Minimize the procrastination, maximize the productivity while still having fun.
Adam Mendey is a 14 year old teen entrepreneur based in Edinburgh, Scotland with a passion for all things to do with computers, business and music. He plays trombone in one of the best youth brass bands in Scotland and also plays percussion, keyboard and some ukulele and guitar. Adam’s interest in business grew when he was in p7 at school (grade 6) and the school fair required planning, marketing and selling items from a stall. Adam’s team made popcorn in three flavours to represent a three course meal: Nacho Flavour, Pizza Flavour and Birthday Cake Flavour. To date, Adam has set up three businesses, the first two being in the gifts sector. However, his newest business has shifted direction and focuses on saving and making money; a deals website called Stealr which offers all users the opportunity to potentially earn £100s by posting deals/coupons and save £100s by using the deals/coupons others have posted. He aims to continue with business once he leaves school, but is also interested in cybersecurity. Adam has a golden labrador called Dexter and a cat called Neko (the japanese word for cat) and a video-games loving little brother called Daniel.
Where did the idea for Stealr come from?
I noticed that no other deals/coupon websites were rewarding users decent money for the deals they post (besides a select group of a few people) I thought this wasn’t particularly fair, as the users generate the content but never see a penny of the profit; that’s why I created Stealr. It is designed in such a way that anyone with access to a computer and wifi can earn money, no matter what their qualifications or financial position they are in.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every weekday, I go to school from 8:30 to 3:30 (12:15 on a Friday) which takes up a fairly big chunk of my time. Any time from 4 to 9pm and 8 to 8:30 am is usually when I work on my business. The most effective way I’ve found to increase my productivity is to keep away from my phone so I can focus on other things, I use an app to help with this which rewards you for phone inactivity – you earn more credit the longer you avoid using your phone (I’ve not paid for popcorn at the cinema for ages!).
How do you bring ideas to life?
I create a website first, then use social media accounts to gauge the interest around the idea. Then I start advertising using free advertising credits from search engines (you can get these either by signing up to their ads programs or signing up to their webmaster tools). This minimises the risk of losing money.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Artificial intelligence really excites me as it can open up so many more corridors business-wise, for example, the artificially intelligent Amazon Echo opens up the opportunity to make a voice controlled “Deal Of The Day” skill for Stealr, hence increasing awareness of the brand!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Setting the same period of time most weekdays to work on my business, making sure I’m putting some work into it most days!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Although I’m still guilty of it now, I’d advise my younger self to minimise the procrastinating and maximise the productivity in everything they do! But most importantly, making sure they enjoy themselves whilst doing it, otherwise it’s essentially pointless!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think that you should make a conscious effort to take as many opportunities that come your way no matter if it scares you or you think you won’t like it, as, 99% of the time, something valuable to you comes out of it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As an entrepreneur, I always make sure to try and keep a regular, manageable posting schedule on Instagram, as people (and the algorithm) quickly lose interest if you post irregularly.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Competitions. I find that, with certain businesses, these can help grow the mailing list exponentially and create a positive online and offline presence for your business as the winners are often happy to post about their prize on social media and are more likely to tell family and friends about it. When I last ran a competition, I ended up with 172 more people on my mailing list and the winners said they were more than happy to post their prize on social media without me even asking!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My first business was a dropshipping business and, at that point I didn’t know much about advertising and decided to spend the £75 advertising credit Bing sent me, without first reading any articles or taking any courses on advertising. I never overcame it with that business, but I now make sure that sufficient research is done before I begin advertising.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think it’d be really cool to see a business that allowed users to create skills for Amazon Echo in a drag-and-drop environment, a bit like the programming software, Scratch, but for Alexa Skills (I’d create it myself, but I don’t have the programming knowledge :-)).
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best £100 I’ve spent recently is on my electric skateboard, as it allows me to be more productive by getting me from A to B quicker and, more than anything else, it’s loads of fun! And, in case you’re wondering, yes I got a great deal on it!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Canva is one of my favourite pieces of web software. Basically, it’s a free, easy to use, online graphic design software with no watermarks. I use it almost every day for everything from social media posts to logos. There are loads of pre-made designs as well if you’ve hit a creative wall! It really boosts my productivity as it is a one-stop shop for all my graphic design needs, meaning I don’t need to worry about compatibility issues or having to shop around!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One book I’d recommend to the community is Big Ideas For Small Businesses By John Lamerton as it combines loads of tips for small businesses from marketing to “ambitious lifestyle businesses” in an easy to read autobiographical format.
What is your favorite quote?
“I always advise people – don’t wait! Do something when you are young, when you have nothing to lose and keep that in mind.” – Steve Jobs
• Minimise the procrastination, maximise the productivity whilst still having fun.
• Set aside the same time each day to work on your business.
• Use social media to your advantage, post good content regularly on the same days each week.
• Take as many opportunities as you can, something good just about always comes out of it!
• Read “Big Ideas For Small Businesses” By John Lambert for great business tips written in an easy to read way.
• Sign up to stealr.co.uk!
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.