You’re 14 & grandpa needs help to sell his old camera online – What would you do? Ben Lang chose to start a business!
How do you become a successful entrepreneur and run your business online if you’re a teenager and the world is in recession? In our interview with Ben Lang, he shares his story and inspires other young kids to pursue their dreams!
Your story started with eBay and a blog. Can you tell us a bit more about it? What or who inspired you to enter the world of entrepreneurship?
It all started when my grandfather asked me if I could sell his camera equipment for him online. I agreed because it sounded interesting and the commission was quite promising. The truth is I made quite a hefty sum from the deal which convinced me to continue. Why not sell for my friends, family and even strangers?
From there it only went uphill. I created a website, started marketing to my network and neighborhood, be it through flyers, business cards and Craigslist. Eventually someone from Channel 12 saw my website and decided to interview me on “Surviving the Economic Crisis.” The video was featured on TV and to this day has over 30,000 views on YouTube.
After creating a website for my eBay business I became very attracted to the online aspect of the business. Thereafter I connected with many bloggers which inspired me to create my own blog. About a year and a half ago, I launched Ben-Lang.com which transformed into EpicLaunch.com, a popular blog for young entrepreneurs.
Do you get help from other adults or even kids too? Who helped you the most and how?
My dad definitely helped me the most. He’s always been able to give me advice, and help out with anything I need. My business partner, Alex Ainsberg, a friend from middle school, also played a huge role in my business career. Together we’ve learnt an incredible amount.
With school and your business, you must be very busy already. Is there at all time to hang out with your friends or simply play games on your computer/console? What is your favorite game?
Business and school sure take up a good amount of my time but I still have time hang out with my friends. I would never sacrifice my social life for business considering that I’m still in high school. But I don’t play computer games any more, no time for that.
What is your favorite book or movie? Do you also have a favorite character from it? What do you like the most about them?
That’s a really tough question, I can answer what my favorite business book is. It’s without a doubt, Dig Your Well Before Your Thirsty by Harvey Mackay. This book teaches you about the importance of networking, which to this day I think is crucial for every entrepreneur.
How do your friends or other kids at school react to what you do? Do they find it inspiring? Do you get any less encouraging responses?
Some are interested in what I do and ask me questions but some sometimes make crude remarks. I would say though that overall I receive positive responses from my peers.
What is your response to kids who think it is too difficult to pursue their dream when they’re very young?
I think that’s ridiculous, you’re never too young to pursue your dream. Even if at the age of 10 you’d like to climb Everest you have to take a shot at it. Who knows, you may just accomplish it…
What is your message to adults that may be interested in working with kids like you, but for some reason or another haven’t done so yet?
It’s great when adults work seriously with teenagers. Adults may be hesitant at first which certainly makes sense but I think they should learn to trust teenagers. Some teens are more responsible and hardworking than adults..
Thanks so much for inspiring Ben! We wish you great many successes in your future endeavors and hope other kids will pursue their dreams and try to find their passion following your example!