Award-winning, 14-year-old Entrepreneur, Jason O'Neill Becomes Published Author

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Bitten by the business bug at age nine with his business, Pencil Bugs, 14-year-old entrepreneur Jason O'Neill adds published author to his list of impressive credits with his new book, "Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur."

Business and life is not brain surgery or rocket science. It does not have to be complicated. But too many people of all ages forget about using common sense or getting back to the basics. In Jason's new book, "Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur," he shares his values, creativity, strategies, and common sense tips through stories about his life and experiences that he has had in his short, but exciting, fourteen years.

As Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series writes, "This kid has more common sense than most grown-ups! [This book is] a must-read for all ages whether you're trying to run a business or trying to run your life."

Success is not guaranteed. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone; nor is working for the monthly paycheck. The only guarantee is, “Doing nothing will guarantee nothing.” (Tip # 4 from his book) “If you at least try your ideas, you might surprise yourself,” Jason says. “I did.”

Jason started his business, Pencil Bugs, at the age of nine. His mom was painting some crafts to sell. Jason suggested he help her paint them and figured she would split the money with him. To his surprise, she turned down his offer but suggested he come up with his own product to sell at the craft fair.

Soon his colorful, bug-like, handcrafted pencil toppers, Pencil Bugs, were born. Before long, he had a growing business with multiple products, was getting local and national media attention, winning awards and speaking at schools, businesses, and events. Jason was the youngest at age eleven to win the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. At twelve, he was named on a Forbes Top 10 List of Role Models 18 & Under with celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, and Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson. He has been featured in magazines including Southwest Airlines' Spirit magazine and Inventor's Digest as well as on several TV shows including Episode #301 of the PBS series BizKid$.

His story has been included in books by best-selling authors such as "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Extraordinary Teens," "The Richest Kids in America," "A Cup of Cappuccino for the Entrepreneur's Spirit: Vol II," and several textbooks including two foreign versions which teach English as a second language.

Even with all this attention, Jason remains humble and has learned the importance of giving back to his community. Since he started his business in 2005, he has been donating a portion of his proceeds to children's charities. In addition to his own money, he has held Christmas fundraisers to support Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, California. In 2009, he raised over $5,000 which enabled him to buy 1800 teddy bears for the kids. He expects to make his 2010 Christmas Teddy Bear fundraiser even bigger. As Jason says, "Every dollar matters because even the smallest effort can make a big difference in someone else's life."

Jason continues to speak at conferences sharing his story and inspiring people of all ages to try their ideas. For more information, to schedule an interview or book Jason to speak at your event, please contact Nancy O'Neill at


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2009 Teddy Bear Fundraiser for Rady Children