View Full Version : risk

19-04-2010, 09:02 PM
Hello Everyone,
Im 16 years old and run witty marketing and have a very good business going. Last month i turned over 4000 with about 1600 profit. This month has been quiet but i havent actively gone out to get business and just have had 600 pounds come in by word of mouth.

My delima Im currently at college and want to leave asap to get into my business all my family think i should do it im just not sure i have all my promational material new website getting built etc so should I.

I want to and lots of people think i should but its a big risk.

bill mccallum
19-04-2010, 09:22 PM
Hello Everyone,
Im 16 years old and run witty marketing and have a very good business going. Last month i turned over 4000 with about 1600 profit. This month has been quiet but i havent actively gone out to get business and just have had 600 pounds come in by word of mouth.

My delima Im currently at college and want to leave asap to get into my business all my family think i should do it im just not sure i have all my promational material new website getting built etc so should I.

I want to and lots of people think i should but its a big risk.


If you can run the business while still at college, then do that.

I made the mistake of leaving school without any qualifications and ended up going to Uni when I was 35 (not a great idea)...

It looks much better on the CV if you have qualifications and if the course you're doing is related to the business that's an added bonus.


19-04-2010, 09:26 PM
HI Bill,
My business is growing fastly now and the more time i spend in it the more money should come out of it ?
Its a big risk Im not happy at school and want to do what i enjoy doing.

I just wanting peoples advise on here as im 90% sure just dont want to chuck my future away but as i say if i dont do it ill never know ?

bill mccallum
19-04-2010, 09:38 PM

It's pretty much like a business decision, you need to evaluate the benefits of continuing against leaving early... if you're only 16, how much time have you invested to date? how much longer til the course(s) end? how much time do you need to work on your business?

I'm guessing that college is daytime, 3 or 4 full days a week, that leaves you 3 or 4 days (daytime) and seven evening/nights of free time that you can spend on your business, you simply need to plan what you need to do and when you need to do it.

If you need to go to business meetings, make them on your off days from college or evening meetings (invite the contact to the local golf club for a drink after work).

But best advice...stay on and finish the course.


Admin Tones
20-04-2010, 11:04 AM
Personally, I would stay on.
Not to be offensive but who knows what could happen in the future!?
What will you have to fall back on, aside from your business experience?
Is the course something you could promote with your business? For example, is it a qualification that will reassure your clients that you know exactly what you're doing?
Will you have to pay back your tuition if you leave early?

Just some points to consider.
Remember your choice today determines tomorrow.

Joshua Mason-Allen
20-04-2010, 12:44 PM
You're 16, you can go back if you need to in a couple of years.

If you hate college that much and are prepared to slog it out making your own money, then go for it. I would if I were in your shoes.

Naturally, when one reaches a certain older age, precaution is usually the order of the day - but I tend to prefer the old saying "no risk, no reward". You know what could happen if things fail, so if it does go wrong you only have yourself to blame.

20-04-2010, 12:56 PM
Id definately stay on, ive had the skills to provide web and graphic design as a paid service since i was around 14, but college education if nothing else adds a maturity to you, so education is definately important in that sense, plus you dont want people to know theyre dealing with a 16 year old, it portrays that a child is running these services - and the general thought is children dont have a clue, which i know to the contrary, my sister for example is more than clever for her age haha !!!!

What id suggest is keep doing what your doing; if it works why break it, 1600 profit for any business in amonth certainly first year is applaudable, you will have many months like that some high, some low, but definately keep going.

And if you need any ewbsite, seo or logo assistance, you know where to come my friend :)

20-04-2010, 01:58 PM
Hi Guys.
Well Ive got my GCSES grades. Ive nearly finished my a/s grades and have a2 to do next year I really hate it. I want to next year just do my a2 grades on a night time at college as I still want to get them and work during the day. Will make me feel alot better as my health is suffering becouse of all of this so i would do work in the day and a levels on a night time and get my degree at the open university. So I will have things to fall back on. Also Im going to see another opetion of doingf my examns and asking school to keep my place open in spetember if everything goes tits up. So Im in non complusery education so. I hate it and Ive kinda already made my mind up but the above tells me whats on my mind :)
Also have my website www.wittymarketing.co.uk (http://www.wittymarketing.co.uk)

Cheers guys please reply

20-04-2010, 02:03 PM
Hi Sam,
You could always take a year out to focus on the business and then return to finish your A2s? College is usually free up until your 19 - so as long as you re-apply before you're 19 then you'll be ok.


20-04-2010, 03:06 PM
Hi Sam

The website isnt loading buddy, can you confirm the address?

20-04-2010, 03:12 PM
its working fine for me

21-04-2010, 02:33 AM
There's several sides to it, and I can't decide myself which to recommend.

1. If your company continues with success, there's no reason why you would ever need to show anybody a CV. I'm not sure how it works in the design industry but I'm guessing its similar to IT where its experience that matters, not the grades or qualifications. So even if you decide to sell up in the future, you'll have the track record of your company as your "CV". As if you think logically about it, would a design company rather hire a fresh graduate who knows how to write essays, or somebody who's had 5/10 years hands on experience in doing all levels of it?.

2. However, if things don't go so well and you decide to move on and look for employment in possibly another area, the employers may look at your experience of running the company (though this depends on its success) or if your experience isn't relevant they'll fall-back to your qualifications. If you do then decide to start fresh its worth looking into universities/courses now to see whether they accept candidates who don't have A levels (at mature entry), as that requirement is unlikely to change in the next 2/5/10 years. I know several people in their late 30s who have had to get their GCSEs in order to progress in their career - but then again, they weren't their own boss.

I left school after my A levels, the reason I didn't go to Uni was because I had an excellent job offer which I jumped at. The MD of that company left school at 16, had a series of jobs in his early years, and is now very successful. The experience I gained from that job enabled me to start my own company. I don't believe I'll need grades/qualifications in the future, unless I change industry.

As others have said, always have a fall back plan. Do you see yourself working the same job/industry in 30 years time?

Hope this helps.

29-04-2010, 02:24 PM
Well here it is from a very different perspective - I hated school and left at 15. For me, it was a complete waste of time and I could happily have left at 13 and it still not have had a detrimental effect on my education. (Sorry Dad, I know you spent a fortune on my education! :o)

But, surprisingly, I'm in the camp who says to stay on for the time being. Why?

Because that 4k could easily be your cash cow for the year which is supposed to sustain you for the next 6 months...
Because websites and company set up always take MUCH longer than anticipated and why would you want to be paying to support yourself whilst that happens? Much better to let your college bursary pay for the down time, no? That's smart business sense!
My business in the early days sucked my entire life into it... No parties, late nights, early mornings, lots and lots of hard work. Pah! If I had seen all my friends being layabout students sleeping in till lunchtime and drinking their student loans in the pub I would have been raging jealous and given up my business to join them. You need to know what the alternative reality is like so corporate dronedom doesn't tempt you at your weakest moment...
Because these kinds of businesses can be run alongside college - have you read the Four Hour Work Week? (Tim Ferriss is my god!)

Good luck!

29-04-2010, 04:28 PM
Samr, a 4000 turnover with a 1600 profit last month is great!

I think you need to apply for one of our Grand Ideas Awards, or maybe even the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award when it opens for entry in June (both at www.shell-livewire.org/awards (http://www.shell-livewire.org/awards))!

Have a read of the latest blog from Seth Godin which may give you food for thought. It's US-based but still worth reading...

The coming melt-down in higher education (as seen by a marketer) (http://www.feedblitz.com/t2.asp?/198516/19573829/3830114/http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/typepad/sethsmainblog/~3/bdt1G_3hOI8/the-coming-meltdown-in-higher-education-as-seen-by-a-marketer.html)

For 400 years, higher education in the US has been on a roll. From Harvard asking Galileo to be a guest professor in the 1600s to millions tuning in to watch a team of unpaid athletes play another team of unpaid athletes in some college sporting event, the amount of time and money and prestige in the college world has been climbing.

I'm afraid that's about to crash and burn. Here's how I'm looking at it.

1. Most colleges are organized to give an average education to average students.

Pick up any college brochure or catalog. Delete the brand names and the map. Can you tell which school it is? While there are outliers (like St. Johns (http://www.feedblitz.com/t2.asp?/198516/19573829/3830114/http://www.sjca.edu/), Deep Springs (http://www.feedblitz.com/t2.asp?/198516/19573829/3830114/http://www.deepsprings.edu/daily) or Full Sail (http://www.feedblitz.com/t2.asp?/198516/19573829/3830114/http://www.fullsail.edu/)) most schools aren't really outliers. They are mass marketers.

Stop for a second and consider the impact of that choice. By emphasizing mass and sameness and rankings, colleges have changed their mission.

This works great in an industrial economy where we can't churn out standardized students fast enough and where the demand is huge because the premium earned by a college grad dwarfs the cost. But...

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b31569e201310f364a43970c-320wi (http://www.feedblitz.com/t2.asp?/198516/19573829/3830114/http://sethgodin.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b31569e201310f364a43970c-popup)

2. College has gotten expensive far faster than wages have gone up.

As a result, there are millions of people in very serious debt, debt so big it might take decades to repay. Word gets around. Won't get fooled again...
This leads to a crop of potential college students that can (and will) no longer just blindly go to the 'best' school they get in to.

3. The definition of 'best' is under siege.
Why do colleges send millions (!) of undifferentiated pieces of junk mail to high school students now? We will waive the admission fee! We have a one page application! Apply! This is some of the most amateur and bland direct mail I've ever seen. Why do it?
Biggest reason: So the schools can reject more applicants. The more applicants they reject, the higher they rank in US News and other rankings. And thus the rush to game the rankings continues, which is a sign that the marketers in question (the colleges) are getting desperate for more than their fair share. Why bother making your education more useful if you can more easily make it appear to be more useful?

4. The correlation between a typical college degree and success is suspect.
College wasn't originally designed to merely be a continuation of high school (but with more binge drinking). In many places, though, that's what it has become. The data I'm seeing shows that a degree (from one of those famous schools, with or without a football team) doesn't translate into better career opportunities, a better job or more happiness.

5. Accreditation isn't the solution, it's the problem.
A lot of these ills are the result of uniform accreditation programs that have pushed high-cost, low-reward policies on institutions and rewarded schools that churn out young wanna-be professors instead of experiences that turn out leaders and problem-solvers.

Just as we're watching the disintegration of old-school marketers with mass market products, I think we're about to see significant cracks in old-school schools with mass market degrees.

Back before the digital revolution, access to information was an issue. The size of the library mattered. One reason to go to college was to get access. Today, that access is worth a lot less. The valuable things people take away from college are interactions with great minds (usually professors who actually teach and actually care) and non-class activities that shape them as people. The question I'd ask: is the money that mass-marketing colleges are spending on marketing themselves and scaling themselves well spent? Are they organizing for changing lives or for ranking high? Does NYU have to get so much bigger? Why?

The solutions are obvious... there are tons of ways to get a cheap, liberal education, one that exposes you to the world, permits you to have significant interactions with people who matter and to learn to make a difference. Most of these ways, though, aren't heavily marketed nor do they involve going to a tradition-steeped two-hundred-year old institution with a wrestling team. Things like gap years, research internships and entrepreneurial or social ventures after high school are opening doors for students who are eager to discover the new.

The only people who haven't gotten the memo are anxious helicopter parents, mass marketing colleges and traditional employers. And all three are waking up and facing new circumstances.

29-04-2010, 04:49 PM
Hey Paul,
Cheers thanks for this and thanks everyone for their advice