Ben Sansom is a 20-year-old entrepreneur who left school at just 16-years-old to start his own business. That thriving company is named Ever Increasing Circles, and it’s been growing at astronomical rates over the past few years. He was recently featured in a news segment from KMTV Kent (England) where Ben talked about how he regularly uses celebrities and social media influencers to raise money for charity.
Ben’s friend, professional Rugby player Levi Douglas (@LeviDouglas007), reached out to me to share that news segment (video below) and express how great of a guy Ben is. My interest was piqued. I’m endlessly fascinated by young entrepreneurs who dive into the abyss in pursuit of success, and Ben’s a perfect example of how you can create success by creating value in the marketplace.
I caught up with 20-year-old Ever Increasing Circles CEO Ben Sansom on Twitter (@BenSansomUK) this morning to ask him some questions about what it was like to leave school at such a young age in pursuit of success, what obstacles he encountered, and what his advice would be for other young entrepreneurs looking to do the same:
Cass from BroBible: What were the biggest barriers to leaving school at 16 to start your own company?
Ben Sansom: When looking to take responsibility of a company’s media or marketing spend at 16, it’s impossible. ‘Age is just a number’ is one thing that is very hard to drill into people in the corporate world! I noticed this was a limiting factor so decided to work for a company for FREE. I said if you let me use your brand name and the maturity of your staff I will service all of your clients for free in return. All revenues generated for myself, by myself will be retained and I’ll give your team a 5% administration fee (for invoicing etc).
Even that was hard! Eventually, I found a company and I piggy backed on their brand for a while, skipped to a few others in the meantime and then when I was 18 set up (a company) completely on my own with a list as long as my legs in case studies.
C: How did your family feel about it?
B: My family were pessimistic, worried that I hadn’t paid much attention to my studies etc but when things started working how I predicted they told me how they’ve never been more happy about being proved wrong. My dad is actually my CFO now!
C: At what point in the process did you know that your vision for a company was going to work?
B: I was 16 when I truly realised the vision would be a success. Using social media alone, I used my audience and that of my uncle’s (an ex-pro footballer) to raise £14,000 in 7 days for various charities.
C: What one piece of advice would you give to an entrepreneur thinking about leaving their job or school to start their own company?
B: If you’re looking to leave school to set up a business, that’s great but be prepared. Don’t overlook the details, don’t rush and don’t allow yourself to be biased. Think like a robot and drill down into every detail. I always make a business plan in my head when I have new ideas and internally, I kind of pitch it to myself to see what limiting factors I can raise. If you see signs of progress, take the jump!
C: Were there any unforeseen barriers to entry that you came up against due to your age?
B: Yes, as mentioned before, age was and still is a big problem. I have a team of staff, outsourcers, brand partners and also business partners that are all much older than me. It’s hard to find people that take me seriously due to my age but it makes it that little bit more rewarding when I find the people that do.
I have a business partner (@InkedUpShaq) who is tremendous at supporting me and believing in my visions. He pushes me to keep striving for more and more. I also have my father who runs the finances who does the same and another business partner called Harry who’s the realist. I’m a dreamer and will come to him with my high minded ideas, he’s the man that brings me back down to reality and often challenges my internalized business plans!
Here’s that aforementioned clip of Ben Sansom on Kent’s KMTV so that you can put a face to the name:
You can find Ben on Twitter at @BenSansomUK, and you can check out his business Ever Increasing Circles by following that link. And if you’re an entrepreneur and want to share your success story you can find me on Twitter at @casspa to talk about it!