ELEVATOR PITCH: "Teenager Entrepreneur is an in-person bootcamp where Marc and Michael share their knowledge with other teens so they can identify their passions, turn those passions into products, promote those products, and propel themselves to future success."
Hi Marc and welcome to InspiredStartups.com! You are the first teenage entrepreneur we've had the pleasure of interviewing and we are thrilled to learn about your story. But firstly, please tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you begin your startup journey and what motivated you to start your own business before you turned 15?
Thank you Rado. I am happy to be a part of Inspired Startups. I initially started out as a blogger writing for my own enjoyment. My first blog was about the Red Sox, and although I enjoyed writing for fun, it was not fun to look at my statistics and realize that only 1 person was visiting my blog every day (that was me). I decided to learn about social media because there are countless experts who say that building a social media audience is a great way to get more traffic. What started as a way for me to get more blog traffic for my blog about the Red Sox turned into me becoming an expert on digital marketing. As a result, I completely changed my message, created the main blog that I use, and found a niche for myself. As my audience continued to grow, I realized I could make a big difference in the world. My main message is that it is age is not a limit to success, and anyone can start (and thrive) at any age. I never want to work for an employer for a single day of my life.
What startup projects are you working on currently?
Among the products that I am in the process of creating (books and training courses), my brother and I co-founded our startup, Teenager Entrepreneur. This startup is designed to empower teens with the knowledge they need to be successful with their passions. My brother and I show teens how to identify those passions, turn those passions into products, promote those products, and propel themselves to future success. Teenager Entrepreneur won the Rule Breaker People’s Choice Awards, appeared multiple times on Connecticut TV stations, and landed on the front page of the Westchester Business Journal. In July 2014, The Guberti brothers taught the Teenager Entrepreneur curriculum at Fordham University and continue to interact with past students as well as the teens who want to be a part of next year’s bootcamp. The Guberti brothers will also launch the Teenager Entrepreneur bootcamp as an online course before 2015 so teens from around the world can learn how to become successful entrepreneurs
How would you describe a typical day of a teenage entrepreneur? And how do you balance your teen and school life with work?
The typical day as a teenage entrepreneur was stress free during sophomore year, but junior year has been a true test to my entrepreneurship. Here is how my schedule works on a typical school day: I wake up at 6 am, reply to the people who mention me on Twitter, get ready for school, go to cross country/track practice immediately after school, and get home at around 6 pm. Then I do any homework that I did not get to do during free periods (30 minutes to two hours of work every night). The spare time I get is the amount of time I utilize for my business. I balance my teen and school life with entrepreneurship by primarily interacting in school and during cross country/track practices. Then, I immediately go home and do my homework. I do my homework first so I don’t have to think about it later. Finally, I keep on doing work as an entrepreneur until I call it a day.
What do your friends at school think about what you do? Are any of them pursuing their own startup projects?
Many of my friends are impressed with what I have been able to do, but not as many of them are actually taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. Some of my friends have sold cookies and other sweets for a short period of time, and that type of selling did teach them lessons about making a profit and getting returning customers.
In your opinion, are schools doing enough to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among children and teens? How can they improve? What would be your recommendation to them?
I wish schools did more to promote entrepreneurship among children and teens. The better you do at school, the more job opportunities you are going to get. School should be a place that trains us for success, but just because a student has an A average does not guarantee success. Steve Jobs dropped out of college, and he didn’t do so bad. I think schools should teach teens how they can utilize social media effectively and help students identify what they want to do in life. Schools are saying, “Don’t cyber bully at all” instead of saying, “You can use social media to grow a large audience and become successful at a young age instead of cyber bullying.”
How important is it to have a partner when you start-up? And how is it having your brother as a co-founder? What did you learn from each other as business partners?
It is important to have a partner in any scenario because you can’t do all of the work by yourself. By having a partner, you can specialize at what you do and have your partner specialize at what he/she does. My brother taught me that when it comes to building strong connections with important people, it takes persistence. I taught my brother about digital marketing.
And we have been able to witness your passion and quest for writing! Tell us about your books, blog and your quest to become a New York Times bestselling author before you go to college?
I recently published my book "Lead The Stampede"
. This book discusses the traits you need to become the leader of your niche and how to acquire those traits. It will include many case studies of people who have been able to dominate their niches. After Lead The Stampede, I am going to write shorter books so I can manage my school work and still create valuable products. In 2015, I am going to write a book that I believe will be my bestseller. I know the title of the book and how I am going to market it. I’ll let the suspense build, but I know the book is going to be awesome.
This brings us to the next question: How do you manage all of it and how do you stay motivated? Do you have a secret?
Managing the work I do all comes down to effective time management and the love for what I do. I exclusively watch new episodes of The Big Bang Theory, but other than that one show, I do not watch any TV. Since the average American spends 32 hours a week watching TV, I save about 5 hours every day. The only reason I was able to make this transition is because I love what I do. I enjoy tweeting away, writing content, and launching training courses. It is a great feeling to know that thousands of people can benefit from the content that I put up on the web.
Do you believe that any teenager with an idea can be an entrepreneur or does it require a special skillset?
I believe that a skillset is required, but the only way that skillset is going to come is through experience. No one is naturally born with any skills. All skills come over time. I despised writing for a very long time, and now I’m writing thousands of words every day. We need to stop putting ourselves in made up scenarios and guess what would happen. We need to actually implement and take action to acquire the right mindset. At one time, I had bad time management and would spend numerous hours each day playing video games. It sounds familiar, but actually taking action allowed me to break the bad habit and implement my ideas.
Digital marketing and online business is your passion and will likely become your bread and butter. What digital marketing tips would you give to other entrepreneurs trying to build online presence for their startups?
My main digital marketing tips are to constantly pump out valuable content, interact with your audience, grow a big presence on social media, and grow your email list.
What would be your advices for teens wanting to start a business?
My best advice for teens wanting to start a business is to just start. Don’t list the excuses of why you can’t start. I am a junior, and my business is doing fine. Starting is the best thing aspiring teenager entrepreneurs can do. Then, learn from the experts of your niche. You get a good grade on the end-term by effectively learning a year’s worth of material. You get good at entrepreneurship by learning it for a long period of time.
And finally, any startup aspirations that you would like to share?
I am currently focusing on Teenager Entrepreneur and creating more products. I have thought of some startup ideas, but have not taken them as seriously as what I do now. I may look back at my startup ideas to determine whether I can utilize them or not, but I would have to dig very deep into my notes to find the good ones.
Three words to describe yourself?
Dedicated and passionate leader.
Where can our startup community find you online?
You can find me on a variety of social networks. My largest audience is on Twitter where I have over 135,000 followers, and I have over 15,000 Pinterest followers as well. I am on YouTube as well and expect to make a big splash there soon. You can also read my digital marketing content at marcguberti.com, and by subscribing to my blog, you will get my guidebook, 27 Ways To Get More Retweets On Twitter as well as my Pinterest Mastery Video Tutorial.
Thank you very much for your interview Mark! We wish you the best in school and in your entrepreneurial endeavours!