5 Lessons I Learned From Starting a Company at 19 Years Old

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I had no intention of starting my own software company. I was forced into it. You see, a few years ago, I was a full-time YouTuber. Everything was fine until my bridge got damaged. This means I earned $0 from ads placed on my videos.

There was a time when I was getting 2-3 million views a month on my channel and I didn’t get a penny. As a way to bounce back from this low point, I decided to put my life savings ($5,000) into starting a creative computer program at age 19. I dropped out of college to work on my SaaS startup full-time, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way. Here are the five biggest lessons I’ve learned so far:

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1. It is better to do than to be perfect

I have no coding experience – let alone creating and growing a startup. Despite these challenges, I believed 100% in my idea. Based on a proof of concept, I was determined to do everything within my limited budget to turn my SaaS idea into reality.

With a well-written vision and a lot of motivation, I was able to find a good outdoor development that not only fits my budget but also believes in my vision for Trend Watchers.

We still work together to this day. The first versions of Trend Watchers were terrible, but over time, the UI / UX was gradually improved. When I look back on my journey from a software development perspective, I shouldn’t have made it this far. I went through many setbacks and difficulties. I had to put it back at the starting line, but having a great vision with the mixed team and wanting to succeed, we were able to win.

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No matter how difficult a task may seem, doing it is better than being perfect. Most of the time, perfection comes through the many mistakes you make along the way.

2. The importance of data collection

One thing I have done before is good data collection. What do I mean by data collection? Data collection has a bad reputation, thanks to big companies and scammers who use it to make a quick buck. But there is a positive side to data collection. Data collection can be used to make better marketing decisions. It can also be used to find out what users like and dislike.

I collect data in a few ways, but two of the most effective data collection methods I’ve used are asking good questions about our sign-up process and creating a class recording program. to track how long users spend on each page and what they click on. These two methods of collecting information have helped to make the right decisions and update programs to improve people’s experience.

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3. Get a proof of concept before you build

For the backers, I will repeat myself: Get a proof of concept before you build it. At the beginning of 2022, I thought it would be a good idea to create a market within Trend Watchers. Marketing is great, and when used correctly it can be a huge growth engine for startups – but no one wanted it. They just want systems they can use to post online.

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Instead of listening to this marketing information, I went ahead and built it, and it was a huge disaster. It also caused a lot of other problems, but I wasted a lot of time and money on something that my users didn’t want at the time. Because of that experience, I always do research and get a proof of concept before I add something new.

4. Tell your story

Starting a software company at 19 years old with my own money is financially challenging enough. Another question, how do I sell this with a market value of $0?

Growing up, I was an amazing storyteller. In my free time after school, I write my own books. I would go into our home office, get some paper from the printer, fold it in half, tape it together, and boom — I had a book.

I decided to use this skill that I developed as a child to slow down a movement of loyal followers to help me gain momentum for Trend Watchers. The two platforms I decided to focus on to document my progress were Instagram and print usage. It was not an overnight success. It took a lot of writing, documentation and uploading to slowly start to get my brand’s story heard, and now it’s starting to pay off.

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One of the interesting facts I’ve found recently about my paying customers is that they tend to stay longer knowing that their money is active. Most of my paying customers follow my story through my email list or Instagram page for weekly updates.

If you are working on growing your startup, document your journey. Not only will you end up with a well-written journal in the end, but you may also gain loyal customers along the way.

5. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way

Some of the best decisions I’ve made were spur of the moment opportunities that came my way. Some of these opportunities include opportunities to buy programs, go to different places and break my schedule to participate in some events. About 90% of these opportunities came out of nowhere, and every time I take one, it helps me a lot in the process of growing my business.

Related: 6 Tips for Building a Successful, Growing Digital Marketing Company

As many people know, starting and growing a business is not easy, especially for a young adult with no experience. Reading books and watching YouTube videos can be very helpful and informative, but experience is the best teacher. The skills and lessons I gained through my experience helped me grow exponentially, and hopefully, these five lessons above can help other entrepreneurs – young or old – grow. their business.


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