teentrepreneur

By: Sophia Fulton

Information Access , Artist

This is a shout-out to teens to FIND YOUR SPARK and become a Teentrepreneur! Join me in the battle-cry against a culture that tells us, "You know what teens are good for?  N-O-T-H-I-N-G!"

The perception that young peope are narcisitic and only care about trite things may be one of the contributing factors as to why teens never seem to know what they are really capacble of doing! It's important that society take note that we do not only achieve based on a letter grade that was awarded to us in some class at some school. What really matters is our ability to make an impact in the world.

Entrepreneurship is a necessary tool that teens should have in their arsenal for life because it helps young people explore what their passions are and ultimately how they can serve others.

One of the reasons entrepreneurship is so scary for teens is because we feel alone. We don't have visibility to other people are age who are out there doing it. Or that it's possible. And that is a very lonely place to be!

I launched Teentrepreneur in January, 2016.  My mission is not only to inspire teens to become teentrepreneurs, but to also connect fellow teens who are interested in being world changers.

I first discovered the power and importance of the teen entrepreneur as I was doing research for a project about young entrepreneurs. I realized that not only have teens made an incredible impact through entrepreneurship, but entrepreneurship is an incredibly simple way for teens to change the world.

Teens already have the capabilities­ such as the time, energy, ability to learn, and yet so many believe they are not fit for entrepreneurship.

The Teentrepreneur’s goal is to inspire teens to start a business by posting stories of real life teens who aren’t perfectly awesome or anything, but they took the jump into entrepreneurship and have created beautiful things out of it. The Teentrepreneur is here to show teens that they are part of a beautiful tribe of youth ready to change the world.

Team Members

  • My name is Sophia Fulton and I an aspiring world changer. I love using entrepreneurship as a tool to change the world, so I created a website (which I also call my online community) called The Teentrepreneur. Teentrepreneur, by the way, is simply a combination of the words teenager and entrepreneur. I have been interested in entrepreneurship since I was six (I believe I sold bookmarks door to door) and am passionate about sharing just how capable teens are of creating something great through entrepreneurship. I currently run a piano teaching business, a summer program business, and work for a local small business. I believe that entrepreneurship is all about sharing what you’re passionate about so that’s what’s I’m trying to do by sharing my passions for music, teaching, and entrepreneurship. I also love chocolate chip cookies and running­ probably not the best combination.

Impact

Advice for my peers

Want to know some of the key ways to becoming a successful teenaged entrepreneur (teentrepreneur)?

(1) find what makes you happy. Think about. What makes you want to get up in the morning? What do find yourself thinking about? What do you use your money on?

(2) Write down what makes you happy. For me, this is music, planning events, clothing and kids. Not necessarily in that order.

(3) share what makes you happy with others. Think about it, there's always something. Even if you're an introverted or private person like me, you've got something special to share.

Lifestyle blogging was almost painful for me because it was all about sharing parts of my life (clothing, food, etc) that I didn’t really want to be sharing. However, I kept doing it because is was the cool thing to do and it felt like everyone was doing it. That’s one of the most dangerous traps to fall into­ doing something because everyone else is. When I finally pulled away from the online lifestyle world, I began to realize how I really wanted to inspire people through entrepreneurship, not by the clothes that I wear or the recipes that I post.

HOW TO MEASURE IMPACT

A lot of entrepreneurs -- and most definitely their investors -- are concerned about how to measure impact.

  • MEASURE THROUGH "VIEWS": Are page views, likes and followers a good measure of impact? Maybe, maybe not.  If you want to grow your online network, consider making simple business cards that you can hand out in the "real world."

  • MEASURE THROUGH "TESTIMONIALS":  One of my favorite connections has been with Anna, who said “Your blog has been a key role in giving me that push to make this business something more than just an etsy shop that just kind of sits there with few sales”. I love that. I love that The Teentrepreneur has made a personal impact!

  • MEASURE THROUGH "QUALITY":  I love that I’ve been able to connect with so many teens who have done incredible things, including:
  1. The Parsi Company launched by Samantha Shank to produce frugal and eco-friendly products inspired by World War II. 
  2. Project Zilkr is a non-profit run by teens to level the playing field of entrepreneurship, inspiring a new generation of socially aware companies, organizations, and initiatives.

One of the most amazing things about our generation is that "we want to give back" -- and THAT is real quality too!

  • MEASURE THROUGH "REVENUE":  One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting my piano teaching business was letting people take advantage of me and missing payment deadlines/cancelling lessons last minute, etc. If you’re a young entrepreneur or if you’re thinking of being one, constantly remind yourself that just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t roar. Be gracious, of course, but set boundaries.

  • MEASURE THROUGH "EXTENDED COMMUNITY":  I’ve also been working with several other teens online to make a further impact through guest writing and collaborations. I’ve also used The Teentrepreneur as a conversation starter for teens that I’m friends with in real life­ it’s a great way to encourage those I know personally to start a business!

  • MEASURE BY "BEATING THE ODDS"  Frankly, I believe the first step to empowering youth social innovation is to stop believing the lies. The lies that the youth are too young, too weak, too busy, too fill in the blank with whatever adjective you want to use as your excuse. The book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris was a total game changer for me; I recommend it to all wanna be world changers. We all need someone to tell us that we can accomplish greatness, someone who can speak truth when all we hear are lies. For me, that was my parents. They’ve always encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit in me and my siblings, but what has really motivated me to be the change is watching how hard they’ve worked to change our small community through entrepreneurship.


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