17-Year-Old Builds $3.5 Million Global Brand

How to conceive a global brand : 1) decide to act despite the apparent risk 2) start with what you have 3) don’t wait for perfect conditions to begin the work.

Having a mentor and $100 to invest are factors as well, but let’s give the young man credit where credit is due – this is quite an achievement.  What is striking to me about this story is where it is being shared in social media. Very heavily in Facebook, but barely in Reddit and LinkedIn. I would have expected more discussion on Reddit among young people, and more scrutiny within the business community…especially with entrepreneurs and consultants.

Factors for this may include the medium : that it originated from the the Atlanta Blackstar, it is about a 17 year old and therefore an anomaly, the entrepreneur is connected with the T.D. Jakes Ministries.

In the final analysis here is what counts, quoting directly from the article:

2015_Jaylen-Headshot“Bledsoe had a mentor from the beginning, chain grocery store CEO, Scott Schnuck, who gave him invaluable advice: ‘Take risks, there’s nothing that you can do as a minor that will shoot you down for too long. Because you are young, you can come back up and keep going.”

Bledsoe has spoken to more than 25,000 people around the globe and enjoys traveling to motivate young people.

I see greater meaning in knowing that I’ve motivated someone with my story, inspired someone with my words, or impacted someone with my business rather than just enjoying the check that’s offered,” he told The Huffington Post. “I’ve come to the understanding in my life as I travel the country speaking to youth, hoping to change lives, that the word ‘net-worth’ doesn’t have to apply simply be the equation of, ‘your assets minus your liabilities’.”

The issue is that not all teenagers can go out and achieve these kinds of results, but they should be given the instruction, encouragement to try. Also, if the educational system that we are investing in as parents with tax dollars and student loans isn’t working, then we need to fix it. Today.

If you go over to LinkedIn and look at a recommendation from the Dean of Students Nicole Trueman-Shaw, at Mary Institute and St. Louis Day School, you can get a sense of how Jaylen was positioning himself as CEO of  The Jaylen Bledsoe Global Group, and what the company would stand for in later years:

Jaylen joined the MICDS community in the fall of 2012. He immediately signed up for our Student Technology group (StuTech) and quickly became an integral member of the technology team, often going out of his way to help students and teachers on the Upper School campus with technology related concerns, problems, and troubles. In addition to his outstanding work with StuTech, Jaylen is a model student of character with a strong sense of community and honor. Jaylen treats all people with kindness, compassion, and respect. Jaylen can always been counted on to do what is good and right even in the toughest of situations.  

We all may not be able to be millionaires be we can surely learn a lesson about what has contributed to Jaylen Bledsoe’s success.