How to Be a Successful Teenage Entrepreneur in Kenya [Become Influential]

What are you doing as a teenager?

Did you know most successful businesses are started in the teenage years?

Did you know what you wanted to do in your teen years?

In my teen years, I thought and imagined how not to become pregnant or have HIV/AIDs.

I read a lot of books on how to develop myself but I never thought of how to read business books.

In my teen mind, businesses were for evil people and I wanted to be and remain holy.

A lot of teenagers are frustrated with the current job economy.

For this reason, many of them are seen leaning into the entrepreneurial direction.

Teenagers in this day and age take bold steps in pursuing entrepreneurial ambitions. 

Teens get into entrepreneurship because they want to make a difference, make money, do their own thing and be independent. 

Entrepreneurship gives teenagers a platform to create their own idea and start a successful business. 

To succeed as a teenage entrepreneur, there are certain tips, tricks and pieces of advice that you need to have to help you become successful.

Power Tips for Becoming a Successful Teenage Entrepreneur

To become a successful teenage entrepreneur, it is critical that you do the following.

  1. Envision success. 

Starting a business is a scary thing. There are always two ways your business can end; success or failure.

Research the stories of teenage entrepreneurs who made it and check their patterns.

Then ask, what did they do to make them successful?

Surround yourself with people who are going to help build up your vision and keep you motivated.

Have people you look up to who can give you ideas and strategies and keep you focused on your goals.

  1. Know your intention

It is no secret that for most teenage entrepreneurs, money is the driving force behind their desire in starting a new business.

While this is not wrong, aim for something that propels you other than money.

Why do you really want to be an entrepreneur?

Have something tangible that will keep you motivated.

Have a basic intention.

Money will follow. 

  1. Find your focal point/ Choose an area of focus

Your focal point is something that interests you.

It is advisable to build your business idea around your talents, hobbies, interests and likes.

Find something you are passionate about and capitalize on it.

The whole entrepreneurial journey can be tiresome.

You may want to avoid being burnt out by something that you do not enjoy doing.

When you are passionate about something, you can take up everything that comes with it without throwing in the towel. 

  1. Get experience 

Go out and get experience in your industry.

Seek vocational training.

Apply for an internship.

Take an online course.

Prep yourself.

Going into a business without exposure to how the business world works is detrimental to your success.

Getting experienced in your specific field will give you an edge in how you are required to run things in your industry. 

  1.  Educate yourself

Education is very important if you want to start a long and standing successful business.

Get yourself educated in the business field you have chosen.

Successful entrepreneurs are well educated in the field they work in.

Take the example of Bill Gates, who has in-depth knowledge about the software.

You need proper education in the business venture you have chosen, be it catering or retail.

Take a course and learn to acquire skills that will be useful in your business.

Go for training. Learning, unlearning and relearning is the key.

  1.  Secure your financial situation

To become a successful teenage entrepreneur, it is important not to start your first business out of debt or loan.

If you have a great idea that you want to bring to life, start off by putting some money aside as savings to raise capital.

You can work odd jobs or extra hours to help you raise money.

Partner with a friend and share your idea with them so that you can pool your funds together and make the idea come to life.

You can also ask your parents for financial assistance to start your business. If all else fails, you can register your company and take out a loan in the firm’s name.

Good financial management is key to becoming a successful teenage entrepreneur. 

  1. Write a business plan

Starting a business as a teenager may be a bit overwhelming.

Things may seem out of order and your ideas, thoughts and plans might be all over the place.

Take some time and write a business plan.

List what you want to do, where you want to do it and how you want to do it.

A business plan helps you lay out your vision, identify pitfalls and map out all aspects of the journey ahead of you.

You will have a smooth plan of action once you write your business plan. 

  1.  Set your goals

A goal is something that you want to achieve out of your business.

Most business goals are financially oriented, but it doesn’t have to be.

Your goal may be to influence change in your community or to create employment.

Whatever your goal is, make it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

When you are starting your business, avoid taking moonshots so that you do not get undue over expectations.

However, setting unrealistic goals is also a healthy way of getting much work done in the little time available.

  1. Network. 

To be a successful teenage entrepreneur, you have to build on your social skills.

Go out and interact with people you look up to.

People who are your role models in your entrepreneurial journey.

Some of these people can be your mentors.

Attend trade fairs and exhibitions.

Volunteer for projects.

This will give you enough room to interact with like-minded people who will give you insight on how to go about your business venture.

Some of these connections that you make could be your potential customers. 

  1. Use social media.

 Many businesses have a social media presence.

If you want to be a successful teenage entrepreneur, why not use social media to promote your business?

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow you to advertise your business and market your products or services.

Create a business account on these platforms, gain a following and start posting about your business.

You can also create a website and post a link on your social media platform to drive traffic to your site, thereby many people get to know about your business and you find more customers. 

  1. Take action

A great idea is nothing without taking action.

The value of a business idea is in its execution.

Once you have planned on your course of action, always take initiative to do better every day.

Overlook all the challenges that you face.

They are part of the business world. Keep on generating innovative ideas.

Come up with improvements and advancements to what you are doing so that you can reach your full potential. 

  1. Update yourself/ Learn from mistakes

Read or watch biographies of successful entrepreneurs, management books and any new improvements and technical advancements in your chosen field.

Learn their strengths and improve on their weaknesses as well as your weaknesses.

Network. Ask for help. Do not give up.

Even when it seems it’s way beyond your potential. Trudge ahead and be strong. 

  1. Be patient

Patience is a critical virtue in business.

Success does not come overnight.

Persistence, alertness and determination are fundamental ingredients in the recipe of a successful teenage entrepreneur.

Work through the problems you face in business with a lot of patience.

Do not rush decisions. It could be detrimental to your success.

Patience also dictates how you relate with your employees and customers.

Your employees must get respected and treated with patience.  

14. Challenge yourself

Challenge yourself to take new risks.

15. Have a passion

You aren’t going anywhere without passion.

Passion towards your business makes you grow.

With passion, you keep moving and pushing yourself on those days when your business is annoying.

Passion doesn’t allow you to follow money only but chase purpose.

16. Take a risk of success

Taking risks doesn’t mean stupid risks like throwing yourself off of a building.

Risks include listening to trends then determining to take these risks for your business to move onto new levels.

17. Believe in yourself

Most teens don’t believe in themselves.

I didn’t believe in myself after becoming pregnant. I wasn’t a teen but my ego disappeared, for a while.

As a teen entrepreneur, you have to keep fighting to believe in yourself because no one will believe you.

18. Have a vision

Entrepreneurs are visionaries and as a teen businessman/woman, you have to ask, where am I going and why? How will I reach where I want to go?

19. Find mentors

It’s hard to find mentors that help you move your business to new levels.

Who do you look up to?

Can you follow them on YouTube or read books about them?

For example, I love Steve Jobs, Bernard Arnault, Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell and Phil Knight. I read and re-read books written about them obsessively.

Sometimes, you may not be within reach of your mentor but you can read about them and how they got started to help motivate you or move your business to new levels.

20. Find fears

I hated fear until I started reading the Bible.

In the Bible, it’s said that God hates fearful people, why should you fear?

Why not feel the fear and keep moving on?

I felt an intense fear of presenting my idea for ‘green’ market bags in 2014 but I didn’t take action on my fear.

In August 2018, the President banned plastics and I felt this anger deep down my bones.

Fear is normal and must motivate you to move to the next level not make you procrastinate.

21. Invest time in your company

I started this blog without realising where I was going. I took time in building my writing career, I still am, but abandoned this blog which was a marketing tool for my writing.

I felt like it would take a lot of time to build the blog to where I wanted, I left it to operate as a hobby.

Hobbies are expensive.

If you’re not investing time in your blog/business, don’t expect it to grow by magic, nothing does that.

You have to put in the time to see the results.

22. Change the mindset

The biggest obstacle you will find in your life as a teen entrepreneur is a block in your mind.

You are going to fight battles inside your brains. If you control the mind, you get the life you want or envision.

All great ideas get born in the mind.

Remember adjusting your mindset takes time and work, be patient with yourself.

Keep checking your mind patterns by how you talk or the actions you take.

Keep an account then ask each day, what should I work on this week, month or year?

23. What are your business goals and personal goals?

What are your long term and short term goals both for your business and your business?

Are these goals measurable?

Can you check the progress of your goals over time?

Are your goals realistic?

What’s reality and what’s fiction?

You may want to be a teen dollar-billionaire in 1 year?

Ask, is this possible?

Where are you now?

What will you need to do to reach there?

Being realistic with your goals means not beating yourself up but you will always clap for yourself every step of the way.

24. Know your customer

How can you serve a customer you don’t know about? Who is your customer?

Where do they live and why?

Can they afford your products/services?

25. Always learn from complaints

I love when people complain to me, Bill Gates says.

I agree with Bill Gates because through complaints your customers teach you what you need to do and what needs to stay.

Don’t hide when you hear complaints or don’t become defensive instead remain proactive in solving the problems your customers encounter in your business.

26. Ask for advice

Some teens are too proud to ask for advice because, well, they’re entrepreneurs and they are teens.

Teens think they know more than anyone else and in this information age, it’s worse.

Don’t be a know it teen entrepreneur, ask those that came before you.

You grow when you the right questions.

27. Spend wisely

Do you want to own a Ferrari, Louis Vuitton bag and in the best neighbourhood or own a yacht?

Slow down teen entrepreneurs, business isn’t about showing off.

Use the money you earn to reinvest in your business. Keep the luxuries to a minimum.

Spending wisely doesn’t mean becoming a miser to yourself.

Remember there’s no other life you will get to enjoy.

Spend wisely also means investing in income-generating projects like stocks, bonds, real estate.

Make the money grow so you don’t work for the money in future.

28. Understand your industry

Not understanding your industry means not knowing the needs of your business.

Check the trends in your industry and note them down.

Knowing trends keep you current with the happenings in your industry.

29. Deliver more

Do you know owning a business means no time to waste or lux or keep complaining as a teen?

It means giving yourself, time and work for and to your customers.

Are you ready to work more than an employee?

Are you ready to spend time improving your business and self rather than partying?

How Can A Teen Become an Entrepreneur?

Identify a gap in the market and what the market

Know your audience

Have a business plan

Test idea

Embrace feedback and learn from your mistakes

Build strong networks

Stay committed.

What are Important Skills of a Successful Entrepreneur?

The skills a successful entrepreneur needs include:

Marketing skills – know how to sell yourself and the product.

Communication skills – Knowing how to communicate with your customers is key.

If you cannot relate to your customers how can you sell to them?

Communication comes from knowing and understanding yourself.

Research skills – research helps you uncover new information.

The more new information you discover, the more you learn.

And the more you learn the more you become a successful entrepreneur.

Adaptability skills – It’s complicated working for yourself or owning and running a business.

You not only need to adapt to the changes of running a business but also to your changing self.

A business changes you and you find it mind-boggling.

Writing skills – You have to write a business plan

Action takers –

FAQs on How to Become a Successful Teenage Entrepreneur

What are some entrepreneur ideas for teens

Blogging

Freelance writing

Create and sell products

Offer to tutor

Coach

Provide babysitting services

Holiday decorating

How do I prepare teens for a successful life?

Teach goal setting

Teach management of emotions

Set values

Encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Which business is best for youth?

Childcare

Carwash

Lawncare

Housesitting

Errand running

Dogwalking

Housecleaning

Can a 14-year-old start a business?

YES

What do teens sell online?

Clothes

Electronics

Antiques

Toys

Cookware

Sporting goods

Digital downloads

What are teenagers buying?

Clothes

Shoes

Handbags

Makeup

Video games

Food

Skincare products

Digital products

What are some profitable skills for teens?

Freelance writing

Copywriting

Social media marketing

Influencer marketing

video marketing

Photo editing

Coding

Bookkeeping

Which age is a teenager?

Teenagers are between 13 -19 years old.

Do most entrepreneurs succeed?

Yes, most entrepreneurs do succeed.

Resources: How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

What are Profitable Skills Need to Have in Kenya?

What are Teens Buying Online in Kenya?

65+ Businesses Teens Can Do With a Smartphone in Kenya

Tips for Growing Your Homebased Business as a Youth in Kenya

Startup Myths Youths in Kenya Make

Mistakes Youths Make in Entrepreneurship in Kenya and How to Fix Them

Entrepreneurship requires a lot of dedication and perseverance. 

Successful teenage entrepreneurs talk about how they had to make small adjustments in their lives, get disciplined and put all their time, effort and energy into the work they were doing.

Once you choose the entrepreneurial lifestyle, be ready to make sacrifices, like spending less time with your friends. Remember to have a healthy lifestyle and to practice patience.

Are you a teen entrepreneur or are you aspiring to become a teen entrepreneur?

What business are you doing as a teen entrepreneur?

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Online Businesses / Work in Kenya