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People often ask me if they’re too old to learn new skills and change their lives. My answer is always, “No! You’re never too old to change your life for the better.”
But what happens if you’re too young? Can you still become a successful entrepreneur if you’re too young?
To answer that question, look at Marc Guberti. He’s proof you can become an entrepreneur at any age!
After starting his first blog at eleven years old – yes, eleven! – he has become an accomplished entrepreneur and author, having written nineteen books, including Content Marketing Secrets, which teaches people how to create, promote, and optimize their content for growth and revenue.
Marc also hosts a podcast along with several virtual summits aimed at helping people to become more productive, both personally and professionally. In addition, Marc and his brother developed Business Whiz Kids, a program that trains young people to become successful students and entrepreneurs.
How Marc Got Started
He recalls that being a rare breed of New Yorker who is a Boston Red Sox fan, he didn’t have many Red Sox fans to connect with, so he looked toward blogging as a way to connect with those fans.
He created a blog about the Red Sox. To get more traffic to it, he used social media. As his social media traffic began to increase, he realized that it was his passion, so he went all in on social media. That evolved into content marketing — his current brand today.
At the time of publishing this blog post, Marc is twenty years old!
The Social Media Landscape Eight Years Ago
The major players at that time were Twitter and Facebook, and Marc mainly used Twitter. He recalls that they were not nearly as established as they are today. Facebook Ads weren’t quite as big back then either. Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram were not yet around.
Marc says another social media change is that user dashboards are better and provide a better user experience. For instance, now YouTube generates video suggestions based on the video you just watched and Twitter now offers more characters for your tweets. They’re continually optimizing their platforms to provide users with the information they want.
Just like in any industry, when working at home you have to know the people you’re serving and what their struggles are. You have to connect with them and social media is a great way to do that: figure out where they’re hanging out, what kind of things they’re griping about, what kind of things that they’re excited about, and then stay on top of that.
Marc started his first blog because of his love for the Red Sox, but his business has evolved. What gets him excited today is the enjoyment of what he’s doing and the fact that he’s also helping people who need to level up their businesses to achieve more of their goals.
When he’s feeling down, he looks back at his comments and tweets where people have said good things about his content and it makes him feel better. It’s good to do this because we tend to underrate ourselves.
He says sometimes we get so focused on the one thing we didn’t accomplish that we forget about the other ten monumental tasks we did accomplish!
I find myself scrolling through Facebook — and I’ve scaled back a lot since my early days on social media — just looking through my newsfeed at everyone’s highlight reels. It’s easy to start feeling bad about yourself. It’s good to go through your old memories to see your accomplishments and remind yourself of where you were a year ago. You can also do the same with Instagram and see how far you’ve come.
I also think it’s important to surround yourself with other people because when we work at home, we’re in isolation a lot. Yes, you have to make money, but you can’t do it alone. Sometimes you have to involve other people — such as meeting new people to gain new clients.
You can’t just sit there, hang out your shingle, and say now I’m this or now I’m that — here’s my business. Often you have to put yourself out there. People used to say, “Build it and they will come.” That’s not always true — many times you have to go get them.
Become an Entrepreneur at Any Age
As I’ve mentioned, anyone can succeed regardless of age. I often receive emails from people who are in high school. They’re seventeen and just starting college, or maybe they don’t want to go to college — they want to know if they can work at home and do their own thing.
Many people have preconceived notions about what youth can accomplish in business. They think because you haven’t gone to college, you have no experience. The reality is young entrepreneurs see the world in a whole different light. You can bring something to the table that people just don’t realize.
Marc recalls people having preconceived notions about him — commenting on moments when he did not show his expertise. He admits that age was a factor initially. Marc says regardless of your age, it all comes down to how much work you put in. Show the world what you’ve achieved!
He admits that his early blog posts weren’t great, but more recent posts provide tons of value. Proof that it doesn’t matter that you’re young because you’re sharing your expertise and what you can do with it!
Marc states you can do a lot in five years if you stay focused, put in the work, and pay attention to keep up with changes. As Peter Voogd says, there’s a difference between having twenty years’ experience and keeping up with changes versus twenty years of doing the same thing over and over again.
Skills are skills and age just becomes a number. You can develop skills no matter how old you are. It might be a little easier or a little harder, depending on your age or background. And your mindset has a lot to do with it too. If you can develop skills you can use to solve people’s problems, age just doesn’t matter.
The Business Whiz Kids Program
Marc and his brother cofounded the Business Whiz Kids Program, which is an annual program for teens at Fordham University. They teach them how to identify their passions they can build their successful businesses around and how to promote it on social media and other avenues. They also love teaching kids how to apply what they’ve learned and carry it forward.
Marc loves being an inspiration to his peers. Whenever he’s writing a blog post, interviewing someone on his podcasts, or writing a book, he’s showing more people what’s possible at a young age.
Society conditions you to think you can’t amount to anything until you have a bachelor’s degree. And that’s simply not the case. It’s all about skill building.
We can even argue that college, and perhaps even high school, are antiquated systems with standardized testing. That’s why homeschooling is becoming much more prolific in today’s environment with technology so readily available. It takes a lot longer for educational institutions to catch up with what’s actually happening in the world and how rapidly things are changing — especially with social media and what people actually need to know today to succeed.
How Marc Stays Productive
First, he recommends taking frequent breaks instead of powering through a sixty- or seventy-hour week to accomplish your goals. Breaks allow you to dive back into your work with greater intensity. Work/life balance is very important, and some days you’ll be working and others you’ll be relaxing. It’s not 50/50 down the middle every day.
Marc’s second recommendation is to take stock the night before of what needs to be done the following day so you don’t wake up without focus. He writes down what needs to be accomplished and assigns tasks to certain times. It may sound rigid, but you can also schedule fun.
His last recommendation is to keep goals a bit smaller. It’s important to break down your goals. You may have a big goal, like making six figures, but it’s more achievable if you have several smaller, more attainable goals. Instead of focusing on a big goal, decide what steps are necessary for you to achieve it, and make those steps (smaller goals) very actionable.
To illustrate, if you know you’ll get 50 percent of the people who call you to become a client, you know you have to get 20 calls. To take that even deeper, if you know that 20 percent of the people who see your email will take you up on that call, you know you need to email 100 people about your service. And if 20 percent of people who see your email take you up on that call, then all you have to do is send 100 emails.
Marc’s advice for people who feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to get started is to take a break. People feel overwhelmed because they feel like they have all this work piling up on them to the point they can’t escape their work — like their work is eating them alive.
If you’re overwhelmed and you don’t want to work, just do the bare minimum. If you have a blog post that needs to be written, just view it as writing a sentence. Make it as microscopic as possible so that it only takes you fifteen or thirty seconds to get started.
You can also listen to the right music to change your mood. Just pay attention to what does and doesn’t work for you.
I agree that getting work done is not an all-or-nothing concept. For example, I like to work out in the morning, but I feel like if I can’t do my full thirty-minute workout, I might as well not do anything. And that’s not true. Every little bit helps.
Starting is the hardest part. Picking up that book or finding songs on your iPod or phone that get you in the mood is the hardest part because sometimes we think nothing can make me feel better, so we don’t even try. It’s the same with starting a business. Our mindset holds us back because we attribute it to previous failures, but perhaps they weren’t really failures, and we’re just making it up.
How You Can Get Started
If you’re a parent or guardian, look up Business Whiz Kids and get your kids involved. Get your kids to read Marc’s blog and see what he’s doing. Empower your children!
If you enjoyed this post and are moved by Marc’s story, you’ll be happy to hear that he’s an instructor with Work-At-Home School. The Productivity Virtual Summit showcases 50+ leaders in productivity who share their knowledge on how you can leverage your time to accomplish goals, boost happiness, and achieve success in both your personal and professional life.