Today mark’s a milestone day for us at YTeach, it is our 52nd #MakeItHappen Newsletter and we are very excited. We don’t like to focus on statistics and think of the number of businesses that do not make it past the first year; but, if you were wondering about that number well, it’s 20% of new businesses don’t make it this far. There are a number of reasons I can think of that we are not part of that statistic and one of the biggest reasons is that I know I don’t have all the answers. I am not thinking about entrepreneurship the same way a highly experienced person with diplomas from prestigious universities hanging on their wall might be thinking about a business. I’m 13 years old, and I believe that sometimes not having all that experience also means that I am able to look at something from a completely different angle. This past year has taught me a lot, and hopefully my experience can encourage you to try something new even when it might seem scary.
My first piece of advice would be to make sure you do something you truly love and want to do. There will be times that you might lose momentum, but having a passion for what you do will help you stay motivated in the long run. For example, there have been many times where I have struggled between wanting to hang out with friends or playing video games and writing this newsletter. It is okay to have those feelings but when you are doing something you are passionate about, it won’t feel like such a big sacrifice. It’s also important to remind yourself that what you want may not come overnight. We often want instant gratification but remember that what you are working towards will require that you work for it. Being motivated about what you are working on will help you stay on course and get through moments when you aren’t seeing quick progress.
Another important lesson I learned is to not be afraid to ask for help. Oftentimes we worry that we will be rejected or that we might embarrass ourselves. It is important to brainstorm and create prototypes and continue to ask questions. Keep asking for feedback to see if there are ways you can improve or make something better. There will be times filled with challenges and uncertainties; however, it’s important to keep believing in yourself and not let self-doubt take over. Don’t let that doubt stop you from trying. Push yourself to be uncomfortable sometimes and you might surprise yourself that you are capable of more than you ever could have imagined.
Just as important is finding mentors. Making connections with people who are where you imagine yourself, maybe 10 years from now, can be major resources and give you shortcuts to reaching your goals faster. Of course, you want to find mentors you respect who share similar values. Especially in recent weeks, I am surprised by how many connections I have been able to make and how people have been so willing to share their insights and experiences. This has been an incredible tool for growing YTeach.
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset can teach you a lot about yourself. The process of coming up with an idea, to developing a prototype and concept, all the way to production carries with it many life lessons. Whether it’s selling door to door, doing a car wash, or developing a new app – teens (and adults) can learn a lot about perseverance, critical thinking, handling failures, and managing money. Ways to work on your entrepreneurial mindset is to 1) consider all the things you really like or enjoy; 2) think of what you are good at; and 3) focus on something that is bigger than you. For me and YTeach, I want to help young people, like me, gain confidence and feel inspired. For this week’s #MakeItHappen, don’t be a spectator of your life. Brainstorm ways to develop your entrepreneurial mindset and let us know what worked for you or celebrate your failures by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on social .
Go make it happen,
Matias & the YTeach Team
“Every decision starts with the decision to try.”
– John F. Kennedy