When I was 16, I failed big-time at running my first company. Here are 7 hard lessons I learned that every young entrepreneur can benefit from.
- Steven Li started his first company at age 16. He failed fast and learned quickly. He's now the cofounder of The Rising, a site that covers business, climate policy, and greentech.
- He talked to seven industry leaders about his takeaways from his early failure, and their tips for success.
- He learned to have hard conversations early in the process - and that success comes not just from interest, but from skills and grit.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
When I started my first company at 16, I was driven by interests - interests to help others and to get involved in Silicon Valley business community, which everyone seems to be a part of. Quite frankly, I didn't have the technical skills, business acumen, or experience to get started. But even still, I was told to start early, fail fast, and learn quickly. So I did.
Courtesy of Steven Li
And guess what? That advice couldn't be more accurate. I spent eitht months growing my publication, Youth Business Collective (YBC), from the ground up. It averaged 7,000 readers a month, but we failed to monetize. By every sense of the words, I started early, failed fast, and learned quickly.
Below are seven practical takeaways I learned the hard way that every young entrepreneur can benefit from. I also spoke to seven world-class entrepreneurs - from the co-founder of Genius to the CEO of Gumroad - about my takeaways from this early failure, and got their best tips for success. Here's what they said.