#064 Is Entrepreneurship the Right Path for Your Teen with Ryan Henry


Ryan Henry  00:00

Being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s really hard to have an idea. Go after that idea. 10 years or how to emerge a potential successful entrepreneur, maybe, but the statistics are really bad. And so if you don’t have those six essential traits, there’s no, it’s okay. Like the world out there is promoting entrepreneurship in a way that we ever partake of, because, you know, it’s about what percent of the population are true visionary entrepreneurs. So we’re not talking about self-employed people, that’s different.

Lisa Robbins  00:39

While entrepreneurship is in the business career bucket, what does it really mean to be an entrepreneur, and how in your team know if it’s the right path for them, even for those wired for entrepreneurship, it can often feel like a scary path. But it doesn’t have to be. I’ve invited fellow entrepreneur Ryan Henry to join me today to discuss the six essential traits of successful entrepreneurs, and what this could mean for your teen or young adult. Ryan is a third-generation entrepreneur himself, and I’m a second-generation entrepreneur, my son Caleb makes our third generation in my family. While we both lean into our personal experiences. Brian brings additional insights from being an Entrepreneurial Operating System implementer as well as a co-founder of the entrepreneurial leap Academy. I’m Lisa marker Robbins, and I want to welcome you to College and Career Clarity, a Flourish coaching production. Let’s dive right into a great conversation. Ryan, welcome.

Ryan Henry  01:54

Thank you, Lisa. Great to be here with you.


Lisa Robbins  01:56

I am so excited about this because being an entrepreneur myself, I know it can be a fantastic path. And honestly, when I was in high school and even college, I didn’t even consider it as a PAM. I wasn’t even thinking ahead like that. Were

Ryan Henry  02:12

you know, I think no, I hated school.

Lisa Robbins  02:19

Well, that’s my Caleb too. He hated school as well.

Ryan Henry  02:23

I didn’t hate learning. No, I just went to high school. And that structure was just that was not for me. So what was I thinking about? I don’t think I was thinking about a lot. I had a lot of fun in high school. And I’ll leave it there for now, it’s a different conversation. I think I got scared though. I turned 18 In October, my senior year and I think oh my gosh, it hit me I was sitting in the back of a friend’s car. Anyway, I got accepted to Kalamazoo College up here private college, and by going to U of M. And I just went there like Henry. They call me Henry molasses “Where are you gonna go school” and I went, and I froze up. I didn’t know, I know what to do. And saw, ya know, I was not thinking about it until it was thrust upon me. That yeah, this the party is ending? Yeah, yeah. What are you gonna do?

Lisa Robbins  03:19

They get stuck on that windy path. I think it’s interesting. Both of us had entrepreneurial parents. Yet, we weren’t automatically thinking about it in high school as we were making those plans for what comes after graduation. And it’s, I mean, the world is different. You know, I was doing that back in the 80s. And not thinking that way. Now, there are college majors and entrepreneurship, I think entrepreneurship gets a lot more attention. So, you know, my heart behind having you on was let’s talk about what teens and their parents should be thinking about earlier than kind of stumbling their way into it like you and I did and stumbling the right word for me at least

Ryan Henry  04:06

100%. And so I’ll give you a little bit of context in that regard. You know, Ely, the entrepreneurial leap created by my business partner, Gino Wickman. He wrote that book for his 18-year-old self mislabeled derelict didn’t know what he was, didn’t know who he was. And I’m on that journey with him to help and to the parents on there. You may be you have a Gino Wickman as a son or daughter.

Lisa Robbins  04:38

So maybe Yeah, I mean, that’s true. That is the story of many of these kids. And I think there’s also the kids who like you said, he ran into his derelict self, right?

Ryan Henry  04:50

In right. And so the point of Ed leaps is to give that context is really mentoring. It’s mentoring is, well, we’re finding ourselves and say, Hey, if you’re an entrepreneur like us, Hey, you might want to join us know us, we want to help. The so the entrepreneur leap is all about finding ourselves. It’s about mentoring, it’s about helping others, it’s providing a guide, if you are an entrepreneur, to how to create a better business, a better startup and a better life for yourself. And so, our desire is to take wisdom, our learning, lessons from our leaps, our courage leaps into the future, that so many of us do, and give it to those that are also like us. So it takes courage. I mean, that 100% It takes courage. Yeah.

Lisa Robbins  05:49

And teenagers, I mean, oftentimes, they’re afraid to even pick up the phone to make the doctor’s appointment or ask for a job shadow or do an informational interview. And that I mean, that’s part of the work that I’m doing in my launch Career Clarity course, which is, you know, we’ve got to take risks. And even as adults, entrepreneurs, you and me, we still show up and do things scared, I think that a lot of times teenagers think, Oh, we’re doing it always with confidence. And while certainly there’s some level of confidence, you’re still showing up doing it scared often. And so, thinking back to these teenagers, I know that you all have identified six traits. What it really six essential traits of what it really takes to be an entrepreneur. And what I thought would be interesting is I want to hear what those are, share it with our parents that are teens that are thinking about this, because I think that helps us to begin to identify it in our own kids, and then call out confidence and life into what we see in them. That makes more things possible. We do it that way.

Ryan Henry  07:04

So I’m going to speak to you parents directly you know what to have, you just kind of scan your child. As I read these, I want you to start thinking about your child and I’m actually going to read you five surprising signs you might be an entrepreneur in the making. And that will read you the six essential traits again, just in your child. I have a son named Caleb, like Lisa, I can scan him as I asked him the Questions number one, and this could be a teenager a young adult did they drop out of college so they drop out of university? Number two, they never want to attend university in the first place. It just doesn’t fit in a school system. High school or all both wondered Prasad


Lisa Robbins  07:47

levels, I would say my Caleb didn’t even elementary school. That was odd.

Ryan Henry  07:53

We say GWC, us, you’d get wanting to do a seat, I did not GWC the school seat that I said, I didn’t get it. I definitely didn’t want to do it. And I couldn’t learn that way. And so I didn’t GWC number four, you hate authority. And the way things are. Number five, you think your current employer strategies suck. So those are five surprising signs. You might have an entrepreneur in the making. Then again, just scan your child and then you just have to see what the results are.

Lisa Robbins  08:27

I have a question about that. So Oh, yeah, go go. You know, I’ve so I’ve worked with 1000s teens and young adults through this framework that I have of know yourself, well, no careers, no your path. I sometimes want to go back to the one about hating school. So I did not hate school. I didn’t love it. But I didn’t hate it. And I actually loved going to school, I got my master’s degree I toy at ties of getting a doctorate because I just like to learn. And then I’m like that filet. There are so many other ways you can learn Lisa, so I’ve never going to get the doctorate or write the dissertation. So do those have to be mutually exclusive in your guy’s findings? Because, you know, I’ve got two businesses I started my first 124 years ago, the second one and 2021.

Ryan Henry  09:21

Yeah. So I’m going to kind of bounce into the six essential traits and into what that question is because I think if I go that way that will give the context. So the six essential traits of a driven visionary entrepreneur are in the making. are visionary. Just they got a lot of ideas constantly. Like my son, Caleb, every day. We work out in the morning, and he’s like debt. I got to state the Bubble Bubble bubble. He was telling me about a new idea. They want to be good ideas, ideas, bad ideas. Visionary see around corners, see things. Next is passion. Like they just get into some that maybe they just like a call Elsa Wonderly. They just go way deep into the hole on stuff. So this passionate, they’re really passionate about stuff and solving things. They’re like this problem solvers. They’re just cranky kind of look at stuff. They’re like, why is that like that? If your kid is looking at school and going, This is dumb, I can learn totally differently by watching YouTube or Khan Academy or I can read this book or watch the masterclass like the goat, there’s a better way to learn, I promise. Boris driven, like Davis had this drive inside of them to get something to go after what they want, they don’t need to be told to go after what they want, they just go after so driven. The next is a risk taker. They just take a look, they just they’re not averse to making a decision and taking that risk. And then the last is responsible. And that just means you there’s a blame anybody, they just take responsibility for things. So to the degree that your child has those six essential traits, you might have an entrepreneur of the making, if you want to know more, you can go on our Ely website, look at those trades, you can buy the elite book, or they’re all free, except the book and everything in the books on our website for free. And they can take a seat and have them taken assessment themselves to see if they think they might be an entrepreneur in the making. So those are the six essential traits. But then I know you want to say something, I just want to say this. So I just want to clear the air for parents in the room. We’re not saying you should do college or shouldn’t do college, when in doubt, go to college, for sure. So just want to clear the air is that question should I go back to college should I learn? I like to learn to choose an education that works best for you just know that, you know, half of entrepreneurs do, and half don’t.

Lisa Robbins  11:49

I think that that’s a great data point. I didn’t actually know that data points. So half of entrepreneurs do have. It doesn’t really, like they’re not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to go to college or not go to college to do so. It’s just what aligns with you because there’s there are other reasons for going to college.

Ryan Henry  12:15

Yeah, so I’ll read you a little stat for parents that are thinking Ryan just maybe just threw that out of thin air. So CNBC Survey Monkey Small Business Survey, in a 2017 survey showed that most small business owners in the United States don’t have a college degree, while 44% of small business owners have a four-year degree or higher. So there’s this statistic, CNBC Survey Monkey, I’m gonna read you some entrepreneurs that don’t have a college degree. And some that do just so you know, exist out there. So maybe you’ve heard of Bill Gates, maybe he dropped out of Harvard. He got into Harvard and dropped out. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin empire, he dropped out of high school. Michael Dell dropped out of college, Ralph Lauren, dropped out of college, Steve Jobs dropped out of college. He created Apple, and this word actually did. Christine with Walt Disney dropped out of high school. He did he dropped out of college. There are some that dropped out of college. Oh, just for the women in the row. Hold on. Hold on. Mary Kay. Ash there, went to college, never went to I saw the founder of Hallmark Cards, never went to college. Today, maybe they got bank nearby entrepreneur, the making son or daughter said to go to college Well, successful entrepreneurs who have been to college, Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy, Fred Smith, founder of FedEx, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, co founder of Google Mark Cuban, co-founder broadcast.com, Martha Stewart, founder, Martha Stewart Living, went to college, Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike went to college. And Sam Walton, founder of Walmart went to college. It’s now the parents must be gone. I don’t know. And so when in doubt, go.

Lisa Robbins  14:07

Well, you know, there are entrepreneurs, if you like if you’re in high school, if your teens in high school, and you’re going, Oh, they’ve got those traits, and they even are showing that they’re interested possibly in entrepreneurship. And I think a lot of teens don’t even know what that is to even start thinking about it. There are college majors that are entrepreneurship majors. But you know, when I find what that CNBC survey, when they said 44% That sort of fits with and it changes from year to year but the percentage of Americans that even hold a college degree I think sometimes depending on the type of high school our teen attends, and my kids went to high school where a vast majority were college bound. And I went to a school that over 90% went to college But when I went back to reunions, I realized not nearly 90% held a college degree. Interesting. So, on average, you know, Americans have about 35 to 40% of Americans are going to earn a bachelor’s degree. So that 44% really is it fits. And it makes me think about it going back to my first pillar. And what I work with, with my clients is, know yourself deeply

Ryan Henry  15:27

That’s right. And if you don’t, I just want to say clearly you’re here too because we’re on a mission, it’s a mission of mercy and grace. If you don’t have the six essential traits, you know, you can say, maybe you are an entrepreneur, but this is what we see. And if you just don’t, it’s worth saying, with all due respect, being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s really hard. Have an idea, go after that idea. 10 years of hell, the merge of potential successful entrepreneur, maybe, but the statistics are really bad. And so if you don’t have those six essential traits, just know, it’s okay. Like the world out there is promoting entrepreneurship in a way that, that we have a critique of because you know, it’s 4% of the population that are true visionary entrepreneurs. So we’re not talking about self-employed people that’s different.

Lisa Robbins  16:23

Yeah. Because I think people get confused. They think because they own a franchise or a small business, that they’re an entrepreneur. And that’s not really what we’re talking about.

Ryan Henry  16:34

Well, it’s so that’s an interesting conversation. So we call driven visionary entrepreneurs. And so there’s an array, from self-employed to true entrepreneur. And so you might be self-employed, you might be handy with your hands and like after your landing, you did any skills, you can go out charge. 5060 does Upton’s in your market, bucks an hour, have enough work for the rest of your life? Make 100 grand a year? Nope. Employees, you’re self-employed? That’s fantastic. Well, what’s the difference between you if that person had six essential traits? Well, if you had those six plates, you’re gonna go to a job. There you go. I mean, if I hire somebody for 20 bucks an hour, I could do this. And the next thing, you know, three years later, you got a construction business. So this is all about knowing thyself. So there is a need and for those that are wondering, is entrepreneurship for them to get clarity about maybe where they are on entrepreneurship, because there is a difference?

Lisa Robbins  17:37

Well, that’s a good way to think of it too. It’s a continuum or a spectrum. Right.

Ryan Henry  17:41

Wonderful. And you asked this question, well, is there ways for them to test the waters? Yeah. So

Lisa Robbins  17:49

what if the parent who’s thinking about this, it goes, Okay, my teenager is showing some of those trades when I’m doing the scan that Ryan had me do. And then I hear those six essential traits. I wonder. So I love to give listeners always like, okay, for where you are. Now, here’s something you can do next steps to try to figure this out. So what would be I mean, not only do you work in this space, but you are the parent of two teenagers. So

Ryan Henry  18:24

I am, this is very true. So I’ll start with that. And then I have some comments that I think will be helpful, as little nuggets for some of these parents to grab. So I have two teenage kids, Caleb, who’s 17. And Abigail was 14 Junior a freshman in high school. It is very clear to me that my son doesn’t want to go to college because he says so. That’s pretty obvious. He is a ferocious reader. Wicked, smart, wildly entrepreneurial, has great ideas, and great ambition. Fantastic. We have a school for him. He can be a mentor, II, and we’ll talk more about that Academy for entrepreneurs that we created to like daughter, on the other hand, she actually qualifies as entrepreneurial as well. Well, we’ll see where that goes, whether she wants to work in an entrepreneur company or be an entrepreneur. She’s not clear on what she wants yet. And so she does, she is clear that she wants to go to college, and she thinks her brother’s crazy. And I would just say if you have a son or daughter that isn’t going to go to college, they just need to know that that is going to be a harder path because of just how society right? So but at the same time, if that is true, then they have to find a way for themselves to find education and get what they’re looking to get so that what’s inside of them that dream that passion, that business, they want to start. They need coaching they need mentors, they need a learning environment. They need to meet people like themselves, because, you know if entrepreneurs are 4% of the population 96% of the population is not going to be able to give you any advice because they think you’re crazy. They can be they don’t normally 100% is being an entrepreneur many times can be isolating, and competition filled in well, and what we want to do is provide a place for community and collaboration, but the answer the to give clarity, what should a spirit do? So here are a couple of things. Number one, shameless plug for Ely, in the new book being released, a new release of the book is coming out in April, I would say, as a parrot, this is sold power. This is so much clarity

Lisa Robbins  20:48

is on the podcast on the video, people gonna be able to see it, but it’s entrepreneurial leap by the book we do use video too. So

Ryan Henry  21:00

fantastic. So the book is called entrepreneurial leap. It’s written by my business partner, Gina Whitman and the founder and co-founder of Eos. And so a real-world guide to discovering what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how you can build the business of your dreams. And so, in the beginning, the first part is about knowing thyself. And that’s the thing that any kid, any young adult, can be given by a parent is to tell themselves,

Lisa Robbins  21:29

yeah, there was a study done of top-performing CEOs and I don’t have, the source right here, but I used it regularly. It said, the number one predictor of future success for those CEOs was not socio-economic background, it wasn’t where they went to college, or if they went to college. It was how well they knew themselves. Self-awareness is the best predictor of future success. So knowing yourself well. That’s right.

Ryan Henry  22:05

Yeah. So we’re collaborators with Colby Kol, beaten, and I highly. Go take the eight index, go get the Enneagram, go get 16 personalities go get strength finder,

Lisa Robbins  22:18

go do it. I got a plus nine. I use Bert. I’m a master-certified Berkman. I’ll do that to do it all, like NASA, and Earth in our course. They’re like, yes, gold, you read about yourself.

Ryan Henry  22:31

Yeah, pay parents. My advice, go get all those I have my kids do all of them. I think they’re wildly helpful. It creates great conversations. It helps them kind of be like, Oh, that’s why. That’s why you’re old. That’s why I’m like this. And this is phenomenal. So there’s one little nugget just to help the book with that content. There is a talk that Gino my co-founder did, and we can get it in the show notes where he went to spring Arbor University and spoke on the six essential traits spoke on the nine stages of an entrepreneur’s life spoke on the eight critical mistakes. Phenomenal. Watch it with your child and just say, well say what do you think? Just look at him afterward. Look at her afterward and go. So what do you think? Just start the conversation. So helpful. But what show? Yeah,

Lisa Robbins  23:21

that’s fantastic. Well, we will definitely put that in the show notes. Right. That’s at the end of every episode. And I always record my outro later, but I’m already going to tell them their homework for this week because we encourage what I call college-bound conversations. But whether you’re college-bound or not, with intention, setting aside time every weekend to do something as a conversation as a task as a family together with your team trying to figure out what comes after graduation. What is their individual personal wiring? And I think that that’s a great one for this week. Let’s watch that talk that Gino gave. And we’ll link to all these resources in the show notes.

Ryan Henry  24:08

Yeah, just two things that are right around in my head. One, I just want to make it so clear. If you do this work and your child is scoring off the charts, entrepreneur 90% or better on the assessment. And they’ve got an idea of those six essential traits and you’re like, oh, yeah, you do. And they never don’t know what they want to do. They do know what they want to do one of the best things that you can help them find is a mentor. Somebody that is a successfully driven, visionary entrepreneur, in your community in your church, maybe it’s a friend of yours. Maybe somebody you barbecue with needs a neighbor who knows. But see if they have the courage to go ask that person will you mentor me?

Lisa Robbins  24:54

And I would argue that you mentioned earlier and I’ll end on this that you know For because of how society is, and how, how things work, it can be a little bit lonely or if you don’t do that college paths, and you’ve got to have greater intention or CS resources. I’ve worked with enough college students as well. And recently, even one from Notre Dame, who is a junior, with who I did some work with recently. And it’s not always natural, I guess you still have to with intention, seek that out. If you’re a teen going into college, it’s not just all of a sudden going to be there and available, it might be easier to find. But you as a teen, as a young adult in college have to put yourself out and there’s no reason to not start mentorship. And these intentional things while our kids are still in high school.

Ryan Henry  25:53

100% is one of the number one things that can change an entrepreneur’s life. And of course, any young adult’s life is to have a mentor but particularly for entrepreneurs, the statistics are like 50% potential higher success rates for entrepreneurs. And if you love your child, and she is an entrepreneur, just know the stats are bad for fighting entrepreneurs huge. Yeah, so we call them leaps. The leap ahead is how to get leap ahead. If you’re thinking about entrepreneurs if your son or daughter is one. If you’re playing Mario Kart, there are those speed lanes that she gets them to go fast. Well, they want to go fast. And so one of the things that we did with Elite is we created an academy for entrepreneurs who have the six essential traits and have taken their leap, which is the scariest thing ever, because now they’re out there. And so we represent a collaborative community. We have a collaborative classroom environment in our academy, and we get appears so they can talk to each other if somebody they can call up. It really helped bring a mentor into the life that we teach them how to be a great mentee and mentor. So it’s like a speed pass at the academy that speeds up. Get singled out, am I Oh card. I

Lisa Robbins  27:06

like that. It’s

Ryan Henry  27:09

just a Foster School. It’s a school built for us. So

Lisa Robbins  27:14

Fantastic Well, thank you, Ryan for the insight. I’m gonna I want families to use that quiz. I took the quiz before you know, I Yeah. So when I was learning about a leap, and I took the quiz before I met with Laurel, your business partner, and yep, I had all the traits. And I was like, let’s see this because I’ve been a successful entrepreneur for nearly a quarter of a century. And it was spot on, and I liked the questions, you can see where it was getting at and those traits, so I’m gonna highly recommend it. We’re gonna link to that quiz and the book. And we’ll go ahead and get that I’ll need to get that talk from Gino because those are all great resources. Ryan, we’ll have you on again, I don’t think this is the last time that you’re going to be adding value for our families. Thank you for joining me. I appreciate it. This episode was important to me because I see so many opportunities for entrepreneurial teams. Also, don’t let those not wired for entrepreneurship to head down what is not an easy road. For my college-bound challenge this week. Have your student take the entrepreneur and the making assessment. It said E dash leaf.com forward slash assessment has also linked to it in the show notes. Whether your teen scores at 90 or above indicating they have the six essential traits of entrepreneurship that Ryan talked about, or they score under 90. This will provide a roadmap for a fantastic conversation for your family as you work on future planning. If today’s episode was helpful to you, please share it with a friend who needs us to share it following the podcast rating and reviewing helps me resource more students to launch into a successful future. Thank you for listening to the College and Career Clarity podcast, where I help your family move from overwhelmed, and confused to motivated, clear and confident about your team’s future.