When I first started blogging LaTisha Styles was one of the first bloggers I contacted and she responded almost immediately. She was so encouraging to me and even gave me the chance to guest post on her site even though no one knew who I was (or cared) and she would gain nothing from helping me. When I was trying to think of people who I wanted to come and share at the Teenpreneur Conference she was at the top of my list. She has had the entrepreneurial spirit for as long as she can remember, she currently runs her own business, and has started coaching new business owners to success. I’m thrilled she agreed to come and speak at the conference because she is genuine in her desire to help other people achieve their business goals!
As I child, my parents taught me the value of hard work. I asked my mom if I could have an allowance and she told me she would talk to my father.
A few days later, my sister and I were taking on extra chores and making 5 dollars a week. Sweet! My dad taught me how to tithe the first 10% of my income and I was allowed to spend the remainder. And each week I went to the corner store and bought candy and icees.
A few months later my sister and I started to complain, cautiously, about how we should get more money in our allowance. So my dad decided to teach us how to make money instead.
This is when the entrepreneurial bug bit me. He drove us to Sam’s Club which is a large warehouse with bulk items. Toilet paper for a year, canned food for a month and almost any item you could think of, even candy. He gave us our final allowance and told us if we wanted more, we would have to earn it.
So with about 20 dollars each, my sister and I bought our first box of candy. As soon as we got home, we opened the candy and started eating a piece. After all, we purchased it with our own money. But my dad quickly stopped us.
“Figure out how much you can make from this box. And don’t eat your profits. You have to be able to buy another box to make more money.”
Hmm. Now we actually had to do some math. My sister and I were about 8 and 10 at the time and had already learned the basics of money math. We realized that if we ate two pieces and sold the rest, we would have enough to buy another box of candy and we would have 5 dollars left over!
We were amazed.
But now we had to sell our candy. My sister and I had plenty of friends in our apartment complex and we mostly sold to them. Our candy prices were cheaper than the corner store so it was an easy sell. We sold our first box in a few days and we were ready to go back to Sam’s Club to buy more candy.
My parents only visited Sam’s Club twice a month. My sister and I realized that we would need to stock up to have enough candy to last through two weeks. It took us a month or two but eventually we had enough candy stocked to sell through two weeks and we had money left over.
Each week, I would go to church with my family and pay my tithes. But I didn’t save a dime. My expenses ate the remainder of my profit. And the more money I made, the more I spent.
About a year later, my mom and dad saved enough to put a down payment on a house in a small but growing county in Georgia. My mom took a waitressing job while we were in school and saved all of her tips towards the down payment.
My dad took a night job delivering the local paper so he could earn extra money. Our new home was being built from the ground up and there were still plenty of bugs that were reluctant to move. When we visited to see the progress, we saw a bat sleeping in the arch ceiling. And when we finally moved in, we found scorpions trying to make their way into the basement.
My sister and I still had our stock pile of candy ready to sell and we stored it in the closet.
One morning we reached up into the closet to grab the bag and found ants!
Our entire inventory was ruined!
My mom ignored our pleas to lend us money so we could buy more candy. She didn’t want any more bugs in her new house. Our business had ended.
By the time our candy business ended, I was almost 13. I was already making money babysitting for neighbors and I was just biding my time until I could work a real job.
Fast forward a few years to college. I graduated with a Finance and Spanish degree, and found a full time job, but I still felt the entrepreneurial bug.
I found a way to start earning extra money on the side by starting a blog. I grew that blog into my platform as a millennial personal finance expert. I’ve had the honor of being quoted in Forbes, and featured in The Economist, MTV, and Business Insider. The part time hobby that I created grew into a full business. And today, I teach emerging entrepreneurs how to do the same.
I always say that you KNOW if you have that entrepreneur inside of you. And that age has NOTHING to do with your success. There is no better time to start than now. Come to the Teenpreneur Conference and I’ll show you exactly what you need to succeed.
Can’t wait to meet you!