In today’s economy, more and more people are moving away from traditional 9-to-5 jobs and trying their luck with starting their businesses. While that’s to be expected, some younger individuals have seen massive success in recent years. Teens all over the world are becoming millionaires because they’ve taken up entrepreneurship.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the challenges and benefits of entrepreneurship for teens. Then, we’ll review a few famous success stories for inspiration.
Challenges Teen Entrepreneurs Face
There are hundreds of online business ideas that teens and grown ups can try out, but let’s not act like it’s a level playing field. Teen entrepreneurs face unique challenges that no one can relate to, and these setbacks can certainly discourage them from trying. Here are a few of the may challenges they face:
- Legal limitations: Age limitations of many of the legal and contractual processes that entrepreneurs take part in. For example, opening a bank account and registering a business might require additional paperwork or parental consent.
- Insufficient funding: Most teens do not have access to enough funds to run a business, which can be especially important in the beginning stages of starting a business.
- Lack of experience: Given their age, teens often lack the emotional maturity, industry experience, and relevant knowledge to make the right business decisions.
- Juggling work, school, and life: In addition to the typical struggles that entrepreneurs face when balancing life and work, teens have schoolwork to worry about.
Advantages of Being a Teen Entrepreneur
Despite the many obstacles in place for teens looking to start businesses, many still pursue this avenue. This is clearly because of the advantages of being a teen entrepreneur. Here are a few to consider:
- Life skills that stay forever: Managing a business forces teens to learn skills such as team work, effective communication and time management, interpersonal skills, etc.
- More secure future: A teens thriving business will help them secure their future financially.
- Innovation and learning to think out of the box: Teens being creative and taking innovative approaches to the industry. Learning to navigate the traditional market forces them to get more innovative.
- Establishing presence in the labor market: Entrepreneurship gives teens labor market experience which ensures they will always be relevant as the industry grows around their innovations.
- Growth management: While many teens can start a business, it’s a whole other challenge to maintain the business as it grows. Teens often lack the decision making experience required for growth management.
Success Stories of Teens Who Started Online Businesses
The following three teens have had success and started their businesses online:
Bella Weems-Lambert: Founder of Origami Owl
YouTuber and social media influencer Bella Weems-Lambert started her online business Origami Owl when she was just a teenager. It’s a direct sales business model, a platform where artists can share their beautiful jewelry creations and pay a commission to the website.
She originally had the idea for this business because she began selling her handmade lockets on her website. By fostering that idea, she was able to turn it into a million dollar business. She has also built a personal brand through marketing content on YouTube and other social media platforms.
Cameron Johnson: eBay Millionaire
While most people look at eBay as a place to shop or have an online garage sale, Cameron Johnson started reselling valuable items on eBay long before social media even existed. He first dipped his toes in entrepreneurship at 9 years old, and his journey with eBay began when he was merely 12.
By reselling dolls on eBay, Johnson was able to earn a considerable profit. He smartly reinvested his money into buying more collectibles and items that would be valuable. Soon, he’d made his first million.
Ben Pasternak: Mobile App Designer
Australian Ben Pasternak is a mobile app designer that decided to fill the gap between the creators and the users of mobile apps. Funded by angel investors, Pasternak has designed mobile apps with teen users in mind.
Admittedly, he is not the epitome of a successful businessman, still needing his parents guidance for many aspects of life. However, he is able to run his businesses effectively. His latest app “Monkey” is a randomized video chat with stricter controls aimed at protecting teens from predators that often lurk in such platforms.
If you’re a teen with a business idea, don’t hold back on yourself. Put in the hard work and figure out what needs to be done and how much risk you’d need to take on if you start a business on your own. Who knows? You might be the next teen millionaire.
It takes a lot of perseverance to hone your skills as a teen entrepreneur. But that shouldn’t stop you from following your dreams. If you have a business idea, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you pursuing those dreams.