Tech Wizz-kid: Becoming an entrepreneur is child's play
When you launch a business, so many factors come into play when trying to make it a success. It’s always a balancing act.
I started my own online media business at the age of 12. I have always loved technology and my interest quickly turned into something bigger.
Before I knew it, millions of people were visiting my websites each month and my hobby turned into my job.
At that age I didn’t know anything about running a business. I just kept doing what I loved and the strategy seemed to work.
One question I get asked a lot is: ‘How does my age affect the way people do business with me?’
Age isn’t a factor when it comes to running a business. What’s more important is gaining the respect of your colleagues, clients and peers. Mutual trust and understanding will always take you further.
I’ve worked with a large London-based advertising agency for a few years without actually meeting. We have a great working relationship and at no point does my age come up in conversation.
It wasn’t until they invited me for a meal in London when I replied by saying: ‘Oh by the way, I am only 16.’
It didn’t matter to the team; they thought it was brilliant. It’s never been brought up since.
Starting my business at such a young age has been a massive help - and I believe others could also benefit in this way.
We are the business industry’s next generation and the way we are working is changing. People’s outlook and perceptions evolve, so it’s no wonder that the number of start-ups is increasing.
Sometimes people say to me ‘but you’re so young’; however it doesn’t matter if you are 12 or 70. Age is just a number.
Yes, I started young and followed my passion for technology, but it’s not always that easy for everyone. Whatever your age, it’s a learning process.
Some people probably don’t appreciate the size of my business and what I am doing at age 17, so it can be more difficult to be taken seriously. That is a minority view and most people have been extremely supportive of Wizzed.
Younger people looking to launch a business should embrace and explore their ideas without the worries that arrive with age.
I kept the balance between school studies and developing my business: five years on I’m more focused about growing Wizzed Media and taking advantage of the opportunities that are out there.
Arran’s top tips
- Trust your instincts. I am a big believer in following your gut – if you have a feeling, good or bad, you need to follow that instinct, as it usually will be right
- Google is your friend. I learned how to do most things by watching YouTube videos. No matter what you want to learn, or what skill you need to master, the likelihood is someone has already done something similar, filmed it and stuck it on the internet. Take advantage of this
- Keep thinking. That one big idea you had can’t be it – you can’t stand still. You need to constantly be innovating and pushing yourself to the next level
- Want to learn: Whether you are coming to the end of your career or just starting out everyone should still want to learn, develop their skills and expand their knowledge