“Entrepreneurship is about tearing down problems and learning. The entrepreneur always goes further, looks outside what there is, and creates opportunities where there are none”. These are part of the keys in which Kevin Leyes, a 19-year-old entrepreneur, has managed to sustain his business growth and, above all, his life.
The Young Entrepreneurial Spirit
Without having a perfect life, Leyes has managed to turn his ideas into great business opportunities. A humble and somewhat complicated life was not enough to stop this young Argentinean from starting the path to make his ideas a reality. What without thinking about it, would make him the owner of three big and well-known companies.
Born in González Catán, and whose childhood lived in a small town called Pontevedra, in Merlo, Leyes showed since he was 9 years old, his love for entrepreneurship and technology. Since then, this passion did not stop until he saw its first fruits at the age of 12, when the National Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation and the Dr. Manuel Sadosky Foundation awarded him for winning the “Desafío Dale Aceptar”, a competition for young programmers.
At that time, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner also congratulated him during the winners’ ceremony. All this recognition seemed to be the impulse that the young man needed to believe that it was possible to continue with his ideals. With effort and an attitude defined by Kevin himself as “self-taught”, he continued to forge what would be his first business: Team Leyes, an urban jewelry brand and company based in the U.S. who is disrupting the industry.
The recognitions did not stop and in 2017, he received the title of “Youth Ambassador” from the U.S. Embassy in Argentina and the U.S. Department of State. This allowed him to represent Argentina in the United States and study in the Universities of Virginia and Washington.
Currently, Team Leyes is a company registered in the U.S. and Argentina: what began as a business, became not only the economic support of his whole family but also a recognized industry. They have more than 60,000 followers on Instagram, and they work with renowned artists of international stature. Kevin himself has a bigger audience of almost 4 million followers on social media.
As if that were not enough, he has two other companies: Leyes Media, a social media marketing and public relations agency in where they help entrepreneurs, influencers, and artists to grow and boost their social media and digital presences, and Ayudar, a recently launched app that aims to promote collaboration in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ayudar app connects donors and volunteers with vulnerable people in need and NGOs. During the coronavirus, it also allows its users to request or offer help in special areas such as donations to hospitals, running errands, pickups and deliveries, and remote advice and activities.
Recently, Kevin Leyes was also decorated as the youngest official member of the Forbes Business Council and Young Entrepreneur Council, demonstrating to us that, effectively, age is just a number and doesn’t limit people and entrepreneurs from achieving their goals and dreams.
How Can A 19-Year-Old Achieve All This? Some Advice For New Entrepreneurs
Asking how someone so young achieves so much success can be commonplace. However, it is effort, focus, and perseverance that have allowed this entrepreneur to take advantage of every opportunity. Also, knowing how to use each resource properly:
Taking Advantage Of This Digital Era
“I always emphasize the Internet as a method of learning and networking. It opened the door for me to connect a lot of people around the world,” said Kevin Leyes, Chairman of Leyes Enterprises, a portfolio and group of companies.
Seeing social media as a “catapult to success” and connecting much of his business to the digital world has helped him. He added that using personal branding to reach more people and customers has allowed him to keep growing.
Staying Focused On Your Goal
But not everything depends on the Internet. Like many entrepreneurs who have probably not realized their dream, this young man’s path was not easy. The lack of resources could have prevented his growth. However, this was one of the main motivators of his effort.
“My childhood was full of setbacks and failures that also shaped me and I used them to get ahead,” he said. It has been his conviction and belief in his ideas that have led him to continue over the first setbacks and the difficulties that even in the midst of all he has built up to appear along the way.
Executing: From Idea To Action
Although at first, he claims not to have believed that he would go so far with his idea, he stresses that he never stopped. Moving from idea to action is what makes the difference for this young entrepreneur, who decided to take the first step in pursuit of his goals.
In the world of entrepreneurship, there are thousands of projects and business ideas, but not all of them become reality due to the lack of action and execution of many entrepreneurs. This is where the line divides.
The Hard Part Is The Beginning
The concept of the snowball falling from a mountain and getting bigger, faster, can clearly be related to this. It is precisely that first step, which begins to trace a path, where the complexities will be present. However, the experience and learning acquired will make it practical to be able to face any eventual issues and obstacles.
“The fact that you become recognized and successful in your niche generates a different perception of the people around you. People begin to take you seriously, and no matter how old you are, they also begin to value your work”, affirms Leyes.
As is the case of Kevin Leyes, whose stumbling blocks along the way were not lacking. However, as he progressed, he claims to have found direction while strengthening his purpose. It is there, where personal growth and that of each project, begins to be more noticeable, as the road becomes easier.