10 Things I Learned from Being an Entrepreneur at 16

by / ⠀Startup Advice / December 15, 2010


Being an entrepreneur at a very young age was the last thing I ever thought could happen to me, and now, as a 16-year-old entrepreneur who has many online projects I’ve learned a lot of lessons I’d like to share with the world.

I recently started a blog, and it taught me many of the lessons I’ll be sharing below. You should also know that you’ll never learn some of these lessons at school.

1. You’re Not too Small or too Big to Start a Business

It seems this is the major problem most young entrepreneur face. There are always challenges for you as an entrepreneur, it doesn’t matter whether you’re big or small so don’t take the challenges too personal and believe that being a young entrepreneur is not for you.
The truth is there’s even more advantage for you as a young entrepreneur because you’re already building the foundation of your future and you’ll begin to reap your efforts when you least expect.

Another hindrance to your success is your mindset, it’s important to remove every thoughts of it becoming difficult for you to succeed because of your age from your mind, believe you have equal opportunities with adults and that you can achieve more than they can.

2. There is Power in Listening

As a young boy, I can talk and talk without caring about what others have to say but as an entrepreneur I began to see things differently. Talking and talking always can cost you a lot of things and listening can put the world in your hands.

There is great power in listening because it helps you gain more knowledge while at the same time putting you in good terms with others. Everybody love to be heard and we’re in a world in which the best listeners are winners.

3. The More You Read, the Better You Are

I hate reading my school books and I can do anything to avoid them but as I developed as an entrepreneur I began to enjoy reading and I’ve read a lot of books that have imparted on me some virtues I wouldn’t have gained otherwise.

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Reading helps you tap into the knowledge and experience of other wise and successful people so that you can model your life after them. Many of these people learned most of their lessons through years of trial and error and now they’ve made it easy for you to learn it in days.

There are some things I would never have been better at as a young entrepreneur, one of those things being networking, but reading great books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is helping me improve my networking lifestyle everyday.

4. There is No Better Time, Now is The Best Time

Before I became an entrepreneur, I was a good daydreamer and I can dream of how I’ll become a millionaire almost immediately, but the problem with most of my dreams is that they never materialize, because I just keep talking about them without doing anything to make them a reality.

There’s no point in you getting an idea only to postpone it till tomorrow, I believe your idea is useless if you can’t act on it right away.

Taking action immediately has so many advantages and one of those great advantages is that it lets you know if your idea can truly be achieved. I once had a great idea that can help me skyrocket my website traffic almost overnight, I was unable to sleep the night I got this idea only to try to implement my idea the next day and see it is far from what can be achieved. The real thing that separates those who will succeed from those who will fail is the action they take. It doesn’t matter if your idea is good or bad, take action immediately so that if you fail, you fail faster and have enough time to move on to another idea.

5. Persistency is Key

Even though this particular characteristic seems to be common among young children I discovered its importance when I became an entrepreneur. I’m presently not satisfied with the stage my blog is but I keep on encouraging myself anytime I’m about to be discouraged and I keep moving forward.

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I’ve observed my blog closely, from its inception, and one thing I noticed is that it is experiencing a slow but stable growth, most of the time I feel like the world is turned against me or that results are simply not coming I make it a duty to keep trying, and with time I get the results I desire.

Success is not easy to come by, it takes hard work, it takes persistence and if you have those two traits you’ll get anything you want with time.

6. There is Nothing Called Overnight Success

You’ll recall me telling you I was a daydreamer, thinking about starting the next big thing etc. I also started my entrepreneurial career with this spirit and I believed I’ll succeed in a short period of time; it was after months of hard work that I began to face the reality and it dawned on me that there is nothing called overnight success.

To succeed as an entrepreneur you have to give it your all and believe that results only come with time.

7. You Can’t do Without Networking

No wonder Henry Ford says You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don’t seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together.

I’m a completely independent guy and I love to do everything myself, I believe in doing everything yourself and receiving all the praises but as an entrepreneur I discovered it doesn’t work this way, you can’t journey alone, and collaboration is a great key to success.

Real success comes from moving together, from utilizing the power of others to achieve your dreams. It won’t help to be shy or independent; you’ll achieve little if you don’t go out there to network.

8. Lack of Concentration is a Bug

You’ll hear a lot of people tell you that the key to entrepreneurial success is by working on so many projects at a time, as a young entrepreneur, I discovered this is not the case. I have over 10 websites but only one is what I can call a true success.

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10 projects shouldn’t be sharing the time and resources needed by 1, and to truly succeed as an entrepreneur you have to concentrate. Don’t venture into another project until you achieve success with one because it won’t help you. Each of your projects, your startups, your business needs your time and not giving this to them can lead to the failure of your business.

9. Spend More Time on Marketing, Less Time on Creation

I’m not trying to tell you to let your content suffer and I believe every business should be based on true value. All I’m trying to say is that the old theory of “build it and they will come” is not effective when it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur.

Even if your business is going to speak for itself you must have an audience that will go on spreading the word about your business and that can only be achieved by thorough marketing. Don’t create, market, market and market!

10. Focus on Your Success, Not Your Failures

We humans crave for appreciation and every form of criticism and blame tends to pull us down. It doesn’t matter whether the criticism comes from you or from outside, it has the same potential of pulling you down. You can’t come in contact with true success if you don’t fail and in most cases your failures will be more than your success – it’s very important not to keep on brooding on your failures but rather take a look at what you’ve achieved and what the future has in stock for you because this will serve as a source of encouragement and will keep you moving.

Onibalusi Bamidele is a 16-year-old entrepreneur and founder of Young Entrepreneur Blog.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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