Starting a Business at Eighteen
A Short Note on the Struggles and Joys of Working on Such a Large Endeavor Early in Life
I grew up surrounded by hardworking family and friends that led me to be the same. In 4th grade I asked my teacher for extra homework because I was bored. In high school I took honors and AP classes while starting work just months after turning 16. At 17 I bought a car with that hard earned money.
But when I graduated and started at a college nearby I suddenly floundered. I was working thirty hours a week and getting straight A's in all of my classes, but I was miserable. I stopped going to class, lost weight, slept constantly, and cried at anything. I hated the atmosphere and felt isolated no matter what I did. I thought I was a failure because college is where you're meant to find yourself, meet your true best friends, and become an adult.
I made it worse by keeping everything to myself. Because of the shame I felt from not succeeding I didn't want to tell my family what was wrong. Eventually the truth came out, I left that school, and promised to pay the $6,000 of tuition my mom spent that I wasted.
I found a better paying job and explored my options for a while, knowing I needed to turn things around. I came across certifications and programs online that would make my longer work hours still maintainable. I started to think about creating my own business and what type of business I would like to run.
I knew from retail that I like to work one on one with people and have an extended relationship with customers. As I thought I realized an interest in wedding planning and knew I had the organizational skills for it. After some thought, I jumped into it. So here's my first tip- don't jump too far in. I had all these visions of what my company could be and spent beyond my means in advertising and set up, when it wasn't necessary. If you're in my position, you're young, take it slow.
Jumping off of my last point, don't let anyone bring you down because of your age or experience. Just three months after starting up, I decided to participate in the NJ Bridal & Wedding Expo. I wasn't nearly as large or well-known as the other companies, but I got some unexpected compliments. Visitors mentioned the homemade, small business feel they received from my booth and how they liked my authenticity.
I'll finish off for this post by saying that only four months into business, after making some mistakes, having trouble finding my way, and being up from eight in the morning till two the next, I'm starting to gain popularity. I still get compliments on how great it is that I'm so young and driven, and clients are truly starting to give me a chance.
If you're in the same position, follow my posts for more specific topics to come. Thanks for reading!