Deep title for a blog post huh? Well the next part of my decision to become an entrepreneur had to do with the question: what do I want to do with my life, what are my values and what kind business do I want to start.
I thought this would make a good post, not only for those of you who want to start or have started your own business, but also because my readers, clients and audience members are constantly asking me why and how I got started.
06-08-2001, age 16:
This was the day that I had the idea for writing the book. One of my friends got expelled for ditching too many classes to play videogames. I was really upset because I thought he was a really smart guy and when I asked him why he was ditching school he said: “To piss off my parents.” I was horrified, this guy, my friend, just ruined his chances of going to a good college because he wanted to piss off his parents? I started noticing many of my friends doing similar things. Then, when I would go over to their house, I would see their parents aggravate the situation by nagging, pushing harder etc. I kept thinking, ughh if only parents knew what they were doing is pushing their kids away when they try so hard to pull them close. I also thought, there are such better ways my friends can get what they want from their parents…and it does not involve pissing them off. So, I started to interview.
05-2002, age 17:
Teens had better advice than I ever could have come up with by myself, and way better than any parenting book written by an ‘expert’ or therapist. It was honest, their stories were real. Here are a few of the questions I asked:
If you could give your parents one piece of parenting advice, what would it be?
When do you hate your parents most? When do you love your parents most?
What would you do differently if you were your parent?
How do you think your parent perceives you? Do you think it is true?
Why do you lie to your parents?
How do you think your teen perceives you? Do you think it is true?
Do you think your teen lies to you?
Do you think you are a good parent? What do you wish you could do better?
Do you think your teenager is a good kid?
If your teen was a parent, what kind of parent do you think they would be?
02-2003, Age 17
The answers were wonderfully enlightening, I turned them into a manual and passed it around to family friends who were having trouble with their teens. It seemed that for many of the teens, just talking about how they felt made them feel better, and for parents, they were dying to know the teens answers, and were shocked by them. The write-up of the interviews was very interesting and people kept telling me to try and publish it. Helping and talking to all of the parents and teens was so amazing and I loved doing it, but I had no idea how to find a publisher, and I was about to start college, so I left the project home.
05-2006, Age 21
I met with my career counselor and after looking at lots of graduate school options, companies to work at and post-college programs, she just asked me: What do you love to do? I kept thinking how much I loved bridging the gap between parents and teens and helping them. I decided to pick-up the manual again and re-interviewed many of the parents and teens so they could look back and tell me what did and didn’t work. I loved writing the book and ended up calling it: “You’re Grounded!” It is the collection of all the fascinating teen and parent answers and a sobering look into the lives of teens today.
05-2007, Age 22
You can see more about this part of the process in my first video ever below:
I basically knew that I wanted to find a way to help teens get their way with their parents so they could healthily establish their independence. I want to help parents better understand their teenagers so they don’t alienate them into rebelling.
My Authorial Persona? I guess it was when I wrote You’re Grounded, the same as it is know. I want to be a window into the lives of teens, for parents to understand us and for teens to be able to relate. I am young, I am not a parent, and I think this helps gives me a different perspective than the other adult, parent, therapist experts out there. These are also very important, but I think the only way to bridge the gap is to have people from both sides (teens and parents) sharing their stories and giving advice.
Update: Chief Millenial Officer
Hoorah, I have just joined the team at 12to20 marketing firm. Obviously I love, love, love talking to teens, talking about teens and helping teens.
So, Richard Ellis, CEO of 12to20 has asked me to join their team and created a new title for me: Chief Millenial Officer. I will be helping them organize concerts, marketing campaigns and throw parties for teenagers and tweenagers.
Coming up: The Next Phase of the Business Development: Becoming Incorporated, Mission Statements, Web Design and Start-Up Costs.