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Putting In the Work

A Look Into Teenage Entrepreneurship

Upon that last bell ring of the school day, every student files out to their cars, beginning their separate lives that take place between the hours of three in the afternoon and onward. For a majority of the student body, the biggest parts of their day take place during school; for them their jobs are getting to school, going to classes, and just being overall good students. What many of those students don’t realize is that several of their fellow classmates have big lives outside of their 8-3 school hours.

There are so many high school students who don’t see attending school as their main focus. Instead, there are many of them who pursue the focus of entrepreneurship instead of hitting the books. While yes, it is important to have a foundation of decent education, many people don’t feel like academic learning is their strong suit. There are several students instead who have educated themselves, or pursued getting educated for how to run their own form of business.

Junior Trevor Mogren working on the site of a job for Kraft Lawn and Landscaping. (Photo provided by Trevor Mogren. )

A lot of the time, when an adult or fellow peer hears that a teenager runs some form of business, like their own lawn and landscaping company, they assume it’s just a few rowdy kids pushing around lawn mowers, trying to make quick cash, and not actually valuing the work. That is an unfair assumption because in reality, there are a lot of factors that go into owning and running your own business entrepreneur style, teenager or adult. Fact is, not everyone can be a successful entrepreneur. Technically, everyone can start their own business, but according to researchers at JBCN, there are certain characteristics that one needs to possess in order to nurture success in entrepreneurship. JBCN reporters came up with a list of ten character traits. They are: creativity, professionalism, risk-taking, passion, planning, knowledge, social skills, open-mindedness, empathy, and the understanding that the customer is everything. While some of these characteristics can be argued as being inherent, or something ones had since birth, things like professionalism, planning, social skills, and even others can be argued right back as things that one has to work on perfecting over time in order to truly possess that characteristic. For example, in order to master things like social skills and professionalism, especially for a teen, they will need to experience professional situations and learn how to speak about their business through socializing, a skill that grows over time the more they have to communicate with customers and other people curious about their work.

There is something to be said about young people who decide to make their own money by spending hours trying to prove themselves to be skilled at what they do. Passion is one of the biggest things that drive people to start their own company and passions vary. Therefore, the businesses that young people want to start vary as well. There are some kids who have more skill and passion for tech, and from there they can do things like online design for others, coding, etc. Other kids prefer to spend their days outside, and therefore they find their passion through working outside under the sun doing things like landscaping. There is also a lot to be said for young teens who start their own business selling their own products. Back in 2016 slime businesses used to be the talk of every school. Many kids started making and selling their own slime within their school. From there, they developed a love for creating and selling their own products, quite a few of them going on to continue creating different products and selling them through a business that they built at a young age.

Doing the job is difficult, yes but the behind the scenes work can be more challenging and extremely time consuming. It is a great accomplishment to be a teenager and know how to manage one’s own crew, the logistics of doing business, financial planning, paperwork, along with allotting time to complete the legitimate work. Don’t forget that on top of that, teenage entrepreneurs continue to have to balance their day to day school work as well as sports and other extracurriculars even though their main focus wants to be on their business or other types of entrepreneurial aspirations.

Having an idea of what you want to do career wise in the future is something that most teens can but actually pursuing a career at a young age, and building one’s own business is something that most teenagers would not consider in the slightest.

All types of students, ones solely focused on academics and ones focused on entrepreneurship and business both have to put in work to succeed, so who’s to say which side works harder?

The next time a student, peer, friend, or family member is speaking about their own business or entrepreneurial aspirations, will the assumptions be the same? Just a side hustle to put off school, or will there be an open-minded approach with the consideration that unlike many, not everyone’s day ends on that last bell ring of the school day, but rather comes to a close after their work is done, and customers are satisfied.

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About the Contributor
Alexandra Ridge
Alexandra Ridge, Reporter
Alex Ridge is a Senior and Reporter for The Shield. It is her first year on staff. Outside of school, Alex spends most of her time with her friends, finding all kinds of things to do around the KC area. Along with The Shield, Alex has also taken on her first year as a part of the yearbook staff, so she will spend a lot of time reporting her observations to the Aquinas student body and is excited to take on the task.
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