Can High School Students Really Be Entrepreneurs?
When it comes to following your entrepreneurial dreams, do you really have to wait until after you graduate high school, or even college, to start?
If you could start your own business right now as a high school student, would you be able to do it?
While it might seem like a crazy pipe dream to be a full-time student and start your own business, it is possible!
Meet Austin Butcher, the 18-year-old owner of Lawn Butcher, a lawn care service company in Springfield, Mo., that, during his peak season, was hitting $50,000 of revenue per month.
He is also the creator of the Pocket Secretary app, an app that he is currently working on getting off the ground to bring to market. He graduated high school just this past May and is currently working on both of his companies to scale them moving forward.
We talked with Austin Butcher to find out what it’s really like to be a student entrepreneur, and how other aspiring students can do the same.
Spirit Factory: How did you get started in your business?
Austin: I started with a self-propelled mower, taking care of a few yards here or there. I then realized that I could be making money from this activity, so I decided to save up my money and purchase a really good mower. Instead of buying a car for my 16th birthday, I bought a Zero Turn mower. I hauled it around with my trailer hitched to the back of my dad’s truck, but once I had saved up enough money I was able to buy a truck of my own.
I knew that I didn’t want to work for anyone, so I decided to start my own business. I started working on my second company the week of my senior prom. Before, during, and after school, I researched how to make it a reality and began networking.
How do you balance your company with life as a high school student?
In order to balance school and work, I had to create and follow strict schedule. I usually wake up around 4 AM and check the news. Next, I plan out my day, including the jobs I will take on. I then complete any homework that I didn’t finish the night before, followed by a quick workout and then cleaning up and getting ready for the day. I make my way to rehearsal for orchestra, which takes place before school. The school day happens, then I go to rehearsal for whatever show we are doing at the time. I mowed and took care of other business needs after rehearsal.
What advice would you have for high school students wanting to create their own business?
The goal is to be an employer, not an employee. If you know what you want to do, why wait until you’re out of high school to do it?
If you are waiting to start your own business until you get out of high school, I would question if you have the spirit of a true entrepreneur. If you have an idea, utilize all of your assets. Everyone you know can provide you with new information to help you grow, so network with whoever you can.
There are always ideas to be thrown around, so if you have any, use them. Don’t wait! If you truly want to accomplish something, nothing should hold you back, no matter what. It’s up to you and nobody else. Create your future, or as DECA says, #OwnYourFuture!
The owner of the lawn butcher and creator of the pocket secretary started young so why don’t you? Go out to Facebook and Instagram to keep up with Austin as he continues his journey!
This article was written by Spirit Factory, a DECA National Advisory Board partner and Corporate Social Media Correspondent. Learn more about Spirit Factory and how it can help your DECA chapter here.