Home About Recipients Organizations Contact Apply Now Blog Donate Account
Home
About
Recipients
Organizations
Contact
Apply
Blog
Donate

Use Your Unique Talent to Make Money! 

For ambitious young entrepreneurs like you, starting a small business may seem like a wonderful idea to make extra money, network with professionals in your field, and boost your college applications. And you’re right! Entrepreneurship is a fantastic way for young people to do all those things, plus learn valuable life skills.  

There’s never been a better time to launch your enterprise. You have all the tools you need right there at your fingertips – literally. And the very best way to get started is to take what already comes naturally to you and use it to turn a profit. Even if you have no idea how or where to get started, even if you’ve never balanced a budget or sold a thing in the past, you have something inside you that will get you started. 

WHAT SETS YOU APART? 

Take a moment to sit down and think about your life. Think about all the different areas you move around: school, friendships, family, and sports. Start a list of all your “roles” in these areas. For example, are you the kid in class who always has their hand up first when the teacher asks a question? Are you the one who helps your struggling classmates? Now think about how your friends view you. The funny one? The good listener? The secret-keeper? The trouble-maker? Keep in mind that you probably fulfill more than one role in each area of your life. The class clown can also be a straight-A student. The team captain can also give the best pep talks. 

Once you’ve exhausted the areas of your life, look at your list. See if any roles overlap. Do you constantly find that you’re the reliable one who comes through on every project? That’s a quality that others see in you, and which comes naturally to you! 

TAKE A STEP BACK 

Just because you’re naturally good at something doesn’t mean you should drop everything else and pursue that as a career. Not everyone who can make their friends laugh is destined to become a stand-up comic.  

But looking at your list of natural talents is a good place to start. If you’re funny, maybe that means you enjoy helping people relax in stressful situations. Or it could mean you like being the center of attention. Get a little psychological here and think about what these roles really mean to you. Ask others about them. They might see something in you that you never thought about, such as, “You always make jokes when one of us is sad or upset.” 

TRANSLATE YOUR SKILLS 

There are several soft skills every entrepreneur needs to become successful. Do any of these sound like you? 

  • Good communicator 
  • Adaptability 
  • Organized 
  • Innovating 
  • Analytical 

Let’s go back to considering how funny you are. Not everyone knows how to tell a joke. Among other things, you need to consider timing, delivery, and social cues. But if you tend to get laughs, if everyone looks to you to lighten a situation with humor, then you probably have a good instinct for comedy. That translates to a good instinct for communication. You know how to read social cues. You know how to deliver a punchline for maximum effect. You’re a natural communicator, one of the most important skills for entrepreneurship. 

APPLY YOUR SKILLS TO YOUR FIELD 

We now know that you’re the class clown or the cut-up of your squad. And we’ve figured out that the reason you naturally fall into this role is that you have good instincts for communication, including how and when to make your point. 
We now know that you’re the class clown or the cut-up of your squad. And we’ve figured out that the reason you naturally fall into this role is that you have good instincts for communication, including how and when to make your point. 
Now, let’s apply that talent to your chosen field: 

  • Working with children. Good communicators make great tutors or party planners because you can read others’ non-verbal cues and help them see things more clearly. 
  • Gaming. Gamers are natural streamers and online product sellers because they’re comfortable in the spotlight. 
  • Pre-med. Use your communication skills to form support networks for caregivers because people will listen and respond to you. 
  • The outdoors. People will love you as a tour guide! 
  • Graphic design. Make a line of funny greeting cards. 

    Remember that just because something comes naturally to you, doesn’t mean it’s that way for everyone. There are plenty of introverted, shy people in the world who get tongue-tied when dealing with the public. That’s where you step in and offer your services. 

DON’T FORGET TO KEEP LEARNING 

We know that you are brilliant and hard-working. And we’re glad you’ve identified some of your natural talents. But that’s not the end of the road!
Good entrepreneurs keep a “beginner’s mind.” This means you’re always open to feedback and new ways of doing things.   
Think of it like this: even if you’re naturally funny, there’s a huge difference between telling jokes to your friends versus standing up on a stage and delivering a 5-minute set to an audience. Or between being able to make your siblings laugh with silly behavior versus doing improv.  
That difference is talent versus craft. Talent is the raw material. Craft is how you execute the raw material into something people want. As you cultivate your talent into entrepreneurship, remember to keep honing your skills, as well. Keeping that beginner’s mind will help you discover new opportunities in your field.  

There are already parts of entrepreneurship that will be challenging for you. Creative types might struggle with the business side of entrepreneurship, while the more analytical types might struggle to come up with creative solutions to common problems. But you can make things easier on yourself by identifying your innate strengths and translating them into a business. Why make this harder than it needs to be? Give yourself the best chance of success by using the unique talents you already have!  

Are you a Florida-based young entrepreneur looking for a college scholarship? Click here to learn more about how the Kantner Foundation can help you!


Build Your Mental Toughness!

We’ve never heard anyone say that being a teenager is easy. Or that starting and running a business is easy. Combine those two things as a young entrepreneur, and you’ll certainly be challenged! There’ll be detours on your entrepreneurial journey. There’ll be challenges and obstacles. You’ll have to step outside your comfort zone more than …

Build Your Mental Toughness! »

Read More

Do These 8 Things Before Pitching to a Venture Capitalist

Learning how to pitch to potential investors is an important skill for all young entrepreneurs. Venture capitalists want assurance that their money is going to someone serious and committed to building their enterprise. So, what can you, as an ambitious but untested young entrepreneur, do to prepare for your first meeting with a venture capitalist?  …

Do These 8 Things Before Pitching to a Venture Capitalist »

Read More