Having worked with hundreds of teens over the last decade, I love it when they take the initiative to show the world what they have to offer and have a strong ability to sell what they have to offer, be it themselves to an employer or leader if seeking a higher position in an organization or a young entrepreneur solving a problem that they noticed occurring in the community.
Myles caught my attention when I saw their products on Facebook. I can’t quite remember if it was a share or a boosted post, but it worked. I was sold as soon as I read the premise. As an Aunt with a young niece and nephew, the Commanding Officer of a Sea Cadet Corps filled with teenagers and someone who has friends with kids, I have born witness to the way that this pandemic has significantly altered & affected the children of our communities. I even tailored my nephew’s birthday present to be a project that was semi-educational/semi-might wreck the kitchen if done (in)correctly. I wish I had seen Myles’ post before that purchase!
What sold me even more was when they reached out to me via my Contact page as a cold call. I’ve been there before, that’s not an easy thing to do, and definitely not something I would have had the guts to do at 16! I knew I needed to give them some more exposure and allow them to share a little bit of what happens as a teenage entrepreneur.
Please welcome Myles Ramsay!
Question 1: Tell me more about your business(es)? What kind are they?
- Buzz Box Fun Kits provides fun, themed activity kits to help spark creativity, fun and active play in Quinte kids aged 4-10.
- Each box contains 10-12 items to help keep kids busy and give busy parents a break.
- We deliver our Buzz Boxes contact-free with no shipping costs across the Quinte region.
- We currently offer 7 themes: “Top Secret Spy”, “Campfire Kids”, “Be Your Own Superhero”, “Mermaid Magic”, “Unicorn Wishes”, “Backyard Bug Safari” and our newest box, “Trash Can Treasures”. The community response has been amazing so far!
Question 2: Where does your entrepreneurial drive come from? What are your sources of inspiration?
- My entrepreneurial drive comes from wanting to build something from nothing.
- My parents have always taught me to work hard, and being in business for yourself can definitely be challenging. Some people who inspire me are Steve Jobs, Miguel Cabrera of the Florida Marlins baseball team and my dad.
Question 3: Considering how fierce competition is among your industry, what are your business(es) competitive advantages? What makes you stand out in the crowd?
- My business is hyperlocal right now since we’re focused on the Bay of Quinte region during our start-up phase. This allows us to effectively do outreach with our local customers, get valuable feedback, and deliver our product in a speedy and efficient manner.
- Right now, we’re the only product/service of our kind in the Bay of Quinte region, so that helps us stand out in the minds of our customers. Every day I’m learning how to build a better business.
Question 4: No two days are often the same for an entrepreneur, but what does a typical day look like for you?
- Each day is different, but here’s a sample schedule for one of my days this week:
- 7 a.m. – Wake up and eat breakfast;
- 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Driver’s Ed (I’m 16 so I’m getting my license this summer);
- 10 a.m. – Meet via Zoom with my business coach at the Small Business Centre;
- 11 a.m. – Watch my favourite show (“Modern Family”);
- Noon – Eat lunch, connect with my friends online and walk my dog, Fenway;
- 1 p.m. – Do a podcast interview with Josh Edwards at OSM networks;
- 2 p.m. – Pack Buzz Box orders;
- 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Deliver orders with the help of my family;
- 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. – Practice baseball with my team (Quinte Royals), eat Sweet Chili Heat Doritos and watch baseball highlights before going to bed
Question 5: What do you do daily to grow as a person?
- To keep learning and growing, I read books, listen to podcasts, skim social media for ideas, and talk to other business owners about what they’re doing to succeed.
- I also watch interviews with baseball players and their coaches to learn what motivates them and makes them great.
Question 6: What tricks have you discovered to keep you focused, productive and achieve a decent work/life balance?
- At my elementary school we learned about the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.
- Now that I’m in business, I find I’m using these 7 habits in everything I do. The 7 habits include: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand and Then to Be Understood, Synergize and Sharpen the Saw.
Question 7: What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/disagree with?
- One piece of entrepreneurial advice I agree with is “A vision without a plan is a daydream. A plan without a vision is a nightmare.” I’m not sure who said it first, but I heard it from Michael Hyatt on a podcast recently.
- I think it’s important to know where you’re heading so you know when you get there. It’s also important to have a roadmap to get there. That’s something I’m working on right now for my business.
Question 8: What’s your favourite metaphor to describe entrepreneurship?
- Entrepreneurship is like baseball (my favourite sport) in a lot of ways. You need a good coach, you need to surround yourself with a good team and you need to swing for the fences in everything you do.
Question 9: What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
- Sales can be super-busy one week, and then quiet another week, so finding a way to keep in touch with my customers on a regular basis is really important. I do this by posting consistently on Facebook and Instagram, and reaching out via email to my core customers.
- As well, the local media have been really supportive of Buzz Box, and this has definitely helped us to get the word out.
Lastly, if someone wants more information, what is the best way to contact you?