LNC 22 | Teen Entrepreneur

 

Entrepreneurship success knows no age. Jack Rosenthal proved that statement to be true when he embraced the life of a teen entrepreneur by becoming a 17-year-old digital marketer and social media advertiser. Joining John Solleder, he breaks down his secrets of delving into the world of entrepreneurship even at a young age thanks to the inspiration of his father. Jack enumerates some essential tips when investing as a young adult, approaching sole proprietorship the right way, and harnessing the power of the internet through digital marketing. He also shares his experiences as the founder of Young Investors Club, where he guided fellow young entrepreneurs in finding the most rewarding financial opportunities for them.

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Jack Rosenthal “Teen Entrepreneur and Mentor of Tomorrow’s Leaders”

It is my pleasure to introduce a young man that is doing some incredible and astounding things at a very young age. Most of the people I interview are in the 40s, 50s and 60s. I did interview somebody who was 24 and one 32. A lot of times, it’s folks who are much older. What you are doing is amazing. I am proud of what you are doing as we get to know each other. What you are doing is needed. Let me introduce you formally. This is Jack Rosenthal. Jack is the Founder of YoungInvestorsClub.org. He is the author of Teen Investing, which is the number two best-selling book in the teenage investing area on Amazon. He is doing some great stuff. He is speaking to us from his college dorm. He is setting the world on fire. Jack, my first question to you is, what is it like to be a young entrepreneur and investor?

LNC 22 | Teen Entrepreneur

Teen Investing: The Ultimate Guide to Teenage Investing

First of all, thank you for having me on, John. I’m happy to be here to talk with your audience and getting to share my story. I get you. A lot of the time, you interview 40-year-olds and 50-year-olds. It’s exciting to bring some new perspective to your audience. Hopefully, we can give them some value and some perspective from an eighteen-year-old world. One more quick thing I wanted to mention is the latest book I wrote is Teen Entrepreneurship. It’s all about how you can go about becoming a teenage entrepreneur. It’s also an Amazon under Jack Rosenthal.

Getting into my story, what’s it like to be an eighteen-year-old entrepreneur? To be honest, it was a lot harder being a seventeen-year-old entrepreneur. When I was seventeen, I was in high school. College is a little bit different than high school. In high school, you have to be there seven hours every single day and you have to be in that building. You can’t be outside of it. It’s a lot more difficult running a business, investments, responding back and forth with email, taking phone calls and doing all that from a high school building. I would respond to your answer by saying it was easier being a seventeen-year-old entrepreneur and an investor than it was being an eighteen-year-old investor.

Are your mom or dad entrepreneurs?

My dad is an entrepreneur. He is a finance guy. It’s the same story I always share. I have a little brother, too and all he wants to do is play football and I am the exact opposite. I don’t care as much about sports. I play sports here and there. I play some tennis. Mostly, my sport is entrepreneurship. We were both raised in the same household by the same dad who is an entrepreneur but only one of us had a passion for it at a young age and the other one had his own passion, which is great. My dad runs a successful finance-related investment company. Everything that I have done in entrepreneurship is more or less unrelated to that. When I was at a young age, I was going to his office watching what he did and how he was as a leader. Watching how he created a company inspired me to want to do the same thing.

What are you investing in? What are the hot trends? Where is the market going?

We can’t go to the hot trends without mentioning cryptocurrency. That would be naive of us. That is my investment. I put $5,000 into Ethereum, which turned into a little over $7,000 in two weeks. I was happy with that investment. That was probably my hot tech-related investment of the two cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin versus Ethereum. I’m not a huge crypto guy. I don’t pretend like I’m one of these people that thinks crypto is going to be the only card that you draw. I’m not crazy like that at all. I saw some opportunity to make some money. Of the two investments, Bitcoin versus Etherium, Ethereum is a much stronger investment so I decided to make a small investment in that.

A business can change so much that your first plan may be rendered useless. Click To Tweet

In your book, Teen Entrepreneurship, let’s talk about that a little bit. I started as an entrepreneur at 21. I was in college when I started, which was late compared to you. I wish that there had been a Jack Rosenthal out there to go through the weeds for me and lead me through the process but there wasn’t. It may have been for that matter. Back then, we didn’t have the Amazons and everything else readily written information that we could get our hands-on. Tell us about Teen Entrepreneurship, the book and people can get their hands on it and most importantly, how they can apply some of the principles.

I will go into some different versions of things I talked about in the book. I have been an entrepreneur since I was six years old. My first business, the website was CoolPaperPlanes.com, which still exists. It had over 50,000 people visit the website because we got a great domain name. Back then, when I was six years old, we were able to get Cool Paper Planes, which probably would be much more difficult to get now. When I was young enough, the internet was still being developed. That was my first business.

I sold paper airplanes over the internet for $1 each. It was ancient back then. You couldn’t even attach a credit card to the website. People would mail in $1 and we would mail them out a paper plane. We sold 70 orders so I made $70 doing that when I was six, which was exciting to me. It all came in over the internet. I have been an entrepreneur ever since then. I’ve done a lot of bigger projects. When I was eight, I did some peer-to-peer lending online. I used a website called Prosper, and this is where my dad made me a $1,000 loan. I lent it out to other people on this peer-to-peer lending website at a 7% interest rate. I borrowed 1%, which is what the bank was paying back then and I lent it out at 7%. I kept the spread with that. We did the same thing for $5,000. The same thing, I paid him back 1% interest rate and kept the spread there.

When I was fourteen, I started the Young Investors Club, which is the beginning. It’s one of, if not the largest teen investing clubs in the country with close to 100 members and over $120,000 in collective assets with the club managers. I started that when I was fourteen years old. I started with one member, it was me. I kept growing and building that, sending out hundreds of emails, taking dozens of phone calls, going back and forth, coordinating and building out a team to help me manage that. I kept growing that throughout high school. I grew to one of the largest in the country.

When I was a senior in high school and was my last year of high school, I decided that I was done with the club. I wanted to pass it on to the younger generation so that there would always be younger high school running the club. I decided that as a leaving away present, I would leave the club with this book that I have written with all my investing tips. This starts with the Teen Investing book, the first book I wrote. I left them with all of my investing principles, what we have done throughout the whole four years of running the club, our best investments, our worst investments, what we learned from the worst investments, general portfolio strategies, general principles of investing. I compiled all of that on a book and sent it out to everyone who was a member of the club.

I realized, “All these principles are also relevant to any young investor.” I published it on Amazon. I had a ton of great success with that book. To my surprise, I didn’t realize there was such a strong market for teen investing out there. Quickly, it rose to become the top. Now, it’s the number two teen investing book. The number one is written by Motley Fool, the giant website. If they are pushing and promoting the number one book, having the number two is pretty good.

I wrote that book, Teen Investing, and then I wrote my other book, Teen Entrepreneurship, which goes over all of what I’ve learned throughout running various businesses. There are a ton more that I’ve run that I didn’t mention. It’s all of the lessons I’ve learned from there. What is probably the most valuable key principles, I’ll even share a couple with you to get your thoughts on some of them that any teenage entrepreneur should do. I purposely made them controversial. I could go down the path of the vanilla of saying, “Here are the basics, the things everyone knows already but just put in a book.”

I decided to go with some controversial ones. Here are some of them. Number two, don’t create a business plan. I’m curious what you’ll think of that. Number three, business is a people game more than a products and services game. I would be curious to know your thoughts on those two. I can only speak what works for me. I found that throughout my whole life perspective in business so far, anytime I have ever created a business plan, the business has changed so much since then. The first plan you start off with, you might as well throw it out because it’s useless. Number two, the people game, I found that the relationships I made in business are what has brought me value and money at the end of the day, much more so than coming up with any great ideas or being great at a particular service.

It’s interesting because I’ve got over 40 years of entrepreneurship on my own in working and consulting with several billionaires on their businesses. You need an idea of what is the business going to do and what do you want it to do. At the end of the day, a business is to make a profit. It’s not a charity. At the same time, how do you get from point A to point B? To your point, I agree 100%. You could write a business plan all day. You can pay all sorts of Harvard MBAs to come and pay them tens of thousands of dollars to construct one.

LNC 22 | Teen Entrepreneur

Teen Entrepreneur: The relationships built in business bring more value and money at the end of the day than coming up with any great idea or being great at a particular service.

 

I haven’t seen one yet that looks the same as it morphs. Having an idea, “We are going to sell product A or service A.” That is what we are taking to the marketplace. From there, everything morphs. I haven’t seen one yet that never panned out. I know people who have spent a lot of money developing business plans that never look the same. To your point, a business is an organism, which means it changes sometimes, daily, hourly, by the minute, by the month or by the year depending on the nature of the business.

Secondly, you are right. You invest in people. There are people in this world that know what they are doing and that doesn’t mean that you always invest in them and you get the result that you want. 9 times out of 10, you’ll get their nose bloodied before in a certain space. They are not guessing at it as they go into it. Some of the investments I’ve made over the years are with experienced and seasoned people. I can give one that didn’t work. I won’t name the brand because you may or may not know it. People in the Northeast, you probably want to take the truth. It’s out of Boston.

Having said that, it was an experienced guy who was part of a huge IPO back in the early ‘90s. He had been extremely successful in the particular franchising model that he had. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I would make the same investment now based on the pedigree of the guy running the business. Maybe this is a bad analogy but if you go to the horse track and you know a jockey has won the Kentucky Derby and has been extremely successful, you got an idea that the guy probably knows how to ride a horse pretty well. There might be other horses in the race that have better odds but I’m going to bet on a jockey that I know has been to the finish line a few times. Most of the time, that has worked out well and sometimes it doesn’t or it does in my experience over the years.

Experience beats everything. Click To Tweet

There is a quote, “Experience beats everything.” I couldn’t find that to be true more often. When someone is experienced, they have been through all the hurdles already. The things that you don’t even know that you’re supposed to know, they have been through them. Those are some of the key principles I talked about in the book. Going back to the book, knowing those principles early on is like going through all the mistakes. With everything that I made, there were mistakes in the beginning like you made a mistake with that one guy. All the mistakes that I made, I know. I have already made tons of mistakes before. I had some successes too but a lot of mistakes.

Reading the book and learning like, “Here is everything you shouldn’t do as a teen entrepreneur.” It will help you figure out what you should do. It will help you figure out how to fast-track your success. If you had a Jack Rosenthal you are listening to when you were younger, you would be hopefully even more successful than you are now. The same with me. If I had someone who is an eighteen-year-old and who has already been through all the hurdles and the mud, I could quickly read this book of theirs. I would get their perspective on what they should and how they should go about running a team business or teen entrepreneurship. It would be immensely helpful. Those principles and much more as well as my own story and a whole bunch of business I have been involved in is the goal. The goal is to help teach and then form other young entrepreneurs who are looking to get started and fast-track their success so they don’t make some of the same mistakes I did.

Let me ask you this, Jack. Your dad has been a mentor to you. Who else do you look up to, be it in the investment world or the business world? Who are some of your mentors?

Would you say people that I know or people I don’t know?

If you know them from a distance or intimately, that’s great as well.

People I already know would be Warren Buffett. He is someone I looked up to. I like Charlie Munger. He is great. I like the Koch brothers. I read their book. Their business principles and their management principles are amazing. Using some of those when I get older will hopefully be valuable. I like Jack Welch. These are all the guys whose books I have read. They have taught me from a distance. I haven’t got to meet them.

One local guy, someone that I know is a successful real estate developer in my town, an old Italian guy. I have been working with him and hanging out with him ever since I was fourteen or something like that. I would do a tour around construction sites with him when I was younger. He would always be there teaching me. He took me under his wing when I was a lot younger. He taught me a ton about the real estate business.

He also taught me a ton about business in general, the way I would watch him negotiate with contractors and watch him deal up legal contracts. I’m watching all these people when they made mistakes and everything. It was this young fourteen, fifteen-year-old kid standing there behind him and watching. He built up an impressive real estate portfolio in my town. He started from very little. I am getting the chance to learn from him and talk with him. Now that I’m a little bit older, we’re like friends. I can call him up anytime I want. If I want advice or something, he’s always there for me. He has been a mentor of mine and I’m grateful to have him in my life.

It’s funny that you say that because there was an older Italian guy that was one of my mentors. I went to Seton Hall, not too far from Tarrytown in New Jersey, Class of ‘83. It was a long time ago. It was funny because my father was an electrician by trade.

He started as an electrician.

Electricians are great people. There was an older man who owned the contracting company that I would work for during the summer that my father worked for. His son and I became friends. His son had gone to Seton Hall or St. Peter’s in Jersey City. He said, “Why don’t you come home for dinner one night and meet my grandfather?” I said, “Great.” The guy had to be 90 years old. He was sitting in his shop and he was separating all the stuff that would come back from the job sites that day, the wingnuts and various things that the electricians would use during the day and he was putting them in coffee cans.

I said to his grandson, “Why is he doing that?” He said, “Why don’t you ask him?” I did and he simply answered, “If you take care of the nickels and dimes, the dollars will take care of themselves.” I never forgot that lesson. He owned a bank, by the way. He is an occasional electrical Contractor. I said, “That was a good lesson. Take care of those pennies, nickels, and dimes. The dollar bills, you’ll take care of as well.” It was great advice.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the club itself. What you are doing is you are providing a necessary thing at a period of time where young people need direction maybe more than ever coming out of this pandemic and everything else. There are many young people with immense talent. They know how to launch the space shuttle on their iPhone but they are saying, “What the heck am I going to do with my life?” That 40 years and a gold watch haven’t existed in a long time before the pandemic.

A lot of them are looking and saying, “I go to work and I do whatever. I built a business, a company and a sales organization,” as I have done over these many years. Whatever they choose to do. They say, “I have no idea once I pay my taxes, mortgage, rent, car payment, and all the other stuff I got to pay. I have got this discretionary 10% of my income that I need to invest.” They come to you and trip across your site and they say, “What do I do with it?” How do they get involved?

LNC 22 | Teen Entrepreneur

Teen Entrepreneur: Those who start e-commerce stores can earn as much revenue as their physical counterparts.

 

The best path would be is to open up your investment account. The club is a great way to invest alongside other teenagers. Even from the club members, a lot of them, most of their money is invested in their outside account. They take a lot that they learn from the club but then they use those principles to invest in their stock market portfolio. This is a great example and I always say my first book, Teen Investing.

In case you are unclear, I wrote two books, Teen Investing, which has become the best seller and best in the teen category. Also, Teen Entrepreneurship, which is my book on entrepreneurship. In the Teen Investing book, what I talk about is you need to bank your first $5,000. I’ve got a ton of criticism for this, “Jack, it’s too much money. You can’t expect teenagers to have that.” The truth is if you work hard during the summers and you even work at a $10, $15 an hour job, you have the will and the want, there are plenty of places that are hiring teenagers, caddies, local shops, to start your own business. Even if you are making a few $100 a month, you can quickly get to $5,000. It’s not a difficult thing, especially in four years of high school and even if you start in middle school too.

The first thing you should do before you even worry about investing is you shouldn’t try to invest $100. There is no point in doing it. You are going to make $5, $8 a year on that, which is not going to get anybody, even a teenager excited. $5,000 is enough to start and the profits from investing that will get you excited. They can contribute to you in a meaningful manner. Your first step is you have to bank $5,000 or more.

The second thing I would do for any teenager out there is open up a trading account. I use Fidelity but it doesn’t matter whatever one you want to use. I would caution possibly against using Robinhood. Traditionally, they charge a little higher fees than most platforms. I saw that the way that they make money is if you are buying a stock for $140.10 a share, it costs $140 a share but they are selling it to you for that margin and they are making difference on that. You are paying a little bit more using services like that. They are user-friendly but over the long run, you are losing out.

Start to invest at a young age to save up money even if you are earning around a few hundred bucks per month. Click To Tweet

Open up a classic trading account. If you are under eighteen, use a parent to set up a custodial account. Set up your portfolio and then you have to decide if you want to go 1 of 2 ways. You can be an active investor and find a handful of stocks, $5,000 at the max. If you have $5,000 that you care about and you think they are going to have long-term success. I always say that if you are younger, look for companies that you think are going to be the most likely to be around in 20 or 30 years. Those companies will almost always do well.

Amazon is a giant one and I know it’s a classic A chip stock. Even though it’s an A chip stock, a lot of people think it’s overvalued. Amazon is one of the few companies that if I had to bet, that company is going to be here. They dominate internet eCommerce and Cloud as well, which are two expanding industries. You could see that getting bigger over the next 30 years. That’s one company, for example. You need to find five different companies that you believe will be around for 30 years. Put your money in those and leave it.

If you want to be a passive investor, put your money on the S&P 500, which has done returns of 8% to 10% a year. Leave it there for 50 years and in 50 years from now, take out the money and you will be happy in retirement. Also, keep adding money as you make income. Keep contributing to the investment account. In five seconds, that is my game plan for any young adult interested in getting involved in investing.

I love it because it’s consistent with what Warren Buffett would say and the same type of thing. Being somewhat contrary and but liking those blue chips. I agree for all it’s worth as well. Jack, you have been doing this for a while. You know your stuff. Needless to say, you’re a smart guy. What has been your biggest bad guess so far? On the back end, what has been your biggest good guess so far in terms of investing?

I always like to start with the bad first. It’s opportunities where I missed out. Those have cost me more than opportunities where I lost a little bit in the short run. It’s painful to speak about these. Shopify, I bought five shares of it at $100 a share. This was when I was younger. That money meant more to me. That would have been even more to me then. Now, Shopify is worth $1,000 a share. I would have made $4,500 in profit. It’d because I was an idiot and I was getting worried, I bought it for $100 and I sold it for $96. If I waited a year and a half, I could have ten times my money. I was angry about that.

I saw that Shopify was a great platform. I was a user of theirs at the time and I’m like, “This is a great infrastructure. I could see this company being worth a lot more money than they are worth now.” That’s my biggest opportunity that I missed out. One of the successes has been from the Young Investors Club. We invested in some lead stock. We put some money in it and we doubled it in a month. That was our most successful investment for the Young Investors Club. There you go, 1 and 1 win for you.

All I can say is age has nothing to do with investments. I’m thinking of some of the things I have done similar to where I panicked. It goes up a little bit and it’s like, “Take the profit.” On the next day, you go, “It went up again.” There are other times where you hold it and you go, “It tanked.” I’m with you. Everybody who is going to read this has a few of both, the good and the bad. The nice thing is, at eighteen, you’ve got plenty of time to make a few mistakes here and there.

Let’s stay at the club and about some of the people. Are they mostly kids that have an interest in money, investing, entrepreneurship, the market and all that sort of thing? Let’s talk about the kid who knows nothing. The kid where mom and dad are not business people. Mom and dad have traditional jobs. There is nothing wrong with that. Good hard workers. Investing isn’t talked about at home, for example.

All of a sudden, the kid hears from a friend about Bitcoin and some of these different things. They get excited and they come to the club. What happens? Not necessarily the process. They know the process already. They need to go to the site and sign up, needless to say. How do you get them from you knowing nothing to knowing enough to say, “I want to do this? Let me get $1,500 to invest, whether it’s through work, borrowing from grandparents or whatever it happens to be.” Tell us some of those stories because that’s interesting.

That is useful. There is a kid that bought my book that is in a similar situation at the end of my book, Teen Investing. It’s on Amazon. You’ve got to keep reminding people.

I got four of them. I have responded to the whole call about going through books.

Teen Investing, Jack Rosenthal, on Amazon. One kid bought that book. I gave my email at the end of the book. It’s like, “For anybody who wants to write me, here is my email.” One kid wrote in. He is in a similar situation, a blue-collar family. Both of his parents have typical jobs. He was like, “How can I get involved in investing?” Those kids will be quieter at first. They will listen to the more experienced kids. When I started the club, I have always been the first educator of the group, it trickled down and some kids came in with some more knowledge. They have learned from me and research articles. They become educators as well.

On the first couple of quarterly calls, they listened to, learning, picking up ideas from others, doing some research in the backend, following the news and following what our investment portfolio is. On the 2nd or 3rd call, they will bring some ideas to the group and be like, “We should do this. We should consider selling this position.” Whatever the case may be. They will learn from others with experience in the beginning. Once they feel more comfortable, they will make some contributions to the group.

I don’t run that group anymore. That is now run by Warren. As I said in the beginning, I pass down the group to someone else. I always want it to be run by a high schooler. This one kid was always active in the group. He is one of those more experienced people. I said, “I’m leaving for college now. I love it for someone as passionate as me to run the club.” He gladly accepted and now he runs the club. I’m not involved with the club anymore. It’s something cool that I built and it’s a great legacy. It still runs without me, which is cool. That’s what happens with kids like that for the time that I was there.

Let’s talk a little bit about entrepreneurship because that is where you are. One of the benefits that I see with what you are doing and what motivates somebody, whether they are 15 or 50, is there’s this thing out there called the markets that I can invest in and get a much better return than I am sticking my money in the bank. The CD rates in most banks are less than 0.005% so why bother? Might as well leave your money in cash.

Having said that, when they come to the realization that there are all these investment opportunities out there and then they go out they say, “How am I going to make the money?” They get motivated to start a business, whether it’s something from cutting lawns if they are young or shoveling snow if you are in a place with snow to starting all sorts of businesses. I love your comment on this because you’ve lived this. I’m guessing at this. What this is doing is it spurned on a lot of young people to go out, become entrepreneurs, start businesses as sole proprietorships at first and then grow them from there. I love your thoughts on that.

I’ve got the chance to see a lot more young entrepreneurs than most people, either kids that I’ve got in touch with online. Kids that are way more successful than me. There are some kids online that have made million-plus dollars before the age of nineteen which is incredible to me. I’ve got the chance to see those kids as they were growing up. I know kids that are like where I am and then blow in all sorts of ranges. I have seen a ton of different young entrepreneurs.

Back in your day, I’m pretty sure there are not as many young entrepreneurs as there are now. One of the biggest contributing factors is the internet. The internet has bred a new generation of entrepreneurs. In the olden days, you had to have a physical shop if you wanted to sell anything. Whereas now, you can start an eCommerce store. You see people doing as much revenue out of an eCommerce store as they would in a shop. Some people that run those eCommerce stores are in fact teenagers and young people because they can. They are oftentimes much more experienced in running those online stores. They are more familiar with how to set them up and how to drive traffic to them than an older person. That has driven a lot of young entrepreneurship, the fact that the internet exists.

It’s because of the internet, in addition, but for a different reason, there are a lot more people like me out there and older people online, on YouTube that are educating young people and saying, “Here’s how you start a business.” You can learn how to start a business when you’re 16 or 14 years old off YouTube. You don’t even need to go to college at all between those two different things be it an online education for free on YouTube and other platforms. Also, the internet allowing teenagers to start businesses. Those two have contributed to this whole new generation of young entrepreneurs.

Jack, I watch Shark Tank, which I’m a huge fan of. I’m sure you are too. I have a friend that would fit that blue-collar model 100%. He’s got five kids. He started his own business. He was successful in it, fortunately. He said, “Where did you learn the business?” I said, “I watch Shark Tank. You will get away with the thing.” There was a little boy years ago who made bow ties. Daymond invested in him or one of the guys did.

I know that kid.

I have seen others as well that some of the Sharks have invested in. Let’s stay on that. All of those young people who have started businesses figured it out and most of them are doing reasonably well. They have a Shark with them. They got the mentorship that they need. The normal kid, whatever it is that they are making, selling, manufacturing and building in their garage, whatever it happens to be. What are the three most important steps for them to take early on to establish themselves?

I would say a few things. First off, you’ve got to have some internet presence. You’ve got to give me a specific example because I don’t like going too broad. I find that broad information never helps anyone. Give me a specific scenario.

Let’s say T-shirts. T-shirts are a big deal. They got nice markup with some specialty T-shirts talking about saving, promoting and cleaning up the environment, which is something we all are interested in.

Here’s what you do. One, you create an Etsy shop. It is a great platform. I have seen friends of mine do thousands of dollars in sales on that in a month. It gives you a ton of organic exposure. You don’t even need to pay for ads or anything to drive traffic. They give you a whole bunch of free traffic. It’s the first place I would list, especially if it’s a handmade good, which fits into Etsy’s model. List it on Etsy and put it up there.

Number two is put up as many SKUs as possible. You shouldn’t be selling one environmental T-shirt. You are not scaling a business quickly with one product, especially for this product that is so simple to create. Try and go for 1,000 different types of T-shirts. There is no reason to try and limit yourself to one. Now you are getting the effects of 1,000 different products that are all listed on one platform. Go off-platform. Scale it at eBay and Amazon. Lower profit margins but a great way to keep building your business and keep building your brand.

Number three, the third aspect would be driving revenue with ad dollars, whether you want to promote it with influencers. Find some environmental influencers on Instagram with 20,000 followers minimums. Pay them to give them a shout-out or get them to buy it for free. Have them drive it back to your Instagram page, which promotes your shop store or run some Facebook and paid ads with some cool angle like a 20% off for first-time customers or like, “If you enter this giveaway or something like that. Enter to win a free shirt. Sign up for our email list.” One of those two different offers. That is pretty much how I build the environmental T-shirts.

I’m ready to go. Let’s go. I got some money. That same guy bought a machine to print T-shirts, he’s got the machine that he bought and he says, “What do I do with it?” I said, “Make environmental T-shirts.” Who knows where that was going to go?

That relates to something I was saying. When I say don’t create a business model, what I did there was create a business plan but I didn’t write it down on a piece of paper. I didn’t write it out in a 1,000 Word document. I didn’t make a PowerPoint presentation. I didn’t do anything. I came up with it on my head. It’s about executing. That is where business is involved. It’s not ideation and coming up with a plan. Thomas Edison said, “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.”

You said what I was thinking. In my years of entrepreneurship, I have seen people succeed that have no business succeeding. If you looked in from the outside, you would say, “That guy is not going to make it. He was under-capitalized.” They got that tenacious work ethic where they’ve got that burning desire to succeed. I have watched other people that have all the ability in the world that have failed miserably because they think being self-employed, you get up at 10:00 in the morning and show up when you feel like it. The most important employee in a small business is the owner in my experience. Jack, we are wrapping up here. Let’s make sure we touch on everything. Let’s review the two books.

Go get them on Amazon, search by name, Jack Rosenthal. Teen Investing is my flagship investing book and Teen Entrepreneurship. If you are young teenagers that are interested in young entrepreneurship, get those books. Make me and John happy. Let’s get some sales out of this show. The biggest piece of advice I would say is, this is where the entrepreneurship book comes in. Create a business. Get your first $5,000 in the bank. Build your business. Start getting some income coming in.

Take some of the principles I teach in the book about the foundation and some things from my story of businesses. In the book, I give nine different businesses you can start. That is another piece of valuable information I give entrepreneurs. Take things from the book. Do some research online. Build a business. Once you have some cashflow coming in from that business, start to invest it and use some of the principles from the Teen Investing book to invest some of the cash you have made. Start building up your portfolio so that when you are in John’s age, you have enough money to live in a giant mansion and on an island.

I got the mansion. I don’t have the island. We are thinking about the island next. Jack, before I let you go, you are setting the world on fire. I’m sure your mom and dad are extremely proud of you. I’m proud of you and we are just getting to know each other. I love what you are doing. You are an inspiration to young people at a time where young people need leadership. What’s next? I know you are getting a degree. What are you studying? I could probably guess but what do you study?

LNC 22 | Teen Entrepreneur

Teen Entrepreneur: Once you have some cash flow coming in for your business, start to invest some of it and build up your portfolio.

 

I don’t know exactly. In the short and same with business plans, I only project out too many years ahead because things change quickly. I project some future on Wall Street in my early twenties, right out of college, working there and living there. Being in that whole system would be good for me. That’s probably within the short run or soon.

The other question is up to you with what you want to do on this one. If you don’t want people bugging you, I know you got to school and then you are investing. People are going to want to keep up with you. To me, you are another Michael Dell. He started Dell at the University of Texas, not too far from where I live, as a college kid. Of course, Bill Gates went to college and things didn’t work out and he did okay. There are many others, Mark Cuban and so on. Mark Cuban did go to college. A friend of mine in Pittsburgh, her brother was his college roommate. He borrowed $20 and never paid him back. Her brother wants me to collect it. I don’t know Mark that well so we haven’t been able to do that yet. All that said, if they want to keep up with you, Jack, what’s the best way for them to do that?

One little passion project of mine, a social media channel that I started has been YouTube. YouTube is a great place for you to stay in touch with creators. I have an Instagram too, @StarSocial.Pro, if you want to shoot me a DM there or follow me. Also, my YouTube is a cool channel for young entrepreneurs. It’s a little strange. It’s under a different name. It’s under Jimmy Duke. It’s a little bit funny but I created it when I was seventeen so I didn’t want to put my real name on YouTube. I came up with this fake name and I haven’t got the chance to change it yet. Jimmy Duke is my YouTube channel. If you want to subscribe to me there, go ahead and do that for some cool content. Most importantly, go get my two books, which will help you, Teen Entrepreneurship for when you are starting a business when you are younger and Teen Investing. It’s both on Amazon.

Jack, this has been a pleasure. Leaving Nothing to Chance is the name of the show. We air on Spotify, iTunes, and seven other stations that have picked us up so far. It’s not too bad. We are getting started here. The name of our book is Leave Nothing to Chance, which you can also get on Amazon and Moving Up: 2020 and Beyond, which was Amazon’s bestseller before. Jack, I wrote a book in 2019 and I’m thinking 2020 is going to be this amazing year. It was, which is why it was Moving Up: 2020. We know the way that turned out.

John, I love the name of your show. When I came on here, I knew I had to mention that. That’s one last key thing. Leaving Nothing to Chance is an amazing name for a show. I had to say that.

It’s a long story but it came about partially because of my kids. Partly because of my investment strategy and how I have looked at investments through the years. I won’t bore everybody with it right now. It’s got a story to it like most things do in sales, marketing and entrepreneurship needless to say. It has been my privilege. You are an amazing young man. Once again, we are all proud of you.

Continue doing what you are doing because the world needs entrepreneurial leadership. You are in the next generation of it. You are going to do amazing things in your life. I have no doubt that I’m going to be reading about you in Fortune and Forbes and all sorts of things down the road. Maybe you will even be sitting in one of those chairs, Mark Cuban and some of those other guys are getting up in here. They are going to need some replacements with some young folks with some great strategies. You are going to do some amazing things in your life.

Thank you for having me on.

Thank you.

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About Jack Rosenthal

LNC 22 | Teen EntrepreneurI’m a 17 year old entrepreneur and have been starting and building businesses since the age of 6. Two years ago I entered into the Social Media Marketing world and found the industry was completely overrun with overpriced marketing services that produced little to no results for their clients. From day one I’ve strived to provide exactly the opposite.

We provide all our clients with customized marketing services we know will improve their businesses, such as Social Media Management, Social Media Advertising, Google Marketing, Reputation Management, and Website Design.