From lemonade stands to jewelry businesses, young age kids can find motivation in running their own businesses with the things that they know and using the resources that they have. In these seemingly small actions of entrepreneurship, a large impact of motivation and leadership stays with that person for a lifetime. Take Ariel Garten, a recent guest on the Making Bank Podcast. Not only had she ran a lemonade stand at age 5, but also had a small jewelry business and was a clothing designer by 16.
Of course, her success didn’t stop there. Garten is the founder of Muse, a tech startup that focuses on meditation and improving lifestyle habits like stress, sleep, emotional control, and much more. When reflecting back on her past, there is one thing that stands out to her the most; and that’s the leadership opportunities and her confidence in herself that she had when trying to figure out the world of entrepreneurship.
Passion and Work Ethic
Finding your passion at a young age hard to come by. Sometimes people don’t realize their passions much later in their life, but everything that leads to discovering that dream plays an important part in success. There are so many different backgrounds that people come from that can lead them to unexpectedly amazing places. Looking at Garten’s background, the mixture of arts and science together is a huge factor of her accomplishments.
Growing up, Garten’s father “was always grooming [her] to be [an] entrepreneur” as he allowed her to work with the family business of real estate. It seemed crazy to work for someone else, spending time and labor efforts on products that might not be making the world a better place, or on products that Garten herself wasn’t interested in. That’s when Garten started to study neuroscience and started thinking about how she could combine her business background and passion with her field of study.
Wanting to create something and succeed while doing so, as well as recognizing that a product can lives for the better are the both key factors that lead into producing visions. Garten experienced that hunger and her eyes were opened when she saw a product working alongside in a lab with Dr. Steve Mann, one of the inventors of Muse’s wearable computers, who was working on technology that she believed could have a great impact on people. Little did she know, this was the beginning of her work on Muse.
Once you have the idea, you cannot let it go. You have to have a confidence in yourself and believe that the product you are creating is going to help people and change the world. When you’ve got the dream and can see that there in a need in the market, there’s nothing stopping you but yourself.
With Muse, Ariel quickly became the head of a tech company. “This is 2010 when really there weren’t a lot of women starting tech companies…I had to raise millions and millions of dollars of venture capital, where it had multiple working pieces. We were doing something that was very difficult,” Garten says of the beginnings of Muse.
Despite the difficulties, Garten pushed through and created a successful business. And it was hard, and there were bumps along the road, but she credits her background in business to a lot of her strength during this time. Because she grew up doing business, she didn’t face the negative thoughts that told her she couldn’t do something.
There are always going to be people that are going to doubt what you are doing, or your product, or can’t see the endgame. You cannot be one of those people in your head as you’re envisioning what you want.
Depending on teams, partnerships, and gaining guidance from other leaders really helps when it comes to fighting off those negative thoughts or critics. When you’re working on a product as complicated and complex as Muse, Ariel had to put a lot of trust in her teammates. Selecting her teammates, she made sure that they knew what they were doing and had to find the right ways to collaborate with them. You’ve got to have the adaptability to depend on your team, making use of what is right in front of you, communicating clearly and doing lots of tests when you’re making what is in your head a reality.
“Interesting thing was that somehow at that point [in 2010] I managed to succeed, and I succeeded because I was so clear that this was possible and that it was going to happen,” Garten says. When people told her that it was crazy, it was because they didn’t see the bigger picture that she could see – the picture that she was putting together piece by piece.
It’s never a straight path to success, but as Garten says when she wants to try something new, she’s “going to throw [herself] into it. Doesn’t work out? You know, you just take two steps to the side and you see the thing next to it that will work, and you learn from it and you move.” Learn from failures, step back and keep an eye out for the end goal. If you’ve got an idea that you know will work, you’re the only one that can bring it to life.
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