This is a guest post by Amos Onwukwe.
Starting a business or entrepreneurship career as a teenager isn’t normally a teens thing. It takes a lot to succeed in business, moreso as a teenage entrepreneur or teenpreneur. We hear that in the US alone there are over 28 million registered SMBs and counting. Sadly however, another report puts startup failure rate at over 90%.
It is not enough to merely start a business, anyone can do that. Keeping your teenage or teen led business alive, afloat and above that 90% failure mark ten years down the line will require hard work, commitment, and a willingness to learn among others.
Teenpreneurs are still teens. They face the same development crisis every teen faces; puberty, adolescence, physiological and psychological changes, peer pressure, etc. Still, they’re able to add entrepreneurship to the list, with all it’s hassles. Impressive.
However, as mentioned above, starting a business is just the first step. Running and not ruining it is another ball game altogether.
In this post I’ll be highlighting 6 essential tips to help you succeed as a teenpreneur, but first
Who is a Teenpreneur?
A teenpreneur is simply a teenage entrepreneur. A teenager who owns or runs a business or businesses. Most successful entrepreneurs of today started out as teenpreneurs.
A 2014 Gallup Hope Index poll found that 3% of grades 5-12 students say they’re already running their own businesses; and 42.1% planned to start their own businesses.
Starting a business in your teens can help you test the waters early and decide if entrepreneurship is really for you.
It can also boost teen morale and self confidence plus help them develop good money habits, critical leadership skills and become well rounded adults in the future.
10 Important Challenges Teenpreneurs May Face
- Lack of funds
- Cash flow management
- Age-based restrictions
- Parental restrictions
- Being looked down on
- Achieving school-work balance
- Poor planning
- Crippling self doubt, among others.
Examples of Teenpreneurs Making Impact
The following teenpreneurs are making impact
- Akshay Ruparelia (Founder: Doorsteps.Co.Uk, valued at $15.7m in 2017)
- Mikaila Ulmer (Founder: Me & the Bees Lemonade, valued at $11m in 2015)
- Benjamin Kapelushnik (Founder: SneakerDon, generates over $1m annually)
- Noa Mintz (Founder: Nannies by Noa)
- Moziah Bridges (Co-Founder: Mo’s Bows)
- Rachel Zietz (Founder: Gladiator Lacrose, generated over $2m in 2018)
- Ben Pasternak (Founder: Flogg, generated nearly $2m in venture capital)
- Logan Guleff (Owner: Logan’s Rub, Cooking Dreams, Order Up! With Logan)
- Henry Patterson (Owner: The Adventures of Sherb and Pip, Not Before Tea, etc)
And here are
6 Business Success Tips for Teenpreneurs
1. Rise Early
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”… Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
To succeed in your career as a teen entrepreneur you also need to learn to wake early but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should sleep less. Teenagers typically get between 7 – 7.5 hours of sleep whereas 9 – 9.25 is optimal. Occasionally, teenpreneurs have to sacrifice some sleep time for business.
Constant sleep deprivation however can affect your moods, cognitive abilities, academic performance, behavior, driving and cause drowsiness. Cut back on time wasters so you can sleep and wake early.
2. Start a Morning Routine
Successful entrepreneurs not only wake early, they establish a good morning routine to maximize their mornings and set the tone for a productive day.
Things you can incorporate into your morning routine include:
- Brisk walking
- Walking the treadmill
- Meditation and prayers
- Listening to uplifting music
- Calling your loved ones
- A warm bath, etc
It’s really up to you to decide what to add to your morning routine. Crossing off your morning routine everyday creates a sense of achievement which can inspire you to achieve more throughout the day.
3. Continuous Learning
Some highly successful entrepreneurs dropped out of school to pursue their passions. So should you also drop out of school to pursue your dreams?
There are different opinions on this but one thing we all can agree on is that learning should never stop, in or outside the four walls of a classroom. There are currently a ton of digital channels for continuous learning and self improvement. MIT Opencourseware and Udemy are two popular platforms where you can learn anything from coding to decoding sign language, either for free or a small fee. Teenpreneurs are digital natives and should take advantage of online learning.
4. Minimize Social Media Time
If you must maximize your time as a teenage entrepreneur and succeed you need to sacrifice some of the stuff every other teenager loves; a little extra sleep time, constant parties, etc. Most of all, social media. Common Sense Media reports that US tweens (age 8-12) spend up to 6 hours, and teens 9 hours daily interacting with digital technology (including social media, entertainment, videos and games). That’s over 56 hours a week or 2.3 days a week!
Think of what you can do with two extra days. Successful teenpreneurs must learn when and how to not only use but maximize social media for building their network and net worth. You can search for and join Facebook (or other online) groups of like-minded teenpreneurs.
5. Watch Less TV
Another notorious time waster for teens and adults alike is television. Statista reports that US teens age 12-17 spent an average of 18 hours and 23 minutes a week watching TV in first quarter 2018.
These figures are much worse for certain percentiles of the sample study. Spending this much time on TV and then some on social media plus other digital channels will make you much less successful.
Time is required to grow any business, and successful teenpreneurs must not imbibe the habit of spending this much time in front of TV except it directly benefits their business.
6. Be Mentored
This is extremely important. Mentorship is critical to success in entrepreneurship. Because teens are still very young and less experienced, they may take certain steps that can jeopardize their business and even life.
To avoid this teenpreneurs should get mentors, entrepreneurs who’re already succeeding. Mentors will advice and guide teenpreneurs to success faster than they can achieve on their own.
On rough days, motivational speeches from entrepreneurs can boost their morale and help them through the rough patch. That’s another way to get distant mentorship, read blogs and books by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.
To succeed as a teenpreneur, some of the steps you need to take include:
- Rising early
- Starting and maintaining a solid morning routine
- Continue to learn every chance you get
- Minimize time spent on social media
- Cut down on non-beneficial TV time
- Get a mentor
These are guaranteed to increase your chances of succeeding as a teenpreneur.
About the Guest Post Author:
Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter who has been featured in scores of blogs including Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, Successful Startup 101, Small Biz Club, Small Business Bonfire, among others.