Gen-Z business owners like Destiny Snow are changing the entrepreneurship game. And they’re only getting started.
Aged 24 and younger, Generation Z is already making a significant impact on the world. They’re set to become the most entrepreneurial generation on record, with 62% saying they want to start their own business—or that they already have.
We shouldn’t be surprised by the start-up aspirations of a generation that has grown up digitally connected to the wider world. They have an audience literally at their fingertips—if they can come up with a compelling content and product ecosystem that people want to buy into.
Destiny Snow is one such teen who discovered her entrepreneurial spark at a young age. Snow, who describes herself as “an entrepreneur, social media influencer, marketing leader and high school student,” was just 15 when she launched her SnowGlam Collection. From a starting budget of just $600, Snow’s online venture has since achieved over $1 million in revenue.
Now, at the ripe old age of 17, Snow is focused on two things: growing her business and helping other young entrepreneurs find success. I recently connected with Snow to talk about what it’s like to start a business in high school, what mistakes she’s made along the way and how entrepreneurs can best leverage social media to grow their brands. Here’s what she had to share.
Channel your passion
Like many Gen-Z entrepreneurs, Snow found a way to channel her personal interests into a profitable enterprise. “I spent months researching and planning on the perfect niche and product that I was passionate about,” she says. The beauty industry was one she already knew well—and could see herself succeeding in.
Snow is also passionate about helping other teen entrepreneurs reach their goals. “I wanted to help others avoid mistakes that I made in the beginning,” she says. To this end, she’s authored many self-help business ebooks for current and aspiring entrepreneurs that cover everything from how to get started and marketing effectively on social media to finding the right vendors and more. “I knew that my achievements can be accomplished by any other passionate entrepreneur with the right formula,” she says. “Authoring ebooks gave me a way to release this information via the Sqribble platform, which made it very easy for me to author and release ebooks onto my site.”
Find a model
How did Snow know she could succeed as an entrepreneur? She’d seen it done. “I grew up watching my mother successfully own and operate several businesses,” she says. “That’s partly why I decided to pursue my own dream by redefining what it means to be a teen entrepreneur.”
Not everyone has the advantage of being reared by a successful entrepreneur, but everyone can find an entrepreneurial model to emulate. This can be a person in your personal life or someone you follow online; the idea is to pick a model that you can observe and learn from. “It’s much easier to believe that something can be done after seeing it be done,” says Snow. “Watching my mother achieve her goals and overcome her obstacles motivated me and helped me realize that I can be a successful entrepreneur as well.”
If at first you don’t succeed, recalibrate
Of course, launching a new business isn’t easy. When she first launched her online store, Snow was surprised at how slow business was. “I anticipated my friends and family rushing to buy what I was selling, but that wasn’t the case. Their lack of support discouraged me at the time,” she admits.
But instead of giving up, Snow took a break to recalibrate her approach. “I watched countless marketing videos, reviewed success stories, read business articles and ordered piles of business books,” she says. “As I grew as an entrepreneur, I realized that friends and family are not my target audience and I needed to start researching to figure out what steps I needed to take to find my audience.”
Snow’s realization and subsequent recalibration highlights one of Gen-Z’s entrepreneurial strengths: they know the answer they need is out there. And they believe in their own ability to find it—and apply what they learn.
Snow, who describes her house as “looking like a library” with all the material she read to teach herself marketing, admits that pushing through the learning process can be tough. But despite that fact that studying marketing felt like extra homework on top of her high school coursework, she didn’t stop.
“I knew I had the capability to be a successful entrepreneur,” Snow says. “I just needed to figure out what I was doing wrong and fix it. I realized that I needed to identify my target audience and utilize social media marketing. My audience was built solely off of the people that I knew, friends and family.
“I didn’t realize that to truly scale a company, you have to win the hearts and minds of total strangers.”
Capitalize on the silver linings
While the initial uncertainty and upheaval of the pandemic was difficult, Snow was able to find a silver lining. “When I started my company, I was still attending public school. Between homework and being in school eight hours a day, I didn’t have much time for business,” she says.
That all changed when her school shifted to an online-only schedule. “Constantly being home throughout the day gave me the opportunity I needed to focus more on growing my company,” she says. Now, she has taken further control of her schedule through homeschool education. (It’s probably safe to assume that she’s exceling in any business coursework her mother is assigning.)
Snow’s experience during the pandemic is a great example of how to capitalize on the silver linings that come with any challenge.
Snow’s business model thus far has been built on smart social media promotions and partnerships. For fellow entrepreneurs who want to strengthen their online presence and grow their business on the social front, Snow offers these tips:
- No matter what social media platform you’re using, promote your business consistently.
- Partner with celebrities and influencers that fit the target audience of your business.
- Analyze and adjust your content strategy to ensure that your content will be prioritized by the social network that you’re using to market your business.
- Encourage engagement by starting a conversation.
- Promote your business on more than one social media platform.
Believe—but be ready to back it up
I asked Snow what advice she would give to entrepreneurs of any age. “Believe in yourself,” she said, “and don’t always wait for opportunities to come to you. Create them.”
This is a powerful two-pronged philosophy for any entrepreneur, myself included. I can attest to the need to believe deeply in yourself and the value of what you bring. But, as Snow hints in her succinct advice, simple belief isn’t enough by itself. If you want success, you have to go after it with everything you’ve got.
As more and more entrepreneurs enter the marketplace to deliver their unique products and services to the world, the opportunities to succeed will still be out there. But they’ll be harder to capture.
One thing is certain: Snow and her fellow Gen-Z entrepreneurs have an advantage in their appetite for learning, endless adaptability and innovative spirit. And they’re ready to redefine not just their respective industries, but the entrepreneurship paradigm as a whole.