Have you ever been doing a hobby—say, baking cookies or writing code—and thought, I could do this for a living? Sure, you could go work in a bakery or get an internship at a tech start-up, but what if you launched a brand-new business? You’d be in charge of everything from coming up with a name and designing a logo to hiring employees (and yes, your mom and dad count—as long as you pay them!).
If being your own boss sounds like a sweet deal, you’re not alone: In a recent survey, more than half of people under the age of 25 said they hoped to own their own business in the next 10 years. They’ll face some tough odds: Of the whopping 4.4 million new businesses that were started in 2020, an estimated 65 percent will fail in their first 10 years. So before you convince your folks to convert the kitchen into a cookie factory, read on for five firsthand accounts of what it’s really like being a teen entrepreneur.