As a generation, young entrepreneurs get a fairly bad rap. The millennials and centennials of the bunch are often stereotyped as lazy, entitled, and overly addicted to their smart devices. They often fall victim to a type of reverse ageism, in which they may not be taken seriously due to their youth in age or appearance.
However, there are many young entrepreneurs who have made a positive impact in their chosen career paths, armed with wisdom and work ethic that’s way beyond their years. These are heroes and heroines that broke the mold in their own unique ways to create a positive impact in this world. Thanks to their digital savvy, they successfully managed to nail their personal branding in addition to their initiatives as well.
Here’s a quick look at some young entrepreneurs worth knowing and learning from.
6 Young Entrepreneurs With Amazing Personal Brands | Stephanie Burns
Sarah Snow of Snow Media
Anyone with even the slightest social media presence as undoubtedly come across several Sarah Snow videos over the years. Snow is known for her emotional motivational videos which have gone extremely viral time and time again- to the tune of over 300 million views on Facebook. From forgiveness, to bouncing back after heartbreak, to coping with rejection – her videos resonate with people of all ages, and possess a timeless quality. Her string of successes led to a partnership with superstar motivational podcaster Jay Shetty, and due to popular demand Snow later launched the Sarah Snow Viral Video Academy in which she thoroughly teaches others how to replicate her success.
Lauren Bush of FEED
A former fashion model and designer, Lauren Bush co-founded the non-profit company FEED with Ellen Gustafson in 2007, including a partnership with the United Nations World Food Program. FEED is a lifestyle brand that aims to give children around the world access to nutritious meals in schools. They sell a variety of bags, as well as artisan made goods, while each product has a number that specifies the number of meals you are providing to a child.
Bush prefers a traditional hands on method, and you can see her frequently visiting children in need on her Instagram.
Alexa Hirschfeld of Paperless Post
Paperless Post was founded in 2009 by Alexa Hirschfeld and her brother James Hirschfeld. It is an online stationery service with all the intricacies of physical stationery that has since sent over hundreds of millions of invites. Hirschfeld faced a lot of cynicism in the earlier stages of building her company and personal brand, mainly due to her age, and raised money pretty slowly in the beginning. Due to the initial struggles she faced, Hirschfeld is always quick to offer words of wisdom to novice entrepreneurs who are trying to make their mark.
Hirschfeld maintains her brand digitally through her Twitter page, where countless other celebrities have endorsed her company.
Steven Dorn of XYZ Media
A talent scout, entrepreneur, and social media expert, Steven Dorn is also the founder of music management and VC firm, XYZ Media. He consults for various high net worth athletes and celebrities. He has also helped budding artists such as David Bowden (more often known as Pink Sweat$) as he sees their true potential and drive.
Professionally, Dorn operates in an ironic and unconventional manner which he made work for him- as XYZ Media has no website or marketing collateral, and instead relies on word-of-mouth. Dorn believes in building authentic relationships through work and in-person.
Kylie Smitley of Barley & Birch and the Detroit Achievement Academy
Few are accomplished as Kylie Smitley, who founded Barley & Birch in 2008. Barley & Birch is a children’s organic clothing line, which has since switched to eco-friendly creative crafts for kids. Smitley then moved to Detroit in 2013 to create the Detroit Achievement Academy (co-founded with Chris Robb), a free public charter school that serves kindergarteners through seventh grade.
Smitley primarily brands herself through speaking engagements, and by very closely involving herself with her school, and it shows through her love for the work.
Temple Naylor – Sales Leader & Influencer in High Ticket Sales
It’s safe to say that negotiations and sales isn’t the same as it used to be. People aren’t receptive to cold calls and pushy salespeople. As a leading figure and influencer in high ticket sales, influencer Temple Naylor uses leadership tactics to close off big deals, and is always quick to pay it forward.
Naylor instructs students on his leadership-based sales technique to not only close off deals, but to figure out what’s best for clients and their respective businesses. Naylor cultivates his brand by frequently updating his Instagram.
Thanks to the brilliant efforts of these brilliant minds, positive changes are taking place at scale, starting from the most granular level. There is much that novice entrepreneurs can learn from them, both in terms of getting things done despite all the roadblocks, and in terms of personal branding for credibility and awareness of impact. There is no time like the present to turn a passion into a cause that will change the world for the better.