What were you doing during the coronavirus lockdown this spring? While most of the world hunkered down due to the pandemic, an enterprising young lady from Virginia decided to use this time to start — not one, but a couple — of businesses.
Talia Levy, a 9th grader from Woodbridge, Virginia, launched her podcast “Money Moves for Teens” in May 2020 teaching young people how to value and manage money. She has also created her YouTube channel to increase the reach of her podcast.
In addition to her podcast, honor-student Talia also started her Math tutoring service called Talia’s Tutoring to help her peers with their Math skills.
It is very refreshing to see young teens embark on entrepreneurship and start a business at a young age. Read about Talia and her business ventures:
What is the startup story of your business? When and how did it start?
I started my podcast, Money Moves for Teens, in May of 2020. I released my first episode on May 21. During early quarantine, my parents and I were brainstorming possible projects I could work on in my free time, because school was no longer in “normal session”. We discussed many possible projects, and finally landed on the idea of starting a podcast. I contemplated different ideas as to what I would talk about, and decided on the topics of business, entrepreneurship, and personal finance, but directed towards a teenage audience. These are topics I am constantly talking about with my parents, so I thought it would be the perfect project. I’m very pleased with my decision, because I love working on my podcast every week, sharing my knowledge with teenagers all around the world.
Your parents – how do they feel about having a young entrepreneur in the house?
My parents are extremely supportive of my podcast, and they encourage both myself, and my brother to continue developing our entrepreneurial mindset and spirit. Our family believes that constantly learning and creating is very important, and we practice these things by experimenting with starting new businesses. For example, I currently tutor middle school math (Talia’s Tutoring). Starting my business and getting it up and running, all the way to, interacting with students and understanding their perspectives, has taught me valuable lessons. And as far as my podcast goes, I believe my parents are proud that I am using my knowledge to inform others on very relevant and practical topics— business and personal finance.
With school, social life and other activities, you must be busy. What does an average day (during school term) consist of?
I can definitely confirm my days are busy. During the school week, I attend my classes through Zoom, from late morning to early afternoon. I work on my business before and after my classes, and I’m usually completing homework once school is out for the day. Because my school and business situation requires me to be on my screens a lot, I intentionally set breaks for myself away from the screens, so I can give my brain a rest. In these breaks, usually the hour right after I finish my last Zoom of the day, I do things like read, practice piano, and exercise. On Mondays, I also tutor math.
Who are your inspirations when it comes to business and entrepreneurialism?
One of my inspirations when it comes to the subjects of business and personal finance is Dave Ramsey. He is one of the first people who introduced me to these topics, other than my parents. I remember listening to his talk show in the car with my dad when I was younger and being interested in all the stories people came to him with for advice. I appreciate he’s using his platform and knowledge to help people with subjects as significant as their finances. Another one of my inspirations is Mark Cuban. I enjoy the show, Shark Tank, and he’s one of the “sharks” that I’ve followed outside of the show, and I like the advice he gives to young entrepreneurs. Lastly, any other person who has started their own business or has qualities that I admire when it comes to entrepreneurship, all motivate me to always be improving and continue down this path I’ve started on.
What’s your definition of success?
Success has many layers to it, but I believe you experience success when you are helping others be successful. We can have such an impact on other people’s lives and being intentional about making that impact a positive one; I believe no amount of power or wealth alone, can compete with that. And I don’t believe success is a final destination, meaning there’s no one factor that lets you know you’ve achieved it. You set goals for yourself, and when you achieve those goals, you experience the feeling of success. And you have to continuously set goals for yourself, so you have many successes throughout your lifetime.
What do you imagine you’ll be doing when you turn 18 years old?
When I’m 18 years old, I would have graduated high school, and am going to a college of my choice, most likely studying business. I’m not certain as to what job I would like to work at yet, but my interests center around the topics I discuss in my podcast: business, entrepreneurship, and personal finance.
What advice would you give to other teenage entrepreneurs?
One piece of advice I would give to teenage entrepreneurs is to make sure you’re constantly learning. Keep doing research on your industry, your customers, and more. Once you make your first few sales, the learning and developing doesn’t stop there. To generate sales and stay relevant over the long-term, you have to always be improving your business and expanding your knowledge. You’re already on an amazing track, being a teen entrepreneur, and you’re going to learn so many valuable things on this path. By starting my podcast, I am learning so much about business and personal finance, as well as, enhancing my writing and speaking skills. Also, coming up with new episode ideas every week is enabling me to keep growing, and testing my creativity. These skills you’re strengthening won’t always be in plain sight, but they are there, and are incredibly beneficial. I’m proud of you for starting your business, and I wish you lots of success!