It’s not every day you meet a 17-year-old who owns a business, is an author and travels to speaking events to shell out entrepreneurial advice.
Brandon Iverson has accomplished all of this alongside his business partner Jordan Williams. The young, ambitious Atlanta native's track record landed him a seat at the 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE magazine.
The annual event, held March 5 to 8 at Disney World, gathered a group of 100 talented teens from around the country for a weekend of inspiration, career and personal development and fun. This year, kids heard motivational words from media mogul Steve Harvey, gospel singer Yolanda Adams and E! News host Terrence J to name a few.
A day after the eventful four-day experience, Iverson was pumped up to follow through with his dreams of bringing international exposure to his Young Moguls Brand. BET.com spoke with the teen about "the life-changing experience" he had at Disney Dreamers Academy, balancing his business and real life — and some of his favorite things.
BET.com: What was the best part of the Disney Dreamers Academy?
Brandon Iverson: My favorite part of the event was the unplugged session with Steve Harvey. That happened the second day where he took all the cameras away and all the tripods away and it was just us and him. And basically he was just real with the whole group about what it means to be here. And [he shared] how he was able to attain his dreams and how we can attain our dreams if we work hard for it.
What was your first business?
At age 10, I started my first business with my business partner. It was called Kid Toys Inc. We would take the old toys and games that we didn’t use anymore and basically sold them online for a discounted price.
Talk about your other companies.
At 13, we started a new company called Making Money for Teens. It was a teen financial education company. Jordan [and I] wrote a book together called Who Needs an Allowance? A Teen's Guide to Starting Their Own Business. Each of us talked about our perspective on how to start a business.
At 16, we started another company called Young Moguls brand. With Young Moguls, it’s promoting the positive message of entrepreneurship through the clothing that we provide. But at the same time, it's urban and trendy.
How do you find time to manage the businesses, be on the basketball team and do the other fun things that teens do?
I think we learned to manage our priorities and basically try to schedule every single day for a different thing. We would still have time for friends and stuff, but we had to manage our schedule to get everything done that we needed to get done at the time that it needed to get done.
Have you been thinking about college?
I definitely want to major in business and marketing. Right now I’m looking at UNC Business College, UGA and I’ve also looked at Columbia University and Stanford. I’m hoping to do some tours at different colleges this summer.
Who is your role model?
My father. He was the one that inspired me. I never saw my mom or my dad have to go to a job every day. They worked from home because they are entrepreneurs themselves. He’s a business consultant. He used to be a sports attorney, but now he works with different companies and businesses. He was the one that put me on to entrepreneurship and has been a mentor each and every day giving me tips and advice.
What is your favorite book?
Right now my favorite book is Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
Since you play basketball, who are your favorite ballers?
Stephen Curry and Lebron James.
Lecrae. And Drake as well.
What is your motto for when you need motivation?
I created a vision board that has different motivating words to look at. So before I start my day I take a peek at the board. So motivational words like "Keep calm and carry on" or "Stay energized" and staying connected to my purpose and destiny. Whenever I’m feeling discouraged, I look at that board and the different words on there.
Follow Young Moguls Brand on Twitter at @MogulsBrand.
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_
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(Photo: Gregg Newton)