Ben Weissenstein Start Small and Grow

Ben Weissenstein’s New Book: Start Small and Grow

by Nicholas Tart on December 10, 2010 · 22 comments

Ben “Rise and Shine” Weissenstein started a business before he started school and he wants to help others do the same.

We found Ben 15 years after The Houston Chronicle snapped a photo of him and his lemonade stand. In those 15 years, he has started two successful companies and has been featured on Fox News, Dr. Phil, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

Now he’s 20 years old and he owns the highest ranking garage sale business in the world (according to Google). Ben also just added “Author” to his already eclectic entrepreneurial career.

Today, I finally got a hold of Ben to talk with him about why he thinks young people need to read his book.

Click play on the flash player to listen to the conversation. (10:17)

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If you’d rather read it, the enhanced transcript is below.

Enhanced Interview Transcript

1. Why did you write Start Small and Grow?
I wrote the book, Start Small and Grow, to teach kids how to start a business. Because when I started a business, I knew I wanted to be professional, I knew I wanted to get business, but that was the extent of it. If I would have known what I know now, I would have been more successful early on and wouldn’t have had to deal with as many problems.

I wrote the book to give them a roadmap for how you start, how you manage, and how you run a business. Whether it’s walking dogs or whatever, there’s a method for doing it. And if you have that method, it can really help.

No matter who you are, you can become who you want to be. You can be the biggest business man. You can be the President of the United States. Start Small and Grow is a roadmap on how to start a business, but at the same time, it’s supposed to motivate kids to follow their dreams.

Dream, plan, work really hard, and when something doesn’t work, you can’t stop. Keep moving. Persistence is key. If you keep going, keep dreaming, and keep being creative to change things that don’t work, you’ll get to be where you want to be.

2. Tell us about the Grand Slam Garage Sale Business Kit.

We created a garage sale business kit to help entrepreneurs of all ages across the country start their own garage sale business. Whether they’re 14 or 70, they can start their own garage sale business.

It’s full of information on how to start running a garage sale business. Once they buy a kit, they come up with their own company name and they’re completely free from us. We’re just giving them a kit on how to do it. They can choose how to price, what they want to name the business, etc.

It’s $500 for the kit. If we were to franchise we would have had to charge a lot more. And there’s royalties involved, and so on and so forth. It’s a very simple model, but very solid model that can help tons of people across the world create this garage sale industry.

We’re trying to help them anyway possible. We set this up so that anyone can do it.

3. With these two projects, essentially you’re training people, no matter the age, to follow your entrepreneurial path. Why would somebody want to be you?

Well, why wouldn’t they want to be me? Just kidding [laughs]. I don’t know if they’d want to be me exactly.

This lifestyle is a lifestyle of dreaming, chasing, and conquering your dreams. I can’t say that I’ve conquered my dreams, yet. But I can say that I’ve started to see the progress towards making it to that point. I think everyone should want to go after that lifestyle.

You live once. You gotta dream big and you gotta go after it.

Check Out His Book and Business Kits

Ben is one of those people who will always be a CEO. He has me convinced that entrepreneurship is the best thing that has ever happened to him. So much so that he created two products to help you do the same.

You’ll be seeing more of him in the next few years ;).


1 Jasmine December 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm

He seems to be a very independent, bright young man with a future of endless possiblities! And I love the fact that he is helping other young people to get closer to the path leading to their dreams as well. I want to start a business, I am in school right now for the degrees I need, but the experience and the know-how of starting from scratch is what scares me!

2 Nick Tart December 10, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Hey Jasmine! Yeah it amazes me that Ben would spend his time writing a book like this. He’s a very busy person and the only way he would do it is if he genuinely wants others to help.

There’s no reason to be scared, Jasmine. Everyone starts from scratch. You just have to figure it out one step at a time, and Ben and I are here to help you do that. If you have any questions, you can always reach me through this site.

3 Jasmine December 28, 2010 at 11:20 am

Thanks so much Nick! It is nice to know that there are places I can go and people I can ask for help! Especially those who are not bias as to my decisions. I appreciate everything you guys are doing. Thank you so much!

4 Nick Tart December 30, 2010 at 11:16 am

Sure thing, Jasmine! By the way, by “wants others to help” I meant “wants to help others.” Haha!

5 Andrew @ Blogging Guide December 13, 2010 at 2:48 am

Dream, plan, work really hard, and when something doesn’t work, you can’t stop. Keep moving. Persistence is key. If you keep going, keep dreaming, and keep being creative to change things that don’t work, you’ll get to be where you want to be.

I love these lines. It’s a great motivator and a very good advice indeed. Dreaming is free and anyone can do it. But follow it up with planning and most importantly, action. And once you start, no matter how rough the road you travel on may become, you have to persist because after those hardships will certainly come the reward.

6 Nick Tart December 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Hey Andrew! I love the road analogy! As long as you keep moving down that road, you’ll eventually get to your destination. Now, there are certain things you can do to move faster, but every once in awhile there’s going to be a boulder that you have to circumnavigate.

Yeah, Ben is a talented motivator. On top of that, he’s doing some innovative things with GSGS and Start Small and Grow. Check ‘em out.

7 Samuel December 13, 2010 at 6:37 am

Awesome interview Nick! Ben is a great guy. Yeah, you must dream big and take action! if you can’t do that, then i doubt =, if you’ll make it. Thanks a lot for sharing bro. Have fun.

8 Nick Tart December 13, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Yeah, someone in his position should be really arrogant. But he’s the opposite and I can tell that he loves what he’s doing. Enjoy your day, Samuel!

9 Ben Lang December 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Wow, have to add this to my list, I’ve been following Ben for quite a while, really great things he does. Thanks for sharing this with us Nick!

10 Nick Tart December 15, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Yeah, I know a few good, young entrepreneurs named Ben!

Dude, I use that ergonomic mouse every day! It took me awhile to get used to not using the thumb pad on my laptop, but now I hate not having it. Thanks!

11 Shailender from India Darshan December 17, 2010 at 12:43 am

Nice interview and I like the point start small and grow. Start small and move forward carefully and when you get used to for it then start expanding. Great tip for any business.

12 Nick Tart December 17, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Exactly, Shailender! People don’t realize that explosive growth can bring a business to its knees. I know a kid who got so much traffic to his site before it was monetized and had to shut it down because he couldn’t afford the hosting.

13 Daniel December 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm

It is amazing how someone you met doing something pretty common becomes someone really successful as Ben. I had a similar experience with a good friend who from working in a car wash he is now owner of a franchise of computer rental business. Start Small and Grow

Thank you for sharing.

14 Nick Tart December 25, 2010 at 9:37 am

Yeah, when it comes down to it, the highly successful people are just normal people who did things a little bit differently. P.S. I got a nice pair of wool socks for Christmas this morning!

15 Daniel December 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Thank you! I’ll be around Nick you have a nice informative blog. Hope I can learn something useful here.

Merry Christmas.

16 Matthew Denos January 17, 2011 at 11:59 am

Hi Nick and Ben,

Entrepreneurship is the best thing that has happened to me too. I just returned from a 5-day ski-trip to the Swiss Alps. If I were still an employee, this little vacation (break-ation) would have never been possible. I agree with Ben when he says: “This lifestyle is a lifestyle of dreaming, chasing, and conquering your dreams.” Onwards and upwards!

17 Nick Tart January 18, 2011 at 11:56 am

Oh man, 5-day ski-trip!! That’s one of my dream vacations. More than anything, entrepreneurship gives you freedom. It’s only a matter of time before parents start asking their kids, “So when are you going to start a business?” rather than, “When are you going to get a job?”

18 Lakshmi Muralikrishnan February 12, 2011 at 9:09 am

Hi Nick

A good interview! They say a journey of 1000 miles starts with a step.. How true!

My congratulations to Ben on his success and thanks for introducing him to us

Have a Great Weekend

Best Regards

19 Nick Tart February 12, 2011 at 9:57 am

Hi Lakshmi! To start small and grow is some of the best advice you can give to an up-and-coming entrepreneur. Lots of young entrepreneurs approach me with BIG ideas, but you can start big unless you’re already a successful entrepreneur. Ben has another interview on our site here:

Have a great weekend, yourself!

20 Tina @Counting Scales February 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

Hi Nick! Good to see you back, hey this article is well written you have truly impressed me once again! Ben has written a very inspirational book towards all new entrepreneurs who starting a new business. Like they say “You cannot be a small fish in a big pond” because there’s always someone bigger and better than you. I would like to share some Marketing tools from an SEO Agency in Birmingham.

21 Ryan March 1, 2011 at 10:46 am

Cool story that proves age, especially today, really isn’t an obstacle to starting a business. I like that he focused on something that literally would seem small to a lot of entrepreneurs, but made it into a larger scalable business.

22 Nick Tart March 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Hey Ryan! Yeah, this is the first time in the history of the world that entrepreneurship is possible at any age, almost anywhere. I like that he’s taken his own advice.

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