I'm coming to a time (age) in my life were many of my friends are getting jobs. It's a very bittersweet moment, and I'm excited for them, but at the same time, they're starting to have a lot less time to hang out.
It's already starting to happen. For a great part of my life, I've always been the friend who had the most difficult experience finding free time to hang out. Now it's 99 percent of my friends who are working 9-5 at a local Fast Food Restaurant, who just don't physically have time to hang out. They're now either always working, resting or spending that precious time with family.
No matter how many times I hear, "Sorry, I can't Jaylen, I have to work," I can't get over the feeling of wanting to simply say, "Maybe it's time to start your own company, just like I did."
If you know anything about me, you'd know that I've been "working" since I was 12 years old. That's illegal in most states, right? Well, luckily in my case, I started my own company at 12, which made it perfectly legal.
I'm not being selfish, I don't want, or expect, my friends to quit their jobs for me, I really just want them to look at other options. The first option that comes to mind is becoming a teen entrepreneur. I am totally not just saying that because I'm a teen "trep"(short for entrepreneur), but because it's a hot thing! I personally know 19 other teen entrepreneurs, the youngest being 12 and the oldest being about 19. They're not running lemonade stands, or letting their parents run it, they're running legit businesses, some being invested in by Sharks on ABC's Shark Tank. Isn't that crazy?!?
It may not seem feasible for everybody, but trust me, with dedication and the right goals, it's very much possible for you. Are you unsure if you're ready to become an entrepreneur? Well, below are two big questions that I use to identify a true entrepreneur.
Do you have people skills?
At school, are you fairly open to talking to any and everybody? I'm not asking if you're popular or not. I'm asking if you see a kid alone in the corner alone at lunch, would you be able to walk over there and talk to him/her? If you can, then you have what it takes to be entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, we have to be able to walk up to anyone as that stranger could be our next client, or even our biggest investor.
Do you have problem solving skills?
At school during that three-week long class project, have you ever come across a problem and figured out a way to solve it? Do you ever see a problem in your everyday life, such as always losing your remote control, and come up with an idea to solve that? If so, you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is always about solving a problem or filling a need in society, usually making lives easier.
Did you say "yes" to both questions? Then you're an entrepreneur, congratulations. Get over to the drawing board and start identifying what you're going to solve.
Did you say "yes" to the first question, and "no" to the second, or vice-versa? Well, you've got what it takes to be an entrepreneur, also! Try to focus a little on the question you answered "No" to. I'm sure if you try hard enough, within the next year your answer will be "yes!"
I think I might just take these questions back to my friends, and see if they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Hopefully, they'll have what it takes become an entrepreneur and we can start some new businesses.
What's my purpose with this? I want to encourage everyone to consider the field of entrepreneurship, especially as teenagers.
As a current teen entrepreneur, and traveling speaker on teen entrepreneurship, I'm always looking for teenage startups. Do you have any ideas, or think you're gonna start a business because of this article? Well, I want to hear about it!
Oh, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @jaylenbledsoe.