In Thomas Armstrong’s Twelve Stages of Life, a newborn is a manifestation of hope. Babies bring the sense that something new will happen in this world. Yet, society predetermined the cycle of these newborns. They will study, graduate, get a job, get married, build their own families, retire and go on with their lives.
Conversely, there are few teenagers who break the cycle and innovate through going beyond the norm. I call them the innovators.
You might think that innovation can be done only by those who already gained years of knowledge and experiences throughout their lives. But believe me when I say that the best characteristic of an innovator is curiosity; and who else usually have this? Well, the youth.
Their curiosities bring about thoughts that lead to independence and growth. One survey states that over 42% of American teens believe they can create a world-changing innovation. 50% of high school students are encouraged by their parents to work on their own.
77% of adolescents already earn their own money. 33% of high school kids already started their small businesses.
Successful young entrepreneurs across America are prevalent. In addition, there are young black entrepreneurs who already paved the way to success.
To give you a concrete foundation about the statistics I mentioned, let me present to you some of the successful young entrepreneurs across America:
- Young Entrepreneur 1: Kheris Rogers, 12 years old
Kheris is one of the young black entrepreneurs who became the youngest designer by presenting at the New York Fashion Week in 2017.
She started creating her designs after being bullied by her schoolmates for being too dark-skinned.
Her schoolmates may regret their actions right now because Kheris is featured everywhere like in the CBS News.
- Young Entrepreneur 2: Seanna Mullins, 13 years old
Seanna is one of the young entrepreneurs who turned mourning into optimism. After her father passed away, she started sawing and selling therapy dolls.
Her mother supported her and helped her create them which she call the “Healing Hearts.” These dolls have personalized messages about overcoming depression, grief and pain.
Turning her grief into something very encouraging to others and to herself won a local investor prize of $1,000.
Indeed, she is a very inspirational youngster.
- Young Entrepreneur 3: Nic Bianchi, 15 years old
Nic is one of the successful young entrepreneurs who used his resources wisely. On his 12th birthday, he was given a candle-making kit.
After three years, he became a well-known commercial candle maker and has a full line of various candles that he sells online and in local shops.
Nic is truly a kid who did not waste his birthday gift.
- Young Entrepreneur 4: Mikaila Ulmer, 11 years old
Mikaila is a young black entrepreneur who was stung by a bee. This made her create a delicious lemonade.
She used honey as lemonade sweetener. This led her to develop the Me and the Bees lemonade which can be found in Starbucks and Whole Foods.
Mikaila is such a successful young entrepreneur who used her circumstance to produce a nice product.
- Young Entrepreneur 5: Michael Wahba, 14 years old
Michael invented his own skateboard simply because he does not like the commercial electric boards sold on the market.
He created a foot sensor instead of having the usual remote control. Today, his boards are being sold online through Walmart, Best Buy and other outlets.
Definitely, Michael is a successful young entrepreneur who just loves twists.
- Young Entrepreneur 6: Asia Newson, 13 years old
Asia is another young black entrepreneur who built the Super Business Girl merchandise of the “world’s best candles.”
Apart from this, she offers workshops that would help high school students understand entrepreneurship, candle making, merchandising and innovation.
Asia is one of the most successful young entrepreneurs who are willing to share their knowledge and skills.
- Young Entrepreneur 7: Cory Nieves, 13 years old
Cory is the successful young entrepreneur behind Mr. Cory’s Cookies. His cookies are made from natural ingredients that make them extraordinary.
Importantly, they are made with love that Cory considers as the most outstanding ingredient of all.
Indeed, Cory makes things happen by pouring his love and passion for his cookies. By the way, he is a young black entrepreneur too!
- Young Entrepreneur 8: Natalie McGriff, 9 years old
Natalie grew up with insecurities about her skin color and hair texture. Instead of focusing on it, she decided to write an empowering comic series.
Together her mother, she was able to create the Adventures of Moxie McGriff series that is about a young girl who saved her town through her hair.
Natalie is a wonderful example of courage and optimism despite the negativities around this world. She used her experience to write stories that made her a successful young black entrepreneur.
More On Young Entrepreneurs:
These are some of the young entrepreneurs across America who, out of the desire to innovate and have something new, were able to become successful. Therefore, these young entrepreneurs developed their businesses just because they don’t want the usual ones.
They did not finish any course or program about business and entrepreneurship – a clear indication that this is possible. Yet, you might be thinking, my child is not like this. My kid is a troublemaker who reacts to puberty negatively. He/she is not good about building relationships or understanding himself.
How can he think of being a young entrepreneur?
It is true that teens face different changes in their lives. They start to feel differences in their bodies as well as in their environments. Even so, teens have something unique and brilliant which, most often than not, parents disregard.
The Traits of Teenagers that Make Them Stand Out:
Some teenagers might still be in the process of developing these traits.
As they grow, these develop through the help of themselves and, of course, their support groups such as their parents, peers or friends.
- A teen is always curious.
One good thing about teenagers is that they always ask questions.
This might not always be through conversation with a person. This can also be gaining answers through the internet or social media.
Besides asking questions, teens explore things fearlessly. Out of curiosity, they try understanding and knowing things by doing them.
However, they still need proper care and guidance so as to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
Nonetheless, the failure of a child is will teach him/her many things that cannot be taught in school.
- A teen strives for excellence.
Teenagers are exposed to extracurricular activities since the day they first started studying. Schools encourage healthy competition to build a child’s focus to always be a better student.
Importantly, this builds perseverance to young adults. They will never stop thinking of creative things until they reach their goals.
This also develops innovation and understanding the bigger picture rather than focusing on the simpler ones.
- A young adult places value on friendships.
Though very competitive, teens value the relationships they have especially with their peers. They are most comfortable with the people of the same age.
Teenagers learn how to socialize and the beauty of sharing and gaining ideas from others. This improves their abilities for networking and later on, marketing.
- A young adult never quits.
The positive side of teenagers not giving up is the fact that they never stop. No matter how hard homework is, they are trained to finish them.
Some families also use rewarding such as allowing a child to play after finishing his school tasks.
Though hard, the child learns to prioritize and push himself to so he could finish the task and get his reward.
- A teenager is a self-starter.
Put in mind that a young adult is very optimistic and enthusiastic in trying new things. They love doing tasks and are excited to move and act.
What others think of them do not easily discourage them so long as the people they love support them.
Now that you know that your teen has a big potential that is useful in entrepreneurship, you might be wondering about your contribution as a parent.
Parent’s Role in Honing Future Young Entrepreneurs:
1. Communicate with the aspiring young entrepreneurs
You will be the first one to influence your child. Learn to give encouragements that will boost his/her confidence along the way.
Whenever there are problems, always make sure to be there with him/her. Your availability helps your kid trust and open up to you.
Lastly, never force something that your child does not want because this develops a rebellious heart later on.
2. Set the minds of aspiring young entrepreneurs.
Share to your child how a business can change his and your life. Help him become visionary and goal-oriented.
Assist him in realizing that by being an entrepreneur, he also opens several doors for different people because of the employment he could provide to them.
Allow your child to realize these things to prepare his mind for the next actions he will take.
3. Be transparent to aspiring young entrepreneurs.
As much as possible, try to explain that although there are pros in running a business, there are also cons to it.
First, it is a big risk because of the money, time and effort required in order to become successful entrepreneurs.
Second, help him understand that there is a chance to fail in some areas of the business. Nevertheless, this does not mean that he should give up.
Brighter things can happen after several failed attempts.
4. Instill to the aspiring young entrepreneurs the benefits of starting at an early age.
Timing is very important in a business. The reality is that it is a trial-and-error process.
By starting early, your teen would be able to immediately see if his/her business will succeed or fail. There is plenty of time to try again.
Furthermore, this is a great way to save more for your child’s retirement in the future. There is nothing wrong with thinking in advance.
Moreover, the enjoyment of success will be longer if your child started entrepreneurship at a young age.
Most importantly, he is his own boss. He can do things according to his own pace and time.
There is no need to rush about things because when your child realizes the value of time, everything else will fall into place.
5. Make young entrepreneurs realize that the biggest room is the room for improvement.
The world always changes. The needs of people change. The prices of things change.
Cliché but change is the only constant thing in the world. You may encourage your child to always strive for something more.
Learning is endless.
In addition, let him believe that he should always think outside the box of his comfort zone because opportunities are everywhere.
The Difference that Young Entrepreneurs Make in Society:
Young entrepreneurs, as innovators, help the society when it comes to its economic growth.
Furthermore, young black entrepreneurs boost the confidence of other black people who cannot accept themselves yet because of their color and features.
Young black entrepreneurs also serve as inspirations to those who are deprived by the society since they are black people.
Moreover, all successful young entrepreneurs may encourage others to realize that success is not about age.
This also proves that entrepreneurship is not about age, educational background or work experiences.
Regardless of the generation you are in, you can start and make a difference in your family, school, career, and community.
There is no too early or too late for anyone to start his/her own business.
In addition, I encourage the parents and young individuals to listen to the voice that tells them to take the risk.
Indeed, Armstrong is right about the hope that a newborn brings.
It is somehow comparable to the ideas that are executed for the first time. There will be some doubts about the end results.
There might be doubts about what at the end of the tunnel.
Sometimes, we focus on working really hard to get the things we are dreaming of. Even though what is only required from us is to start now.
Always remember that everything will all be worth it in the end.