The general concensus seems to be that Josh is a camera hog, he is riding daddy's coattail's, and he's hoping that TLC is his ticket to fame. He says on the screen that as a carsalesman sometimes they have money and sometimes they don't. He also says he wants to hire someone to work at the car lot so he can spend more time with his family. He also wants to invest in real estate to help build his financial portfolio. A lot of those statements seem to counter each other. So somewhere in there we have to ask: is Josh a shiftless layabout or is he a financial genius?
First off, there is a period of time between the 1 hour specials and the TV show where Josh was a graduated teen and out earning money. He has said on film that he had done enough construction work to know that he didn't like it enough to do it as a career and he wasn't speaking of the house they built as a family--he meant as an outside job. He has also said he has a political consulting business. He has an audio/visual business and gets come credits for it on the TLC documentaries before the 30 mintute shows started. So before he opened the car business he did have some capital saved up with which to do so.
There are four years from the time he got his GED to the time he got married when he was earning money and saving money--he had no expensives to speak of--his parents were paying his living expenses before he got married (food, clothing, shelter) so everything he made would have been wisely invested, as taught to him by his parents from a very young age.
I personally don't know when he opened the car lot. From watching the TV show (I do own the first 2 seasons and have the 3rd on You Tube) it seems that it was started before the TV show started. Jim Bob paid rent for his original car lot, so it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for Josh to be paying rent or leasing the space for his car lot--just as long as he isn't going into debt--rent/lease isn't considered debt by Dave Ramsey (I'm not sure what Jim Sammons considers rent.) It's possible the space that Josh is using is a commercial property owned by his father--his father owns a lot of commercial property, not just the chicken ranch. It's also possible that Josh bought the property himself--afterall he had been saving up his whole life (allowance, etc) and was taught how to invest. Until someone comes out and just asks, we'll never know.
The other question people ask is why are his hours only 10-5 M-F: how is he going to sell any cars with such weak hours of operation? There are a few things people need to remember. First of all, as a religious man, he is following in his family's footsteps and saving Saturday as a sabbath day to spend as a family day and Sunday to spend as a worship day. The other obvious thing people need to remember is--in that part of Arkansas, Josh Duggar is famous. He isn't just some kid selling cars, he's a guy with a national TV show selling cars. If you don't think people are coming from all over Arkansas just for that reason to buy a car from him, or at least test drive one of his cars, you're kidding yourself. He is selling plenty of cars just because his name is Josh Duggar and he is on TV. He can play that "we're just poor ol' folks starting out" all he wants to, but in the REAL reality, he's a nationally known reality TV star and that WILL sell cars--plus his family HAS been in that town for a couple generations and his name is trusted--THAT will sell cars too.
The other unknown out there is "Does he make money from TLC and if so, how much?" I'd say yes he probably does and it's probably plenty. Because he is over 18 and because he has a family entity seperate from that of his father's, I'm sure he has to sign a deal seperate from that of his father's. He also has, I've heard, gotten some credits for audio/video production on some of the episodes so he will earn a paycheck for that.
Josh Duggar will never go into debt. While he may say he's struggling week to week, or month to month because of the car lot (as any car lot that size probably does) that very well could be true, because as he's probably learned well from both his dad and those Jim Sammons videos he's watched over and over from childhood, any money he's made could very well be in untouchable investments---cds and money market accounts. He and his wife may have also decided that they are going to "make it on their own" and not use any TLC money to pad the monthly budget, but rather put that money into investments--which would be the smart thing to do--which is probably what his father is doing--scooping up investment properties in this down real estate market and turning them into rentals.
Josh Duggar will probably never have to work as hard as his father had to to make the money his father has. Of course that is the dream of most parents. However, his father did do a good job of teaching his son the value of a hard day's work (Josh learned the hard way that he doesn't want to be a carpenter, plumber, or electrician, but at the same time he does know how to do all of those jobs and can do all of those jobs for any properties he owns.) Right now, as their family is being filmed, the Josh Duggar family really does have more than one job--TLC is a job. Even though they've moved out on their own, they still travel on all the field trips, get drop in visits from the film crew to the car lot, their home, and get followed to Anna's parent's house in Florida.
It would not surprise me one bit if he had the cash stashed away somewhere to buy up investment properties in Arkansas. I haven't done the research (you know me, I won't because one of you will) but I'm sure it's cheap and since he's paying cash and buying it without any loans he can buy it "as is" and do any and all repairs himself and with the help of family and friends. He knows where to go to buy cheap and used and recycled building supplies and he knows how to negotiate for deals--he also has a father that owns a complete set of tools that he can borrow from.
So on one hand he may look like he's lazy---he doesn't seem to put his best foot forward on TV, but you have to look deeper and really analyze the situation. It would be nice if they'd explain themselves a little more, but they don't and probably never will. I doubt we'll ever know how much any of the Duggars get from TLC. But seriously, as annoying and off the cuff as Josh is, I'm starting to lean more towards financial genius than shiftless layabout.