Have you been at the receiving end of cruel jokes, remarks, and beatings by bully schoolmates? Perhaps you feel there can be no way out of the daily torment, and for you, going to school can be compared to the feelings of an anxious soldier dispatched to the battle front.
You may be sad, angry, made to feel unloved and inadequate by these cruel people just like the teen mentioned above; but he has advice for you – you can turn all of these emotions and negative experience into an advantage for yourself, and shame your oppressors. Here’s how he did it, as reported by teenkidsnews.com.
For being dyslexic, Ollie Forsyth didn’t fit in at school. Bullies picked on him and said he was a nobody and always would be, that he would never succeed in life. He could have let their cruel cut-downs crush his spirit, his self-esteem and his motivation, but he didn’t.
Instead, he found a mentor in self-made billionaire and Founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson — who also struggled with dyslexia at school — for direction and strength, after watching a programme on him. He used his doubters’ venom as fuel for his entrepreneurial fire!
Ollie was also determined to prove his haters wrong before they graduated from school and went their separate ways, and that’s exactly what he did!
He launched his first business at only 13, but before this time was already something of a mini-entrepreneur as he made his parents pay him for getting and reheating their coffee (what I would give to be a white kid, you sigh). Also, he made money from walking the family’s dogs and cutting the grass, and at the end of each week made the equivalent of ₦6,000!
His first real business however was Ollie’s Shop, an online gift boutique that sells trendy jeweled bracelets, unique cufflinks, leather belts, wallets and other gift items for teens and their parents. With the help of family and friends, he fulfills several orders a day from his home where he stores his stock, some of which he sources from China.
Ollie’s Shop sales rolled in from day one and haven’t stopped since, said the teen entrepreneur. In his first six months of business alone, he garnered a profit of more than ₦ 700,000! How was he convinced that his business idea was both realistic and buyer worthy? Hear him:
When I hit my first £10,000 [about ₦2.9 million], I knew I had something here. That’s when the light went off! I knew I was on the journey to success, and so far, I have been lucky. I have never lost a penny.
On why he thinks he was the subject of bullying at school:
I never got the answer why they did it to me. It’s a shame that I didn’t get on with the boys, or they didn’t get on with me, but you have to move on in life.
And he believes it is possible that his bullies were jealous of his commitment and drive to achieving his business goals. So watch out, your bullies may be treating you the way they do because you make them feel inadequate!
His advice to bullied kids like himself:
Things like this happen in life, but you have to crack on with life. Onwards and upwards! Better to channel your anger and upset from being bullied into pursuing your dreams and to helping others endure a similar plight, specifically through volunteering.
He has volunteered for a variety of charities in the UK, and with his own money is also establishing a charity to help young entrepreneurs start their own businesses while they are yet in school.
Ollie also suggests that all kids – especially teen entrepreneurs – talk about their hopes, dreams and challenges with successful adults they trust and admire. If you don’t have access to a mentor, you can seek out entrepreneurial success stories on YouTube like he did, and also on entrepreneur.com.
Now 16, Ollie has opened his second online shop, Charmou which launched just four months ago, and his goal is to offer 365 brands in all by early next yet. Despite his impressive success, he is not done learning, and is enrolled at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy run by Peter Jones, a British serial entrepreneur.
So guys, shall we get cracking?