At the age of 15, Chelann Gienger started her first business- a health coaching business. From that point on, she was addicted to entrepreneurship.
Chelann realized that in order to take her business to the next level, she would need a degree. So at 16, she enrolled in college with the dream of walking away as a Registered Dietitian. Long story short, a few weeks before graduating with her AA, Chelann opened NUYU Juice Bar with some business partners. And that's when her life changed more than she thought was possible.
"If anyone has ever told you that book-work is more valuable than hands-on experience, they were wrong." According to Chelann, she learned more in the course of a year owning the juice bar than she had the two years she was in college. After much thought, Chelann decided not to go back to school for Dietetics but to pursue entrepreneurship full time. "I realized my passion was to inspire and empower the younger generation to live in extreme freedom and life balance through the platform of being an entrepreneur. But then came the question, how was I going to start making that dream a reality?"
When Chelann opened the juice bar she it became extremely difficult to see eye-to-eye with many friends around her age. They were running a completely different race in life at different speeds. So, Chelann created the solution to her own problem and started Entrepreneur Before 25 in June of 2016. Entrepreneur Before 25 is a podcast that interviews entrepreneurs who started their journey at the age of 25 and under. Chelann's hope was that it would act as a magnet to attract like-minded entrepreneurs. And that's exactly what's happened.
Here are 3 of the most important lessons she's learned starting three business ventures before 20-years-old:
1. Separate yourself from your business
Being an entrepreneur is possibly one of the most unpredictable paths you can take in life. It isn't for everyone... But for those of us that it is for, we can't run away from it. It runs in our blood. With that being said, you're going to have ups and downs everyday in your business. And with those ups and downs, it's important that you don't let how your business is doing dictate how YOU are doing. Learn to separate your personal emotions from your business. Chelann noticed that during the first few months NUYU was open, every time the business would have a bad day, she would too.
"Subconsciously, I was letting the business define who I was and how I was."
The moment she realized that the literal job description of an entrepreneur was to, "solve problems" life got a lot easier. Chelann believes that it's important to be intentional about making sure you aren't basing your identity on the business, but on who you are as an individual.
2. Be committed to change
Without change, there is no growth. I am sure you have heard the saying,
"If you're not growing, you're dying." Well, I challenge you to stop reading this for a second and really think about what that means.
Okay, welcome back. With how fast new ideas, technology and everything else is moving today, it is absolutely critical that as businesses owners we are constantly pushing our businesses to the next level of excellence and innovation. And that means change. Chelann made it clear that change is very difficult for her since it will most likely result in even more lack of control.
"I'm a logical and systematic individual, so whenever there is a possibility of me not having all my ducks in a row, my default is to run the other way."
But you have to get over that because change is critical and without it, your business won't reach it's full potential. If change is hard for you like it is for Chelann, surround yourself with a team who is committed to change and pushing the business forward. Remember, change=growth. Be intentional about doing the hard, but right thing.
3. Keep your eye on the mission at all times
It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks we put on our to-do list. It's easy to wake up every morning and immediately start going through the motions. But I challenge you to wake up every morning and instead of looking at your to-do list first, remind yourself of the mission of your business. Chelann has a personal mission statement and business statements that she goes over everyday.
"That simple routine keeps me aligned and grounded with the WHY behind everything I do. That way, when times get rough (which is going to happen) I am driven and motivated by that WHY instead of the not so substantial 'fix website" on my to-do list."
Bonus Content From Chelann Herself:
Create your own mission statement by simply answering this question-
What is the purpose of my business at a deeper level?
For example, NUYU's mission statement isn't to "provide people with healthy juices, smoothies and food." We take it to a deeper meaning. What is the WHY behind those healthy juices, smoothies and foods?
NUYU's mission is to "inspire and infuse new health, new energy and a new you"
Good job! You made it to the end of this article. Now I challenge you to do something. Instead of just clicking on what you were going to next or going onto the next task of your day, set a timer for 5 minutes and meditate on these three areas. Where are you at with them? Are you too emotionally involved in your business? Are you committed to change? Do you have a mission for your life and business?
If you want to learn more about Chelann or pick her brain for more words of wisdom you can ping her at firstname.lastname@example.org