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The Young Entrepreneurship Herald: Issue One January 15, 2003

The reading level for this article is Novice

Editor: Rich Battle-Baxter, Rutgers University
Publisher: Ryan P. Allis,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


"There will come a time when big opportunities will be presented to you, and you’ve got to be in a position to take advantage of them."
– Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart Inc. –

  1. A Message From Ryan Allis

  2. The Mistake of Generation Y

  3. Did You Know?

  4. Should I Go to College? The Experience of One Young Entrepreneur

  5. Book Review: Extreme Entrepreneur by Mark Baven

  6. Making $100,000 at Age Seventeen

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Section One: A Message from Ryan Allis

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Welcome to the first issue of The Entrepreneurship Herald. This will be a monthly newsletter and sent via email on the 15 th of each month.

My friend and colleague from Rutgers University, Richard Battle-Baxter, will be developing this newsletter each month. We will include excerpts of pertinent articles from the Young Entrepreneurship Resource Center at http://www.zeromillion.com/young/, contributed articles, interviews with young entrepreneurs and start-up business owners, and reviews of related books. This newsletter will serve the informational needs of entrepreneurs 15-25 years of age or anyone starting out in business.

This issue contains excerpts from two of my recent articles. Links to the full article text follow each. We do encourage submissions of content from any entrepreneur or business owner. Please send article submissions and any comments to Richard at rich@zeromillion.com.

We do encourage you to visit the Young Entrepreneurship Resource Center often and hope you will participate in the young entrepreneur discussion forum at http://www.zeromillion.com/community/.

Thank you for being a subscriber of The Young Entrepreneurship Herald! Please do forward this on to any interested friends.

Warm regards,

Ryan P. Allis, Founder

http://www.zeromillion.com

 

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Section Two: The Mistake of Generation Y

An excerpt from the article by Ryan P. Allis

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One late night about I received an email from a fifteen year old named Greg. This email was very interesting and even a bit scary. Greg was exactly like I had been at fifteen – to the letter.

I originally met Greg through my entrepreneurship discussion forum on www.zeromillion.com. He inquired about the search engine guide that I had written, and was wondering if I could offer him a discounted copy.

Looking for feedback and testimonials, and in consideration he was so young, I sent him a pro bono copy of my guide and just asked him to let me know what he thought. Well, he liked it and sent me an email back the next day. At this point, I began to realize just how much I was like him when I was fifteen. He was into the same persons I had been three years before, and was progressing along the same initial path of web site design and online marketing as I had.

This was Greg’s message:

Ryan,

Right now I am trying to develop a successful website/internet business. I am also always looking to learn more – which is why I own [numerous courses, ebooks, and software]. I also purchased [marketing course]. I am considering going into business, though I am not sure whether to do something like website development, search engine optimization, or something else. I am taking economics and accounting next semester in high school. I am not sure as to whether or not I should attend college. In the likely event that I do, I would probably be interested in something like e-commerce or webpage design.

What are you doing right now? I have several business opportunities that I wish to explore, but I must work them around my full time school schedule. I would be interested in learning more from you.

Sincerely,

Greg

 

P.S. Where are you making your first million? Online? Offline?

I was intrigued and wanted to share with Greg the collective knowledge I had gained over the past years and warn him about one of the perils I ran into. I am surely not omnipotent on the issues I talk of in my reply to Greg, but genuinely hoped I could offer something of value of him, and now to you. Here is what I wrote in my response.

Greg,

All right. Here it goes.

I was exactly like you at 15; very interested in online marketing but with little real experience.

Right before my senior year in high school, I got the chance to put some of my knowledge to work in a company that had a product but no sales to that point. That company has since done $1.5 million in sales. Half of it was that the product was great. The other half was the marketing and business systems I put into place.

In the past two years, and especially since going off to college this past August, however, I have realized there is much more to this world and to this life than web site design, web marketing, and promotion.

Now, I am not sure what type of person you are, and am not sure where your goals, hopes, dreams, and ambitions lie, but if you are like me, and I think you just may be, you’ll want to reach your full potential in life and have lots of opportunities open to you. You might have goals soon like winning the Nobel Prize in Economics, taking a company public, or writing a best-selling book.

Life is a long game and a long process. My mistake was that I was playing for the short term; doing whatever I thought was best to reach that starry eyed goal of making my first million. Problem was, I didn’t realize that if I put some of my business ventures off for a while I would have a much greater opportunity in life.

Now, I ended up all right because I got good grades in high school, am now at a pretty good college, and got some real business experience with a one in a million company that became wildly successful. However, there are many people who greatly limit their lives by spending all their time on the computer or holed-up in their room and I was close to becoming that person. You are not going to make very much money at fifteen. You may work your ass off, and make $30,000 at most. But if you invest the time you have now in learning, volunteering, making friends, reading, and do internships you will in the long run have much greater opportunity and by the time you are 22 have a college degree, much more knowledge and experience, and be able to build a business that makes much more than $30,000 each month.

The key to business is joint ventures. That is the way to really make the money. You can have all the drive and ambition in the world but if you look very young and do not have solid business connections you will be hard pressed to make that million.

Read full text at http://www.zeromillion.com/young/young-entrepreneurs.html

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Section Three: Did You Know?
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  1. Did you know that American women are now starting more businesses than men?
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  2. Did you know that a teenager named, Joshua L. Cowan invented the Electric Flowerpot, which we now know as the Flashlight?

  3. Did you know that small businesses produce 55% of all new innovations?

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Section Four: Should I Go to College?

An excerpt from the article by Ryan P. Allis

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Just a few months ago in April I was sitting on the floor of my living room in Bradenton, Florida with five acceptance letters laid out in front of me. I was wondering both which college was for me and if college was for me.

Let me go back a bit so you can understand how I had come to that April day.

I am fortunate to have been raised in a family that encouraged me to go to college from day one. Until I was about 13 I simply assumed that everyone went to college. I did not know where I would go, but I knew I would go to college one day.

In high school I had gotten pretty good grades and after doing well on my SAT and ACT I was excited as I might have the opportunity to go to a school outside of Florida. I had always been a very independent person and since I had been in Florida for about eight years I wanted to go somewhere different.

My search began in August of 2001. I sat down with a book that reviewed about 500 four-year colleges and started my search first geographically and then by major. I looked at the Northeast, Southeast, and California and focused on schools with good business programs. In the end I came up with an initial list of about twenty colleges. From there I narrowed the list down to about six by learning a bit a more about each one. Later that fall, I sent in an application to each of these six.

In the Spring of 2002 I visited each of these six colleges and got a much better idea about each one. I was able to take two off the list and was put in order the other four. It was down to the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Florida. My choice would depend on the financial aid package I received.

So here is where I began – sitting on the floor in my living room not knowing which college I would attend. Fortunately, a few days later, I received my financials from each school and after discussing things with my parents I settled on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the cost was considerably less than NYU and UPENN and outside the state unlike UF.

So now I knew I would accept my offer of admission from UNC. I was able to relax a bit. However, circumstances gave me a new decision to make. Should I even go to college at all?

Read the full text of this article at http://www.zeromillion.com/young/should-i-go-to-college.html.

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Section Five: Book Review

Extreme Entrepreneur by Mark Baven

By Richard Battle-Baxter

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I picked up Extreme Entrepreneur and just could not put it down.  It’s not a technical book with big words that are hard to understand but rather is a book that elucidates the basic principles of entrepreneurship and chronicles stories of both success and failure.  It sheds light on a variety of business situations and proposes ways on how to deal with them, and how already successful entrepreneurs dealt with them.  What I liked about this book is that it denounces the notion that all of these successful businessmen did it without running into obstacles.  Most of them made mistakes along the way, some of which were detrimental, and others which just needed to be worked out.  Extreme Entrepreneur is the type of book that you can read more than once, and pick up something different from it every time.

I would highly recommend it to any young entrepreneur.

If you have any suggestions for future book reviews, feel free to email me at rich@zeromillion.com and I will promptly answer back.

 

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Section Six: Making $100,000 at Age Seventeen
An excerpt from the article by Ryan P. Allis

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First, let me say, that when I was seventeen I did not make $100,000. However, if I had read this article before August of 2001 I would have.

At that point I was still 16 and just about to turn 17. My web site development company had been featured on the front page of my local newspaper the week before. I had received a call and met with a local business owner who had a product but had not produced any sales to that point. We talked about marketing, and decided that I would work as an independent contractor with the company.

At that point I knew little about contracts or equity, and was content to work for a set hourly wage plus a promise of a quarter for every product sold. Nothing was in writing at that point. So I agreed to the oral terms and came in each day for six or seven hours and got the web site up and marketing systems going. As promised, I was paid the set hourly rate and the owner said he would write the contract up for the commissions sooner or later.

Before long, it was January. Finally, the owner and I worked up a contract. He signed it, as did myself, my parents, and a notary. I was relieved that I had finally gotten something in writing. However, by then the company that started with nothing only five months prior, was doing $35,000 in sales each month. At this point the company only had one employee and these sales were all on one product. It was clear that we had a great product and what I was doing was working tremendously well.

To read complete article visit http://www.zeromillion.com/young/young-entrepreneur.html

 

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This concludes issue one of The Young Entrepreneurship Herald. We’ll see you in February.

 

Comments/Suggestions: Email rich@zeromillion.com
Contribute Content: Email rich@zeromillion.com
Contact Publisher: Email ryan@ryanallis.com.

 

Copyright Ó 2003 Zeromillion.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

"There is only one way to make a great deal of money; and that is in a business of your own." – J. Paul Getty, Former oil tycoon and once the richest man in America —

 


 

This Young Entrepreneurship article was written by Rich Battle-Baxter, Ryan P. Allis on 2/14/2005

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