Starting their entrepreneurial careers eight years ago, Jake (16) and Lachlan (20) Johnson are on a mission to create a generation of entrepreneurs. As the first kids on Shark Tank, pitching their company Flipoutz, the Johnsons found out they loved the business of being an entrepreneur. They went on to found Beaux Up with funding from Warren Buffett's "Grow Your Own Business" contest, and their latest venture is Trep-ology, an online platform of short videos, resources, and support that teaches kids entrepreneurial skills.
"Jake and I both realized that the skills we learned as young entrepreneurs are the skills that seem to be valued most by our teachers, employers, and communities," Lachlan says. "Entrepreneurial skills are life skills."
"You can learn these skills at any age by starting and running a business. If we can do it, anyone can. That's what Trep-ology is all about -- kids teaching kids how to be entrepreneurs," Jake adds.
Jake and Lachlan's biggest reason for starting Trep-ology is they are convinced kids are natural entrepreneurs eager for the information. Here's how they explain it:
1. Kids are curious.
By virtue of being young, kids try new things every day. We are interested in how things work and like to find out what happens if ...
2. Kids are learning machines.
We are used to not knowing things, so we don't get discouraged if we aren't experts on a subject. We are still students, in learning mode most of the time, so we are used to asking questions and finding solutions.
3. Kids are tech wizards.
We are digital natives -- so we don't have to waste time learning the technology. The internet is always at our fingertips, and we understand how to use it as a tool.
4. Kids understand creativity.
Creativity is part of our DNA as kids. We haven't gotten locked into specific ways of thinking, so "thinking something different" isn't so hard.
5. Kids have no fear of failure.
In the business world, the term "fail forward" is treated as a revolutionary concept. But every kid is taught this idea at a very early age. Only, when you learn it from your parents, the lesson is simply to learn from your mistakes and try again. We aren't paralyzed by the fear that things won't go as planned -- we're used to it and know how to deal with it when it happens. Learn from it, try again.
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