The Unique Challenges of Teen Entrepreneurs

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Dear Dani,

What are some of the challenges I should be prepared to deal with as a teen entrepreneur?


Becca, age 19

Dear Becca,

I LOVE your question! Why? Because you’ve already overcome one of the biggest hurdles for entrepreneurs, teens or otherwise. You’re trying to anticipate what might stand in your way and that is a quality that many entrepreneurs don’t seem to get. So, for my money, you’re way ahead of the game. The deal is that preparing, researching and questioning…UP FRONT…will lead to a stronger product/service and greater success.

The truth is that, except for just a few things, hurdles you face will be the same for an entrepreneur of any age. But I know you’re looking for specifics so here goes.

Credibility: Simply because of your age, older folks will question how much you know.  In fact, you probably know way more than they do about a lot of things but understand that the burden is on you to show you’ve done your homework (no, not the school kind!) and can explain why your idea is a good one.

Funding: Simply stated, you’ll need some money to get started, even if it’s just for business cards, flyers or phone calls. You may not need a lot but it’s important to 1) know where to get it 2) factor it into profitability and 3) understand that you have to pay back what you borrow.  Don’t fall into the lemonade stand trap: even if the lemons come from your refrigerator, they’re not free.

Time: Your first job is school so finding the time to devote to a business can be challenging.  Make sure you really plan your time well – businesses require time and attention – and cut way back on those time suckers (video games, texting, FB, etc).

Becca, keep asking questions like that and you’re sure to be a success!

More next time on other hurdles entrepreneurs face.  Stay tuned…


Dani Ticktin Koplik, principal of dtkResources, is a results-winning, certified executive & performance coach, speaker and trainer. She recently created bubble2boardroom, which educates young professionals about the rigors and requirements of a 21st Century economy while fortifying them with critical and inferential thinking skills they need to succeed.

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