Remember when you were younger and you would ask your parents for money to spend on something? Most parents would respond with “I don’t have any money so go figure out a way to make some.” Little did they know, our parents were actually doing us a favor by turning down our request for help.

The children who were fortunate enough to hear this answer usually went out and created some type of entrepreneurial effort or project. This could have been a babysitting service, a lemonade stand, or a lawn-mowing service.  While no one was planning on making millions of dollars from these endeavors, it provided enough income to satisfy the wants/needs of a 12 year old. The skills learned during this process should and could be worth millions of dollars to each of us now. Why aren’t they?

Every child who succeeded or failed with their entrepreneurship saw it only as a part-time activity until they could get a “real” job.  If only they had realized that the most rewarding job (and usually the more lucrative one) was being an entrepreneur.  Moving forward, our youth will need to make entrepreneurship a priority in order to keep the US globally competitive, while also helping to spur the economy and job growth.  They have a great head start on the career field, now we just need to help them to apply their enthusiasm and newfound skills to a larger problem or startup.  Try it while you are young, because once your older, trying anything isn’t so simple anymore!

Here are 5 things young, aspiring entrepreneurs should know:

  1. Follow your passions. Make the service or product in an industry/category that you already find interesting.
  2. Pick a service or product that you can provide for little or no cost. When starting out, you want to focus on making money instead of spending it.
  3. Ask those around you (family, friends, teachers, mentors, etc) for advice on your idea. Ask them if they have any suggestions on how to improve it. They usually have more experience and can provide valuable input.
  4. Do not get discouraged. Whether it is the first day or months down the road, you will face adversity and setbacks. Do not stop trying, merely try to solve the issue that arises. By doing this you will be a stronger individual and more skilled entrepreneur in the future.
  5. Have Fun! Being a young entrepreneur is an exciting time. Whether you are starting a lawn care business or the next great website service, if you enjoy yourself, you will be more successful. Plus nothing is more fun than being successful!

Anthony Pompliano is an entrepreneur, consultant, and professional speaker.  He is an expert on education and youth entrepreneurship.  After his military service and a deployment to Iraq, Pompliano co-founded his first business at the age of 22.  Since then he has consulted numerous young entrepreneurs and spoke extensively on the topic.  He currently focuses on innovative and creative approaches to education issues.  Follow him on Twitter @APompliano or read his blog at anthonypompliano.wordpress.com