Allan Miguel is a 15-year-old homeschooled teen who loves business, sports, and style. In addition to his core 10th grade studies, he completed some business-related electives and became a teen entrepreneur. Allan’s mom said, “I firmly believe teaching kids about money, entrepreneurism and business is beneficial. I also believe they should try for themselves.”
Allan has worked very hard establishing his own lawn mowing business and is in his third year. He purchased his own riding lawnmower as well as a 10-foot trailer. He passed out flyers and made a bike cart to pull behind his mower to haul equipment. Allan loves sports so he put some of his profits toward investing in popular sports stocks. For example, he used some of his cash to purchase stock in Nike and Under Armour. He regularly contributes to a mutual fund as well.
Allan’s entrepreneurial spirit is also reflected in his hobby of making “Bo” ties. They are carefully sewn by him during school breaks and rainy days. He used to stitch them by hand but has advanced to using a sewing machine. Allan has been creating his own bowties for about a year now and feels confident in this product after wearing several of his prototypes. He sells them online using Etsy: Allan’s “BoMacho” Bowties on Etsy. Each ad has a link to its own “info-mercial” on YouTube where he models the tie for sale and explains how he made it.
And finally, Allan is fascinated with military history. He has a shelf full of military history books he has read and more that he plans to read in his spare time. Allan did a huge project for Veteran’s Day last year. The purpose of the project was to share with youth his age the importance of “Faith and Freedom” in our country directly from the mouths of veterans. He set up interviews and filmed himself at the Veteran’s Memorial in his hometown. Allan interviewed ten veterans over a three-week time frame and spent over 40 hours editing and compiling them together. However, he had to cut out a lot of great input due to the length of the video. You can watch the three-part series on YouTube: Faith & Freedom 3 part mini documentary by Allan Laurio 2015.
Allan’s advice to teens from his lawn care success is:
- Taking the time to make sure the quality of your service is at its best.
- Make a personal connection to the customer, like sending holiday cards.
- Going beyond what you’re asked to do by doing what the professionals don’t, like straightening up patio furniture and lining up shoes on the porch.
- Keep the personal ‘kid’ connection while being mature and professional. There has to be a good balance. Show yourself able to go beyond what a normal teenager can do while not doing something too advanced (like installing irrigation systems).
- Find the balance between being comfortable and looking like you got straight out of bed. I firmly believe that how you look affects a potential client’s decision to hire you. For example: showing up in slides versus working in decent Nikes may be the deciding factor for potential clients. If I show up wearing slides I appear inexperienced and amateur (you can also whack your toes off with a weed eater).
- You can save 4 hours of your life by watching a 10 minute YouTube tutorial on how to effectively maintain and fix your equipment. Utilize free resources.
- At 16 you learn that at 7am there is daylight outside. Manage your time wisely. Don’t stay up till midnight doing something you could have done at 6am. It is better to wake up early than stay up late. Waking up early is not that bad. There is immense satisfaction completing a day’s worth of school before lunch and completing 3 lawns before dinner because I chose to wake up earlier. Time is money.
- Finally, prioritize your time. Don’t sacrifice your friends and family for money, because money can’t buy you everything. Learn to balance free time with work.