Adam Chipperfield

I work. I’ve been earning money since I was 11. But how does oneself sustain the fiery wrath of non-supporting teachers and grade-worried parents?

1. Don’t stop — whatever you do, do not stop working.

You cannot give in to the barking moans of those who don’t like what you are doing. If you want to work and you enjoy it — DON’T STOP!

2. Listen to your parents — this is important.

They want to help you in life and if you go against them because they don’t seem like they are pushing you into work, then you are very selfish. Yes, selfish I say. They will do anything for you, but they know best and understand the importance of a good solid education (or at least that’s what they’ve been told to tell you).

3. Keep a balance.

Don’t let the work-side put on too much weight. I’ve never been a thriving intellect with school work. I didn’t get full A* grades at GCSE and have my face flaunted about by the school in the local paper like a warriors trophy. But make sure you are keeping up in school — I wish I did it more.

4. Read – don’t stop reading.

I don’t mean sit down and ready a length Hardy novel in one day. I mean articles and websites. Find some short books of real life – I recommend How to Think Like Steve Jobs.

5. Have a social life — friends are important.

If you don’t have or see any friends while you are involved in the busy hubbub of the business world then you’ll grow old regretting life decisions. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE WHILE WORKING — You’re 16 for god’s sake! Go to parties, lap up the long summer days and the waste-of-time friendships. Have the experiences you need to grow into an established tycoon. You never know, you may stumble across some pretty neat light-bulb moments that will propel you into future prospects of millions of pounds. I didn’t. However, you need to have people in your life that will encourage, dis-hearten and enlighten you — these are your friends.

6. Make mistakes — they’ll teach you alot.

Mistakes are your best friends when learning how to make it. They will shatter your dreams into smitherines, yet this should encourage you to get your thinking hat on and dream up some new ones. I hate learning the way of the business world through sitting down and reading a text book — it just doesn’t work with my mind. Instead, I go into a project, thinking I know everything and I make mistakes. Then, with these mistakes, I can understand what went wrong. Then the cycle starts again until I can perfect every single part of the process. So make mistakes — not intentionally, though. Let them come to you.

7. Have fun.

Working is incredibly fun. If making money brings a pleasurable tingle in you're mind, then the process starts to become fun. I’m not saying that if you aren’t having fun, then you’ve failed. Not having fun will always occur when you are learning and making mistakes. But try to make the process as enjoyable as you can so that you can keep going and not give up. I tend to buy myself rewards when I finish a certain project or land a massive client. The act of buying an expensive product when you are such a tight a*se with money is fabulously fun once in a while.

There you have it. That was the ultimate guide to life as a working 16-year-old. For over 5 years, my not-so-large mind has been churning out idea after idea (mostly crap ones — which isn’t a bad thing. Refer to step 6.) and I’ve picked up a few experiences.

To make it clear, this is a guide for 16-year-olds from a 16-year-old, so I do not hold the key to a succesful career in entrepreneurship. Nor do I claim to contain vast experiences of a 40-year-old CEO. I have never really been a somebody. Popularity has never dazed me.

All I hope is that one 16-year-old somewhere in this broad exciting world will read this and take something away that will help them. If so, let me know. It would be cool to talk, especially to know that I’m not alone!