Teen entrepreneurs are growing in number. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor says that the average age of a typical entrepreneur is between 25 and 45, but that more and more people are starting businesses at a younger age. This has given rise to an increase in the number of teen entrepreneurs around the globe.
The world is indeed becoming more intelligent than ever as today there are startup ventures being created by individuals who are just in their teenage years. Take the amazing success story of 16-year-old Benjamin Stern who in 2014, made the U.S a much more environmental friendly country with his invention: the Nohbo Ball – The World’s First Eco-Friendly Shampoo Ball. This product is a single-use, all-in-one shampoo ball that only requires water to use, does not come with any plastic bottles, and produces 0% waste. The startup idea was so unique with many astounding selling points that it was featured in Shark Tank, a highly-popular business-themed reality show hosted by many of the country’s top entrepreneurs, including Dallas Maverick owner, Mark Cuban. The Nohbo Shampoo Ball was such a promising startup idea that the 16-year-old Stern was granted a $100,000 investment by Mark Cuban who took 25% of the business. In addition, Cuban granted Stern “Mini-Me” dividend in all aspects such as logistics, licensing, and patents. Currently, the Nohbo Shampoo Ball earns $10.6 billion dollars annually.
Success stories such as that of Benjamin Stern teach teen entrepreneurs many things such as maturity, perseverance and determination. If you are an aspiring teen entrepreneur or know someone who might want to be one, here are five keys being a successful teen entrepreneur:
- Maturity: There are a lot of characteristics required to be a successful teen entrepreneur. One of the most important is maturity. As a budding teen entrepreneur, you must embrace a leadership role that requires sacrifice, perseverance, foresight, and patience to name a few. These traits all require a certain level of maturity that you must hone and develop to tackle the tests and obstacles of starting up a business venture.
- Vision: One of the pitfalls of being a teenager is not being able to know what you want in life. This is very natural as a young person’s brain has not yet matured. Being an entrepreneur is a very unorthodox activity among teenagers and it requires a certain maturity and foresight to develop vision. Once a teen can visualize and define their goal in life, he or she will now be able to take the initial steps of achieving that goal of becoming a teen entrepreneur. This is the beginning of what could be a successful startup venture.
- Commitment: To become a successful teen entrepreneur at a young stage will require a trait that all successful entrepreneurs exhibit – commitment. To be a successful teen entrepreneur, you must commit to your vision, which may entail doing an activity each day that will move your business idea forward. This requires a lot of commitment on your end as you must become steadfast in growing your venture by doing things that will contribute to the growth of your startup.
- A Willingness to Learn: The common challenge for many teen entrepreneurs is they lack the experience necessary to enhance value in their startup ventures. While this is certainly true in many cases, teenage entrepreneurs must have a willingness to learn. They must want to jumpstart receiving the right experience by simply working for companies in specific industries tailored to their startup ventures. Many existing businesses provide young people with on-the-job training where they assign existing employees to act as mentors to teach these individuals about how the business works.
- Able to Accept Criticism: Most mentors take the time to teach all that they can with the hope that their students are able to learn as much as possible. Some will be very critical in passing on knowledge. The most successful entrepreneurs are open-minded to criticism and those who wish to be find success should adopt this approach. The same holds true for teen entrepreneurs – if they want to find success, it is critical that they accept constructive criticism and learn from it.
The path to becoming a successful teen entrepreneur is not easy, but then again success at any age rarely is. Teens are well-positioned for entrepreneurship though – they tend to be risk-takers and are in general, less afraid of the unknown. There are hundreds of examples of teens who have built successful, profitable startups around the globe. If you are an aspiring teen entrepreneur, don’t let your youth be a barrier to success. Interested in learning more about startups and funding? Contact me today and let’s talk.