Declan Mortimer started his company when he was only 9 years old. Now, at 15 years old, he has gone on to run a 6-figure social media advertising company called “Slam Social.” His network has grown to include over 15 million Instagram followers, and he has become a corporate partner with the Mister G brand.
His parents have routinely drilled into him the importance of forging his own career path. While many parents force their children to buckle into the school system and pursue jobs in medicine or law, his parents emphasized a focus on ownership and personal success. Through this, he has been able to jump into the business world, building his own firm from nothing into the massive marketing agency it is now.
He eventually made the decision to dropout from school and pursue his company full time. His education environment was unsupportive of his entrepreneurial ambitions and so he made the hard decision to leave school. Many would consider him a rebel and view his decision with disdain. But as Richard Branson says, “If you’re looking to become an entrepreneur then dome waste your time going to university or business school – just get out and do it.”
Your Age Will Hurt You
While Declan is proud of starting out in entrepreneurship at a young age and never regrets dropping out, his age has not made it easy. Not many would take a 15-year-old seriously and, starting out, it was hard to get clients to trust him with thousands of dollars for marketing. Being a young entrepreneur is difficult and requires that you fight ruthlessly to earn others’ respect.
Declan only was able to build up his business by continuously delivering results to his clients. He gradually developed a list of major clients and a history of success. This can be incredibly daunting and makes the entrepreneurial struggle more significant, but as Declan sees it, “I am years ahead of everybody else, my age is a blessing.”
Just Get Started
When you are young, it can be difficult to jump into entrepreneurship. But Declan’s best advice is to just get started and do what interests you. “I started my business for fun, it was a fun project that turned into a revenue-generating business.” The core of this advice traces back to Declan’s belief that if you do what you love, your quality of work and passion will be enough to set you apart from the rest.
Since kids have less business experience, Declan suggests that young people view startups more as side projects at first. This will help them focus on their natural skillsets and interests. For young people, one of their biggest road bumps is simply understanding what they are capable of executing, which requires experimentation.
Fight For What You Love
Many kids’ understanding of Facebook is limited to browsing their newsfeed. However, at the age of 15, Declan was in the middle of a legal battle with Facebook for erroneously shutting down a number of his social media channels. His determination paid off as he eventually was able to come to an agreement with Facebook.
This was a hard battle for him to fight and required a lot of time, but since he loves his work, it was worth it. A young person may be known for being inexperienced, but they also are filled with passion and determination. This means every young person ought to double down on their passions and allow that natural energy to fuel their careers.
Declan Mortimer has achieved more than most adults can achieve during their career. He is the founder and owner of a successful marketing agency that works with huge brands and has been through a legal battle with a Fortune 500 corporation, all at the age of 15. Learn from his experiences, stop taking no for an answer, get out there and take control of your ambitions. With this go-getter mindset and a passion for your work, age will simply be a number and you can let your results speak for themselves.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.