BECOME A YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR! – JACK MANNING

ENTREPRENEURSHIPS!

Why manage on pocket money alone when you can make money by being a teenage businessman? OK not every boy is going to be able to achieve this goal but for those who do the results can be quite interesting. BOYSTUFF MAGAZINE asked one such lad to reveal how he managed to make a success of a business idea….

Name: Jack Manning

Year of birth: 1999

Month of birth: March

Place of birth: Dublin, Ireland

Favourite colour: Yellow

Favourite food: Steak and chips

So you are a successful teenage entrepreneur? Describe in great detail exactly how you managed to get to where you are today?

I wouldn’t go as far saying successful yet! I’ve only really been in the business a year now so I have still a lot to learn and a lot to do before I think I could be called a success! I managed to get to where I am today by being exposed to positive and supportive people. These people would include my friends, family and mentors. It is very difficult to guide your own ship all by yourself so I think it is so important to try to listen to other people and hear their perspectives. That’s why it is so important to build your network early on.

I like the advantages of being your own boss. You’re not a slave to anyone else and you can do what you choose. I remember having a summer job just for a few weeks a few years ago and I can remember thinking “How does anyone do this for so long?”. It can often give you financial independence and more control over your own life. This is one of the main reasons why I love entrepreneurship so much. I also love it because of the varying tasks and goals. You are never just doing one thing and most importantly you’re not limited to one specific field such as careers in medicine, law or teaching. Find your passion, get good at it and work as hard as you can and you will succeed. I try to follow this as much as possible.

I have always been into business but I don’t think I fully realised it until last year. I always considered myself to be a bit of a computer nerd so I should probably do computer science or electronic engineering but after Transition year (a school year in second level education in Ireland where students get to focus on other aspects of life and hobbies instead of academics) it made me realise I truly had a passion for business but in particular tech startups.

I don’t think anyone reaches the top unless they are willing to work hard and sacrifice things. You must really be dedicated to your business and spend time with it. Anyone can set up a business but most fail. Working hard and sacrificing will reduce failure rates. Another major thing is having a good team. Your team should be full of people with different skill sets just like a football team. A team with 11 world class goalkeepers isn’t any good! Anyway, you get the idea.

I set up JC-Learn with my two friends after we sat our Junior Certificate (an Irish exam) and received 30 A’s. I wanted to create a membership based website which provided me with a residual income and something I could continue during my leaving cert (another school exam which decides entrance to University). So that is why we choose a web based business as we can work on it remotely and we don’t have to be physically present at certain times. It has really worked better than we expected with over a few thousand users and we are now working on the Leaving Cert version. We all learnt a lot especially about e-commerce and online marketing so I then set up my latest venture http://Tech4Go.com  which is an e-commerce store selling Pokemon Go accessories. For both ventures, we were lucky to have good business mentors who could guide us along the way and give us their tips.

Can you reveal in generic terms how much money any other boy who might be considering becoming as successful as yourself might earn?

I think for any boy looking to make a few quid on his own is already on very good footing. It shows initiative and it shows that you just don’t want to be handed everything by your parents. So you are already pretty much half way there. I think you need to have a great deal of confidence and self-belief to even decide that so the next thing is the idea. A lot of studies have shown that the idea won’t be the main contribution to success in a business so a decent idea with very good execution and timing will be good enough. So don’t worry about the idea a whole bunch. Google “Teen business ideas” and that should provide a start!

The amount of money you get out is probably quite proportional to the amount of effort and work you put in. Obviously, there is always going to be a luck factor but for small businesses, if you’re smart and research well you can certainly make a good bit more than your current pocket money. I also would say that setting up a business just for the money is a bad thing. You should do it because you love it and are passionate about your idea and team. As much as you like to think its money isn’t the most powerful motivator. Most great companies aren’t set up just to make a profit but to make a change as well.

Setting up your own business also has its own bonuses besides from the money. You get way more experience instead of working in say a shop for example and it sounds fantastic on any CV or resume. You also learn real life skills applicable in many different fields such as budgeting, branding, customer feedback!

What advice would you give to any other boy who would like to be a successful entrepreneur?

A. I have three main pieces of advice. Work hard, build a great team and always make a well-researched plan. Doing this can avoid unnecessary loss of capital and wasted time so always do these three things! If anyone ever wants to ask for advice or just say Hi then can get me on jackmanning@jclearn.ie or @jack_manning99 on twitter.