Sunday, November 17, 2019

Being an entrepreneur in high school

Entrepreneurship for high school students

Recently, in a high school business course I assist in called Employability, I had the wonderful opportunity to offer some advice to a student on the subject of entrepreneurship. It developed into an engaging, fruitful conversation with him and a couple of his classmates sitting at his table.

This student loves rollerskating. Not rollerblading; not ice skating; but classic, old-school rollerskating. And I could see and hear the passion and excitement in his eyes and in his voice when talking about it. He loves meeting up with friends at the local skating rinks and giving them lessons and pointers.

Now, here's where I interjected with the topic of entrepreneurship. He was explaining to a couple of other young men at his table that his dream job right now would be to work at a rink as one of the people that get to skate all the time in those black-and-white striped referee shirts. I recommended to him that he instead consider starting his own business giving rollerskating lessons. If his rollerskating skills are as solid as he says they are, and if he genuinely loves the sport and teaching others how to roller skate, then he may as well go into business for himself. It's easy to create a Web site these days. Social media has made advertising and marketing affordable (virtually free), easy, and fun to do. And he can use the power of networking to find clients and others who can help him grow his business.

Additionally, because he would be owning and running his own business, he can set his own work schedule and decide for himself how much he wants to charge his clients for lessons. If he works for a business owned and manged by someone else (like one of the rinks in the area), he'll have to work when they want him to work, do what they want him to do, and he'll only earn whatever they think he should be paid. This can potentially be a far lower amount of money than he could make by being in business for himself.

I'm sharing this with all of you to get you thinking about possibilities - exciting opportunities - that perhaps you haven't thought of yet or given much consideration to. If there's something that you're really good at and genuinely love to do, then perhaps going into business for yourself, rather than performing all the work for someone else's benefit, is right for you. Just a thought.  

Now, it won't always be fun and easy. It's important that you understand that. Let's be realistic. It will take a lot of dedication and, at least for a while, putting in long and maybe odd hours. There will be stretches where there isn't any money coming in. There could be competition out there, and you'll have to find creative and innovative ways to stand out from that competition. But the many potential rewards sure make it all worth doing.

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