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  • The first business venture--so to speak--I tried was selling sweets at school.

  • At the time I was looking to buy a PlayStation, and I wanted to buy it myself, with my own money.

  • At that age, people were not allowed to go outside of school grounds during the school day, so I thought: Perfect. I've got a captive customer base.

  • My first tip is "Eat the Frog."

  • "Eat the frog" means start your day with the hardest task you have.

  • And it means the rest of your day becomes a lot easier and smoother.

  • In sixth form you'd have free periods, for example, and there was times where I would sit in the free period and do financial forecasts, people would look over my shoulder and think I'm insane.

  • But, you know, it's difficult to explain, but I thought actually OK if I'm prioritizing this now because I know I've got a due date for an essay in two weeks, and it's just about managing that workflow.

  • "Learn From Real Life" is my next top tip.

  • Both my parents are deaf, so my older sister and I have been carers to them our whole lives.

  • I think we matured a lot earlier as children because we had to.

  • If I went all the way back to the start of Doorsteps, that starts when I moved house when I was about ten or 11 years old.

  • Being carers for my parents, we got a bit more of a hands-on experience of the whole property move.

  • So I tried to understand the breakdown of costs and a big one inevitably was estate agency fees.

  • So a few years later, we learnt about different disruptors in different industries, taxi driving for Uber, shopping with Amazon, this is where I thought, "Actually, why don't we try and connect buyers and sellers directly?"

  • My next tip is read a biography.

  • For me that was Michael O'Leary's biography about when he started Ryanair.

  • A good biography is really, really motivating.

  • It shows you that it's doable.

  • It shows you that actually the people that started these insanely successful businesses were normal people, and they've decided to step out of their comfort zone and take a risk, and that's really inspiring.

  • Teach yourself new things is my next top tip.

  • I think without teaching yourself, it's difficult to start a business, because you need to understand every aspect and whether it's your forte or not, and understanding that means you can test the business cheaply.

  • And for me that was learning floor plans from scratch, photography from scratch, things I didn't have experience in.

  • So one thing I couldn't learn myself unfortunately at that point was learning to drive.

  • That's because I was only about 16 or 17, so to get to my first property I did have to pay my sister's boyfriend to drive me down to the property in East Sussex so I could then go and do the visit.

  • My next tip is listen to your mom.

  • I've understood that my Mum 95 percent of the time is right, and she is wiser than yourself.

  • So my Mum has been very influential, well both my parents have.

  • They've never let their disability stand in their way.

  • Seeing that work ethic especially tracing back to migration for example for my Dad, from Africa into the U.K.

  • It's not easy, and they've actually managed to get our family to the stage where we are now, where I'm actually able to take a risk in my own life because I know I've got this stable family background.

  • To be honest the success and the money hasn't made a difference to my life.

  • I do still live at home, still live with my parents.

  • I still go to the same type of places that I used to, I still don't have a car.

  • It's difficult to actually take a step back and look at the progress you've made, because I'm always kind of moving the goalposts further away.

  • So at the moment we're a start-up, we're in the midst of growing, it's really, really exciting stages, but I think we've got so much more to give.

The first business venture--so to speak--I tried was selling sweets at school.

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Multi-millionaire at 19 - here are my 5 top tips | BBC Ideas

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    Seraya posted on 2020/07/31
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