Categorized | Business Authors

Start It Up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions Into Pay

A short author’s bio :

Kenrya Rankin

Author Kenrya Rankin has written for more than a dozen national publications including Reader’s Digest, Black Enterprise, Glamour, Latina, ShopSmart, Redbook and Shape. A lifestyle expert, she writes about everything from entrepreneurship to health, technology, politics, relationships and education reform, and her work has been translated into 21 languages. She is a Contributing Editor at Latina and ShopSmart magazines, DC Editor for Uptown Magazine, writes a column on sociopolitical issues for Parlour Magazine, and is a regular blogger for Kenrya grew up in a service-focused home, and has long been committed to giving back. She has a special penchant for working with children and teenagers. She has several mentees, worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters all through college, and has taught students the basics of financial literacy and entrepreneurship with Reaching Youth Through Saturday Education. Kenrya is proud to be from Cleveland, Ohio, and currently lives with her husband in Washington, DC, where she looks forward to visits from her stepdaughters and is expecting another daughter—she can’t wait to teach the new baby about the importance of finding passion early!

A book synopsis / Key Ideas:

Start It Up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions Into Pay provides teens with extensive foundational information about the entrepreneurial life. It offers an easy-to-understand guide everything new business owners need to know, including establishing a support system, creating a business plan, making their business official, staff and contractor hiring and management, promotion, customer service, financial protection and planning for the future. Along the way, readers take interactive quizzes, read advice from top teen business owners, and complete a business plan that will get them started on their own path to the entrepreneurial life.

In 50 words or less, write a paragraph stating why readers should buy your book and what they will get out of it after reading it.

Start It Up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions Into Pay is a funny, engaging, insightful read for anyone of any age who wants to connect what they love with what they do. Pick it up for a step-by-step plan to claim your independence and happiness.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote Start It Up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions Into Pay because I firmly believe that we would all be much better off if we found a way to link our passions to what we do to support ourselves—and there’s no better time to start than when we’re young. When I was in undergrad, I called the business school at my university the “middle management machine.” Why? Because it seemed as if they were churning folks out the door with the skills they needed to stay afloat in corporate America, but none of the ingenuity and ability to deeply connect with their work that would take them beyond the third cubicle on the right; the graduates were job market-ready, but not necessarily happy and invested in their vocations. Writing this book was my chance to help young folks identify what they love early and work hard to weave it into their lives each and every day. If more of us approached our careers with an eye to what we love, we’d be much happier (and richer) for it.

Do you blog, tweet, facebook fan page, myspace friend or use any other social media to get the word out?

Find me online at:
The Facebook fan page for the book is Start it Up – Teen Entrepreneurship Book. 

What is the best advice you never got?

The best advice I never got was to spend less time planning, and more time doing what makes me happy. I’ve always been a planner: I took a career aptitude test in the eighth grade that said I’d be good at public relations, so I started planning, looking for internships and a good degree program. It was only when I stopped to enjoy the moment that I realized I preferred to write. Later, slowing down revealed that I didn’t want to work for some media conglomerate—I was truly happy writing what I wanted to write from my comfy couch. It was only then that I could accurately plan for my future. 

What is the one thing that you did right?

One thing that I did right was that I stepped out on faith. Once I realized that I wanted to be my own boss and write for my own benefit, I decided that I couldn’t afford to be afraid of the unknown. I muttered daily crazy-person pep talks to myself as a reminder that I was awesome, and I pitched my work (and myself) to anyone who would listen. The first year was rough, but I never forgot that I was living the dream, and pushed myself harder to get from the cobblestone road to the paved one. It eventually worked, and I’m supporting myself solely from my freelance work—something struggling artists all over the world strive to do. 

What book(s) have you read that you would recommend to others?

I enjoyed My Biggest Mistake and How I Fixed It: Lessons From the Entrepreneurial Front Lines, by one of my mentors, Marcia Pledger. Packed with real life stories from entrepreneurs, it’s a good read that could help newbies avoid many common (and not so common) pitfalls.
Kenrya Rankin, Start It Up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions Into Pay,


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