Entrepreneurs come in a variety of age groups. I’m thrilled to present our recent interview with teen entrepreneur and philanthropist, Chad Carrodus. He is the founder of Atlanta Children’s Charities. Check out our conversation below.
- Q: Chad, you have the unique experience of becoming a Philanthropist, and Entrepreneur all before the age of 18. Tell us about what inspired you to become an entrepreneur.
A: There really was a variety of reasons that have inspired me to do what I have, but I don’t think I can pinpoint just one. Part of it was just a simple fascination behind the idea of entrepreneurship, in that I simply yearn the freedom associated with it. Another aspect, geared more towards my social entrepreneurship/philanthropy, was a desire for fulfillment. Getting a large check for yourself is exciting for a short period of time, while actually helping others is much more gratifying.
- Q: You’re the founder of Atlanta Children’s Charities; can you give us a brief background about that organization?
A: Atlanta Children’s Charities was designed to streamline the process of volunteering for high school students. As I became more eager to volunteer, I realized that a lot of “volunteering” was simply fundraising and you could not actually see the fruits of your labor with the people you have helped. I decided to develop this organization that took care of the “boring” stuff, so that all our members have to dedicate their time to is directly serving others through their actions. Please feel free to learn more at www.atlkids.org
- Q: What is the most challenging aspect of entrepreneurship for you?
A: You really have to be a self-motivator. Like many others, I do well with positive reinforcement from those around me. When you are doing something unconventional or unreasonable, you really have to dig deep within yourself to find the drive.
- Q: What’s the most rewarding aspect of entrepreneurship?
A: Entrepreneurship is rewarding in that you eat what you kill. It teaches you how to be a hunter. Things that are given to us simply do not hold as much value. However, when you have invested blood, sweat, and tears into something the outcome is much more profound.
- Q: How do you find balance with all the amazing things that you do?
A: I try not to take things too seriously. Although sometimes I may get caught up in the nonsense, I understand that success really is nothing unless you have people to share it with.
- Q: We’d love to know more about your future goals and aspirations. Can you share a few of them with our audience?
A: I am planner so I know all of the details of my ideal future (down to the name of my future boat), however I don’t want to bore you with the details. In terms of career goals, I want to own my own private equity firm. Making a Forbes cover may or may not be on the bucket list as well…
- Q: Some of our readers may be in your age group. Do you have any advice to offer teens who want to become entrepreneurs?
A: I actually just got back from speaking at Emory’s Goizueta Business School, where I spoke to aspiring entrepreneurs who are my age. A point I emphasized is that now really is the best time to take action. Use your age as a platform instead of an excuse. I am fortunate enough to be old enough to be taken seriously, but young enough to stand out. You only have something to gain. Even if you fail, you’re still ahead.