I got fired from my first real job this summer. I tried to balance 2 jobs and ended up losing the one I enjoyed. It’s ironic but I ended up discovering a new way to make money: business.
Nothing wrong with working a regular job but it’s not easy for a 17 year old. I decide when I wanna put in work to my business. Not someone else. Lately I’ve been putting in too much time. It’s a good thing but it becomes bad when I allow myself 4 to 6 hours of sleep per school night. It’s one of the things I’m trying to change coming into 2018.
I’m also trying to change the way it affects my education. I make sure I get all of my homework done before I get to any meetings. Yet at times I slip up and miss a few assignments. I’m not perfect but I am human.
Being able to say I’m an entrepreneur in high school is rewarding to say and I love what I do and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I just wish some people wouldn’t interpret it as “I’m a grown adult” or “I’m the next high school dropout.” When I first met my mentor Nick Nwoke, he let me know that I’m not allowed to drop out regardless of how much money I make. We were on the same page with that.
As for being looked at as an adult. I take it as a compliment only because I work with a lot of adults so when people first meet me, I understand when they think I’m not 17. However, I let them know I’m 17 and only a junior in high school. It only becomes negative when people get surprised when I tell them I have to ask my parents’ permission before I go somewhere. I acknowledge that I might be mature but that doesn’t change that I’m still a minor.
I never forget my age mainly because of my family. I have a little sister that’s 13 years old and every morning, I give her a kiss before I leave for school. She’s the reason why I continue to hustle while I’m sleep deprived or in pain. I also have both my parents constantly worried about my well being. I’m never home and if I ever am, I’m glued to my homework and only leave my room if I need food. Same goes for my sister, she’s involved in a S.T.E.M program. It sucks that I rarely get to see my little sister, it’s a thing that we’re both trying to fix. My Dad sees me everyday when he gets home from work after midnight and I’m sitting in the living room on the laptop. It’s one of the things I find funny but he doesn’t.
I can’t speak for all of the high school entrepreneurs. However, there’s more than people think. I know a girl that makes her own lip gloss and sells them. Another that’s working on getting business cards for her baking company. One guy literally sells windbreakers. My business is e-commerce so it’s different from what most businesses looks like. Everything I sell and all of the stores I’m partnered with are through my own website. Again, there’s nothing wrong with jobs but it’s exciting to decide how much you’re going to get paid without a boss telling you in a check. The best part is we’re not asking for money from our parents.
My goal walking into 2018 is too help as many people as I can my age and up. I want to be able to prove that it is possible to make money without a job. And it is possible to start chasing your dreams from an early age. The only thing you’ll need is a mentor and your motivation to show them.