Campbell first-grader launches business, fourth-graders learn from his experience

A first-grader at Campbell Elementary School started his own business last summer picking up dog poop for people in the neighborhood. He made shirts with his business’s logo. He went door to door with a sales pitch and a flyer. This fall, a fourth-grade teacher at Campbell has incorporated the story of this young entrepreneur into part of her reading curriculum that covers business.

Here’s the poop scoop:

Six-year-old Wyatt Cogley wanted to buy a coveted gaming device last summer - but it cost a lot of money. His parents made him a deal: if you save for half of it, we’ll pay the other half. So, he decided to start a business picking up people’s dog poop in their yards. The reason for choosing this as a business was simple.

“I decided that picking up dog poop was something that dog owners don’t really like to do. We thought maybe they would be interested in paying for someone else to do it. And so we used that strategy to try and find customers,” Wyatt said, adding he also “felt like I was too lazy watching TV and I wanted to get out there and do something.”

He came up with a name, Wyatt’s Bomb Squad, and hired his first employee - his dad, Vince. (“I couldn’t do it myself because I don’t have a driver’s license, I’m not in 10th grade.”) He had a logo made, which he used on shirts they wore when they were on the job. He had a brochure made and his parents created a Facebook page to advertise the business. His sales pitch: “Is your yard a minefield of dog bombs? Let Wyatt (and his dad) clear your yard and make it safe for the whole family! We have flexible schedules and rates for all your poop-scooping needs!”

Once Wyatt’s Bomb Squad business had customers, he and his dad made the rounds four nights a week, 7-8 p.m. 

The business earned rave reviews on its Facebook page.

“Loved seeing Wyatt every week! It’s really starting to pile up!”

“Way to go, Wyatt, you’ve done an amazing job.”

“Great work, buddy!”

Campbell fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Kellogg heard about Wyatt’s summer business and recently told her students about him as part of a reading unit that centered around a story, “Kids in Business,” which tells stories of children starting their own businesses. The unit’s essential question: “How can starting a business help others?” When her students heard about Wyatt they were amazed. “Wyatt is how old? He’s a Campbell student? Here?”

Eventually Kellogg realized it made the most sense for Wyatt to present to her class about his business experience. He talked to the class about his motivation for starting the business, how he decided what his business would be and how he marketed and found customers. He also answered numerous questions from her students.

“He is a wise young man who is learning life lessons at a very young age. The chatter was aflutter in my room after he left,” Kellogg said. “Who knows? There may be some more small businesses opening in Lincoln one day - all because of a little boy who had the desire and work ethic to make a dream come true.”

Wyatt has put the business on hold until next summer so he can concentrate on school. Also, as it says on the Wyatt’s Bomb Squad Facebook page, “Wyatt is POOPED.”

Published: November 4, 2021, Updated: November 11, 2021