“The earlier you start, the more time you have to mess up.”
“Wow, this is exactly what I said last Tuesday while talking with an app developer.”, I thought in my head.
As I was looking through famous quotes from young entrepreneurs I ran into this one which really correlated with me. Emil Motycka started mowing lawns like any other kid has done growing up until he decided to release his inner entrepreneurial spirit.
- At the mere age of 13, he took out his first loan: $8000 to purchase a commercial lawn mower.
- At 14, he purchased a truck.
- At 18, he went on to make six figures during the summer.
- At a young age of 26 now, he is hustling within his company Motycka Enterprises.
- (More about Emil)
So why have I told you about him? Because Emil and I have similar experiences other than I am only fifteen years old. I know you might be thinking now, “Why am I reading an article written by a fifteen-year-old?! There is no way he has any experience?!”. Unfortunately, I get this a lot over the internet, as well as in person. Many people automatically assume that anyone who isn’t considered an “adult” is not capable of achieving success but the truth is that entrepreneurs do not have an age limit. Anybody can be an entrepreneur!
Who am I?
I am Tanner Planes, a fifteen-year-old entrepreneur. I was never really interested in business until, at the age of 13, I met a successful entrepreneur by the name of Troy Knauss. Troy and my dad were partners on a few start-ups. He showed me the opportunities that were available to entrepreneurs that are willing to put in the effort. Over the next year, I studied entrepreneurship, mostly online, and learned a lot.
Vine: 7 Second Videos
With the knowledge, I had attained previously I was able to create a huge social media domain. It all started on the social media app “Vine” that is now super low on the charts. The app was released early 2013 and as soon as I got it I fell in love. I thought It was amazing, basically Instagram but only short videos. I always saw people on vine that were super popular and I always aspired to have a large following.
Building an Audience
After about two months of using vine for personal use I made a themed page called “Epic”. It’s a super hard process to explain of what I did to create the videos so I’m not even going to go there. Anyways.. I consistently posted videos just waiting for one to go viral so I could finally feel that accomplishment. After probably posting around 30 vines one of them got 100 likes!!! Yeah, I know.. 100 likes nothing special. It wasn’t special until that number kept going up every day until finally, one of my vines went viral and got over 150,000 likes. I thought it was crazy for so many people to watch a stupid little 7-second video. My account gained around 10,000 followers from that one video, and after that, I just remember I started networking with people doing the same thing as me. We would help each other out by sharing our posts and eventually my group and I went big. We all had accounts with over 100,000 followers.
It didn’t really feel like much, to be honest, we always wanted more. I never made any money really, except for when a guy with over 1m followers would pay me $10 to promote his ad. I thought it was big bucks making 30 bucks a day from vine. But I was super wrong. After doing this so many times for this guy I realised he was part of an affiliate program and he was making thousands off of me. As soon as I found that out I wasn’t mad, but ambitious. He made money off of me so what was stopping me from doing the same to someone else? Nothing.
My first $1000
I looked into this affiliate program and saw the offers were super good. Almost $1.00 per app download that I got. So I turned in my tax papers and got on board. I started paying some people and made a profit. I didn’t like paying people so I started doing it on my own to see if the results were the same or better. They were better. So I just kept pushing and pushing until finally, my account died. The activity was terrible and I couldn’t make good money for the time I was putting in.
I sat for a while and heard that marketing on Instagram was so much better. More money, more fun, and better accounts. Sounded like a dream. I started talking to some people with big Instagram accounts to see what the hype was all about. That’s when I met a fellow young entrepreneur by the name of Ashton, who said he’d give me a chance to work on one of his accounts as long as he got a percentage of all profits. Of course, I was fine with it so I sold my vine accounts and got into the Instagram game. It was crazy at first, my hourly could range from $10 to $200 all depending on how good the ads were doing at the time. Then Ashton and I teamed up with a couple other guys and had a social network of 10m+ followers. We would come up with strategies for marketing different companies and apps and could charge up to $100 for an hour post on an account.
After two years of hustling, meeting people around the world, and having fun I decided it was time to branch off and start something new with the knowledge I had attained from my previous ventures. I spent long hours just thinking of ways I could turn my experiences into knowledge that could be used to help young aspiring entrepreneurs.
That’s when I thought of the idea of starting an entrepreneur club at my school, but I wanted it to be more than just a club. I wanted to create an opportunity for every young person who wants to achieve the dream of becoming successful in the business world. It takes time and effort to open a business, and even more to become successful. At my club UCENT we help young people create their own startups with the knowledge and supplies we have to provide. We are constantly looking for future opportunities for our members, as well as for our organisation. We love to get to know our members and help them as much as we possibly can.
My club is going phenomenal and the aspiring entrepreneurs in my group are making great progress on their path to success. As for me, I lead our meetings every week and serve as a tool to their success. I have also been working for a while on a startup that is now in the final stages. I am super excited to launch my first (official) business with my mentor, best friend, and father. For live updates on my life feel free to check me out on Instagram @tannerplanes.
.. and always remember, IT’S HUSTLE TIME!