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Don't Give Up!

If you really want to be an entrepreneur, just stick with it, and you'll reap the rewards.

I can imagine it must be somewhat odd to start a business when you're a teenager. Odd in the sense that you're likely doing something that most of your other friends aren't. Maybe they're playing sports, and you're working on a business plan. Maybe they're gathering for pizza and a movie, and you're designing a logo and business cards. Maybe they're thinking about what job they'll get when they graduate from college, and your "job" requires that you be the boss. All in all, your experience is drastically different from anyone your age who is not an entrepreneur.

I can also imagine that this knowledge can be a bit unsettling at times. While deep down you know you want to own a business, you might be tempted to go along with the crowd on those tough days--the days when you would much rather be playing sports or eating pizza than worrying about starting a business.

But I'm here to tell you that you'll be glad you stuck out those tough days. I don't speak from personal experience--I have never owned a business. But I have talked to many, many entrepreneurs over the years, and the ones who try hard and succeed are always glad they chose the path they did. They say the things that are tough about entrepreneurship--the long hours for sometimes no pay (or sometimes you paying money out of your own pocket to keep your business going), the rejections, the cold calls, the scary networking events, the lack of sleep--are a small price to pay in comparison to the years of freedom and happiness you can enjoy as a successful business owner.

So if being an entrepreneur is what you really, truly want, please don't give up, even if you feel at times like you're getting nowhere. The things that are the most difficult, the most challenging, the most gut-wrenchingly hard--those are the things that are usually worth your time.

Karen E. Spaeder is a freelance business writer in Southern California.

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