BY TYLER STREGE
Success in high school seems almost impossible to many people because we’re taught that we need a high school education, college, job experience, etc. before we can ever reach a career that will make us a living wage. Through determination and motivation, one may be able to start their journey to success early. I proved it could be done with my company, Cotton Skate Company.
Initially, we had no idea that our love for skateboarding would become a business that was actually viable. On June 16th 2015, we created and posted our first video on YouTube. To begin our journey to success we started posting videos weekly just as a way of introducing ourselves to a wider audience than just locals. Initially, we weren’t reaching our goals with views, but as we began to follow our schedule, we started getting recognized.
Tony and I posted the hyperlinks on Instagram, Facebook, and just about anywhere else we could. In a spur of the moment decision, I created a Facebook page for the company to try to reach out to more than just my friends on my personal account. To almost everyone’s surprise, it actually worked. Within the first night, we were able to reach over 100 likes from friends, family, and random people who had seen our videos on YouTube. The influx in viewers was amazing.
After watching Tai Lopez videos on YouTube for hours on end, I decided that opening a shop may be a good direction to go for my future. As a result of this I put pencil to paper and drew up some designs to put on the shirts. Within four hours I had an online shop and started to build our credibility.
For a short time, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I thought I was just building a website and starting something that’d be fun to get into. I soon realized that I had began something that I would grow to love more than anything else. Money wasn’t the driving force, but the income was substantially appreciated. Of course it wasn’t enough to get my own Lamborghini and drive it around in the Hollywood Hills, but it was a decent amount for a 15-year-old to have.
After about ten months of working every single day to stay relevant and getting in contact with hundreds of people, we finally struck oil with a small local business in Colorado called All Day Denver Decks. They agreed to partner together and start working side by side with us. We made a joint design within the first week and we began putting it on our product, which in turn caused All Day Denver Decks to put our product on their shelves.
Now, am I saying that you are guaranteed the same success? Yes and no. People who are willing to dedicate hours on end to one purpose are the kind of people who are guaranteed success. But those who pick something up, try it out and put it down two minutes later will be wasting their time.
Let me make this clear though: Do not commit to anything in a hope to just make money. You must find something that you love and that you will be willing to put hundreds of hours into. The reason being, if you don’t make money, at least you spent that time doing something you love rather than wasting your time doing something you don’t enjoy.
Running a company effectively takes a lot of time to learn. I would recommend you learn how to do so before jumping in with both feet, but you can get your feet wet through simply starting local.
This is not limited to skating or clothes, but can actually be applied to just about anything if you can successfully market yourself. Marketing is something I taught myself, but there are many opportunities available if we know where to look. At Papio South, there are multiple marketing classes that you can sign up for and learn everything you need to know. For those seniors graduating, you have an even broader spectrum of options to choose from.
What am I getting at? I’m telling you that there is never a time too early to start! With the tools we have access to, anybody can start to make some money without a small loan of a million dollars.