to trade for a mini bike.

“I had a bunch of money saved up from birthdays and Christmases and stuff like that,” Valdez said. 


He finds that starting his own business in lieu of a “normal” job has come with some pretty nice benefits. 


“An advantage is that I get to work on my own time,” Valdez said. “And I have no boss.” 


With advantages, comes disadvantages, and Valdez has found that the uncertainty of the job is difficult. However, he managed to gain enough profits to keep his business going since quarantine. 


“Over the summer I would buy something bigger and then sell for more. After the dirt bike, I sold that and saved it all up,” Valdez said. “That helped me build up some capital.”


While Max may appear to be a business mogul, he is still a teenager and with that comes parental control. 


“[My parents] actually didn’t really like it,” Valdez said. “Especially when I had the mini bike and dirt bike because it’s dangerous. But if I was making money, then they were fine with it as long as I was being safe.”

A minibike Valdez flipped and sold for profit.

Valdez needed a workshop to conduct his business, so he commandeered his parents garage. As he made deals on Facebook Marketplace he had the dealers meet him at his house. 


“He [the buyer] came over,” Valdez said. “I gave him the money, he gave me the drone, that type of thing.” 


Valdez is currently looking for a mainstream job, but is still working on expanding his business as he makes more deals and in turn, more profit. 


“I’m a hustler,” Valdez said. “It’s not always consistent but I have to keep working at it.”