Taking on Too Many Projects as a Teen Entrepreneur
The world of teen entrepreneurship is interesting. In our everyday lives, we stand out among our classmates and peers. Most of us probably live at least two entirely separate lives. We have our normal, “offline” friends, but then we live in an entirely different world online. Online, we’re all connected to each other in some way or another. When one of us starts a project, we’ll usually draft some of our entrepreneur friends to work on the projects with us. This is a great way for us to get to know each other better and have the opportunity to work with friends. A great group of smart friends is one of the most valuable resources you can have when starting a project or company, especially as a teen. All of this is great, but I think it has gone a bit too far.
As a teen entrepreneur, it’s really hard to say no to all the opportunities we come across in life. In our minds, saying no means giving up on yet another possibility to become the next Facebook, Google, or Apple. We seem to have this idea that we need to do as many things as possible to increase our likelihood of succeeding. Teens are creative and filled with great ideas. Many teens, like me, come up with new ideas on a daily basis.
When I first got started a few years ago, I would do something, learn from it, and then move on. I would do this over and over. And in the beginning, this was a good thing. In order to learn quickly, I needed to experiment with lots of different things and I didn’t care about making something that would last. This worked great for learning, but once I actually wanted to start a project and turn it into something incredible, I needed to learn how to focus and make tradeoffs.
I have so many opportunities to work with friends on their projects and it would be so easy to say yes. I used to think it was cool to have as many projects on my resumé as possible. But recently, I’ve realized that I was wrong. It’s better to do a few projects really well than to be involved with everything but do nothing really well. Additionally, when I would start my own projects, I would have a lot of enthusiasm at first but then I would be tempted to move onto new ideas that I considered better.
Moving forward, I’m only going to work on one or two projects at a time and try hard to stay focused. Other teens should do the same!
I think teens should stop hiring their friends for jobs that otherwise wouldn’t have existed. I can’t count the number of times that teens create a group of their close friends and then make up jobs for them to do. This is a horrible idea! Especially because most of these teens already have projects that they are working on themselves. This is exactly where the problem of teens having too many projects begins. Having friends to talk to and share ideas with is great, but you don’t have to be working on the same projects to do so. In fact, I think it’s better when your both doing your own thing. In my experience, when you have to many people working on a project, you get way too distracted in dealing the “business” stuff and have very little time left to actually get work done.
I think teens should each choose one project to focus most of their attention on and do it well. If there is something that their friend legitimately needs their help on, than they can do a few more projects. But, for the most part, focusing on one thing at a time is a lesson that every teen entrepreneur needs to learn. Some of us have learned this already, and others will soon realize it.
What I’d like to see more of in the teen entrepreneurship community is advisors. There are so many of us with fantastic ideas. While we shouldn’t be working on too many projects, being an advisor to a friends company is a great opportunity to share knowledge and experience with each other. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll see more teens helping each other out and less unnecessary job titles and random projects that distract us from our overall goal—success (and happiness).
Do you agree?