So you want to be an entrepreneur? Here's how I did itAdvice to a young friend

Just got off the phone with a kid I've known for a while. He graduated high school like two years ago. I met him at one of our events.

He asked me: How do you make a living doing what you love without any money?

Great question. There is a way.

For all of the parents out there that have kids in middle or high school and are looking for alternatives to college, read my response to him:
  
You don’t need a dime! Here is what you do if you want to start a company with nothing. And you can get a massive head start before you even graduate high school.

Go find a nonprofit that is doing what you want to do.

Volunteer.

It’s free training!!!!! Seriously, go get good at what you love through volunteerism. No nonprofit will turn you away for wanting to truly help.

Then as you get really good at what you love -- tell your story over and over to help raise money for that nonprofit.

Get some donations in for the nonprofit.

Why is that important? Because you get to exchange resources for the first time doing what you love. It is a wonderful feeling and super healthy for your mental well-being.

More importantly, you need to understand how the market responds to your product or services. You can do that without spending any money if you find a nonprofit that is doing something close to what you want to do.

While this is happening -- your community is literally paying you in the form of donations to get really good at what you love.

Build up a network; then flip that model into a similar, for-profit venture. Make sure you clearly explain your intentions. You are not going in there and learning trade secrets to steal support or resources from the nonprofit. That is not the goal here. That is why I said, "find something similar."

Then, BOOM!!!

That’s what we did. But we started a nonprofit while I was in the Marines and started getting decent at telling our story as to why we were passionate about creating positive change in the community.

We then asked for donations to throw events for foster kids. Over the years -- my military buddies and I got really good at throwing events.

Then we decided we wanted to create a similar service but for corporations instead of kids.

The network we built while serving in the nonprofit world enabled us to drastically cut down on the cost to take our forprofit service to the market. We knew the inherent and hidden costs and had supporters.

We mentored a handful of kids using this model over the years. They've found success doing it, too.

We are thinking about opening up this mentor program again that basically takes the kid/teen through a step-by-step program.

The real-world experience they gain from this simple process is invaluable. They do not teach this stuff in schools, and it is a shame.

Beau Blouin, a Marine Corps veteran working in Central Florida, manages Connective Human, a company designed to "bring corporations and communities closer together through retreats and team building that meet a real need.''  He originally posted this advice on his Facebook page and gave his permission to 83 Degrees to reprint it here.
 
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