Lessons Learned from a Teenage Entrepreneur in 2019
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Entrepreneurship is the new buzz word in our society. There are advantages and disadvantages to the idea of starting a business, especially how the world will react when being an entrepreneur is no longer cool.
I have not been around long enough to know how it feels to be looked down upon as an entrepreneur, but when I was exploring business in 8th grade, everyone thought I was crazy and annoying. I was always speaking about my new business ideas that week and how I wanted to be a billionaire. Even to the point that I presented my last day of school project on “How to Start a Business”.
Entrepreneurship is more than making money and having freedom, it is about building a lifestyle that you don’t need a vacation from. Without further ado, let’s discuss 6 things no one tells you about this thing, called entrepreneurship
1. Value Your Impact in the Community
When you become the owner of a company, you also become a role model for the people you serve, employees you provide jobs for, the community you represent, and the brand you are building. There are businesses who value how they give back to their neighborhoods.
Being an entrepreneur is more than just your executive role, but being a model for others to follow you and achieve what you have even if you don't know it. I realized at 14 years old that my mission is to leave a legacy and over time I have added to the bucket list, build generational wealth, because the work I do is bigger than myself. I am here to create a ripple of change. I can proudly say that I have made such an impact on my community that I receive beautiful messages when I fall behind on my responsibility to my bigger purpose.
2. Start the Marathon with Motivation & Finish with Discipline
I stated in my last blog post that I entered 2019 with a lack of motivation because I was a little burnt out. I was also experiencing writer’s block after completing my book, The Strategic Mind of A Young Legend.
At some point in your business journey you won’t always have the “motivation,” but you still have to meet the demands of your clients. You can’t give up because at this point, people depend on you. This is where discipline kicks in.
The rituals you established when you had the energy will keep you going through the hard times. So, after taking a five month hiatus, A Young Legend is back and here to stay.
This is the perfect time to reflect on your past accomplishments and the work you have done thus far to reignite your passion for your business. Remind yourself why you started the business and what you hope to achieve from this hard work.
3. Marketing vs Social Media Relevance
You don’t have to show the world that you are doing something to prove that you are valuable.
I have only been on social media since February of 2018, and I have already fallen into the trap of Instagram jealousy. Scrolling through it for hours, only dreaming that I would make the same impact as other young entrepreneurs, activists, and influencers. Then, someone else had to tell me that I do have influence and I am making a big enough impact in my own community.
It is easy for social media to be a lucrative part of your business to drive clients or revenue to your success, but it is okay to take a break. If you don’t have content to post, then don’t post. If you are spending your time working on a new project that could revolutionize your business, then tell you social media community to stay tuned. The best way is to make moves in silence and let results speak for themselves.
Know the difference between marketing and trying to look relevant on social media.
4. Your Network is Your New Friend List
Entrepreneurship often begins with a little isolation while you are spending majority of your free time working on your business, striving to be successful. My business first did really well when I started an Instagram (link) page to connect with other kidpreneurs around the world to feature of my blog, and now we are all Instagram friends. We meet up if we are ever in the same area and can call each other up if we find a great way to collaborate. Just asking to hear someone’s story is your VIP ticket to build a good business relationship.
Then I started attending three to five networking events every week for four months to get my name and brand out in the community. Wallah! My friends have the same life goal as me (to change the world) and understand that we can lean on each other for anything.
5. Evolution is Key
You need to value personal development to become the entrepreneur that can achieve your goal. Hence why you have to make a goal that you can’t achieve until you grow into the person who can. Check out my TEDx Talk here to dive into how to develop a plan and make the impossible possible.
I always cringe when I watch that video because I have evolved so much sense then. My business have evolved also. From blogging right here to speaking and being an author, that day on stage changed my life for the better. That was my first time sharing my story about graduating college at 16 on a large platform. Of course, the reaction was phenomenal.
Don’t limit yourself to what you make a plan for, leave a little room to make mistakes, fail, and pivot your business.
6. Always Have a Side Hustle
Even if you have a full-time business, also start a side hustle. I recommend students, employees, actors/actresses, everyone to start another small venture. A hustle teaches you to effectively manage your time to produce the best results. It gives you a reason to wake up in the morning if you have become stale in the day time job.
Once you become full-time you will have no idea what to do. John Henry says it best, but I can attest to this. I was working an internship and running my business for a while, then once my internship ended, I had too much time on my hands to be productive all hours of the day. Even when I started college again in the fall, I was better at my job.
You can even start side hustles within the same business, trying out a new branch of your services.
Entrepreneurship fulfills a need for many. For me, it makes me feel like I am on top of the world looking down at how it can change for the better. Activism and impact are bigger than making money in the world of business.