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Challenge: Back to School 2021

Tips for Teen Entrepreneurs Just Getting Started (from teens!)

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Given the work I do at WIT, I have my own set of tips for the young entrepreneur, but for this post I decided to chat directly with three successful teen entrepreneurs and get their tips.

First, I chatted with Ally Galiene, co-founder of Brush Bestie. She shared with me that it's so important to "stay passionate and excited about your company because your enthusiasm about your product makes other people excited about it." Ally also touched on a topic that a lot of young entrepreneurs are concerned about - finances. Her opinion is, "don't worry too much about the financial aspects of things when you're first starting, just try to focus on what your mission is for your company/product." She also wanted to give fair warning to the entrepreneurs starting out. "There will be

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roadblocks," but she went on to share that, "These roadblocks will actually build you up and help you on your journey." Something else she shared with me that I thought was so valuable was that she wished she knew that criticism (feedback) is actually way more valuable than people just saying positive things about your product. You're so right, Ally!

My next conversation was with Ethan Gregerson, co-founder of Accordia Power. Ethan dove right in and shared the value of patience and follow through. "It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a new business, envisioning how your life would change if you find success, etc., but you have to find a balance between being excited and passionate, but also being patient." He also went on to talk about something I see a lot in young entrepreneurs - lack of follow through. Ethan shared

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with me that, "Most teen entrepreneurs I see that don't follow through very often, are those who simply fizzle out after failure." He went on to advise that if young entrepreneurs "just continue to put a consistent amount of effort in over a long period of time ... they will probably find that the success comes and finds you." The last piece of advice or tip that Ethan wanted to pass along is something we preach about a lot at WIT - the importance of building relationships and your network. He believes, "Your network is your network and that's an important thing to remember! Keep the people you enjoy close to you, and put that as a priority. Nobody wants to make it to the top after a lot of hard work, just to find themselves standing there alone."

I wrapped up this tip seeking mission with a conversation with Maile Figueroa, founder of The Art Smudge Workshop. Maile encouraged those starting out to actually see

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"Social media as your best friend." She's found it to be a great tool in growing her business and in creating partnerships with other people and businesses. Maile also mentioned something similar to what Ally touched on, "Be open to advice from other entrepreneurs adults and teens." Keeping an open-mind and seeking out guidance and advice has been beneficial to Maile. She also advises, "never stop asking question."

Big shout out to these teens for sharing their tips and advice. These are such valuable reminders and I can't wait to hear which tip resonated with you the most!

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