The ages for starting up a business keeps on getting lower, in the next 5 years i wouldnt be suprised if more teens under 5 start thinking of experimenting running a startup, or thinking about business, My aunty was talking to me about this website the other day, im starting to imagine seeing more kids having in-depth coversations about business at an early age.
Anyways talking about teens starting business at an early age, lane sutton is a 13 years old entrepreneur who started on his entrepreneurial journey at age 5, yes 5.
Check out the interview and his current project.
Hi Lane, how are you doing?
Can you quickly give the readers some background information about yourself?
I am a 13 year old young entrepreneur interested in tech, business and finance. I work as a Social Media Consultant where I create businesses’ social media and online presence.
I also started and founded my website, www.KidCriticUSA.com where I write reviews on products, movies, books, food, you name it!
You have been an entrepreneur since you were 5 year old right?
What does a 5 years old do as an entrepreneur, I’m trying to understand what you were doing as a 5 year old?
I started my first entrepreneurial ventures at 5 when I started my own little newspaper and since then, have been writing books, running a mini-hotel with a gift shop, doing Kid Critic and social media consulting.
Why do you think you got into entrepreneurship or business at such an early age, who or what was your inspiration, what was your motive behind it?
I was fascinated by the fact that people could make money by doing something that they life or pursuing their passion. My dad is also an entrepreneur and loves music, so he became a DJ. I like writing, so I write reviews and for my local newspaper as well.
What project are you currently working on at the moment?
KidCriticUSA.com is my project where I write reviews by a kid, for kids and families on products, movies, books, activities, food and much more! My main job is social media consulting where I have a number of clients I work with.
How do you keep balance between work and school?
I put homework and anything for school comes first. But, besides that I could be working from when I get home to late at night before bedtime (of course excluding dinner, e.t.c,.!). I find that I just need to know what I have to do and make a little list of the day’s tasks.
At what age did you get into social media?
Actually it was only back last June where I joined Twitter, Facebook and other social networks because I wanted to spread the word and promote Kid Critic. That was my intention, but now I have used it for promoting that but also to meet new people, gain clients and talk out to my followers.
What kind of benefits does it give you, what opportunity has it given you?
I would say there are perks of being a Critic where I can get press passes and VIP stuff. I also get a lot of press and published in media like being named one of the top grade school entrepreneurs by Forbes.com and one of the top 5 inspiring teens by Examiner.com. I like doing it and getting press is a great added bonus!
What are your favourite social media tools and why are they your favourite?
My favorite social media tool is Twitter. I like Twitter because it is unique – you only have 140 characters to express yourself or what you want to say which makes it hard but you should think of what you are going to say. It has opened up lots of doors for me and I have met a lot of new people. I also like using Foursquare to see where my friends are and I can get specials or discounts on items just by “checking-in” at where I am.
Do you think teens your age should be leveraging the power of social media? You know they are a lot of talks about security on the internet, don’t you think it’s a major factor why parents don’t allow their teens on the internet? What are your thoughts on that?
Yes, but teens and kids should be using social media and the internet safely but also to their advantage. The power of social media can bring great things like meeting new people and learning but you should always stay safe. I think as long as kids are browsing safe sites that are secure then they are doing the right thing.
What has been some of your most memorable experience so far?
When I received the phone call from Forbes.com, I was stunned and was actually riding my bike when the call came and I didn’t notice it right away but I saw the voicemail and rushed home to call back and I had the interview.
My family was scared at first since they didn’t know if I was okay, but once I explained myself we were all very happy! A week later, the article was up and I was so excited that one of my dreams had come true!
What has been some of your key lessons you’ve learnt so far?
Always try your best and don’t give up! If you persist, then good things will happen because you stayed with it and if you put in your all – then you will feel happy.
Don’t people get put off doing business with you because of your age or do you think being a 13 years old entrepreneur has its advantages?
I have had some people not believe that I am 13 and they were so shocked to see me doing this at such a young age. I don’t think that working with a 13 year old has advantages for someone else but for me it is good because I started early and young so I have a head start on my career.
Before we wrap up the interview, what tips would you like to give to teen entrepreneur looking to startup a business or take an idea to a next level?
Start early and start young! When you have an idea, dream it and bring it to life. Don’t always ask “What if?,” but rather – do what you thought of!
What should we be expecting from you in the future?
I hope to be starting new ventures but my focus is on building my business more and more. I am speaking to a college class and at a few conferences which are coming up and I am very excited about that!
Thanks for your time, Lane.