The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

Dream Big Because No One Else Can Dream for You

Alexa von Tobel (be sure to click the link watch the video!) is a leading CEO (and yet another Harvard drop out…maybe it’s just me but there definitely seems to be at least a slight link between big dreamers who drop out of Ivy League schools but I digress…) who pursued her dream and started her own company. I love her advice to recent grads and young people: Dream big because no one else can dream for you. What you also see in Alexa’s story and the story of many entrepreneurs and dreamers is that success wasn’t easy and it didn’t come over night. These things take hard work, time, patience, the ability to take some risks (and fail and take some risks again) and perseverance. Let this little story be a reminder to you that no dream is too big if you’re willing to work hard and not give up. Not stop reading this and go do something to kickstart YOUR dream!

Dream Big But Act Now


“If you have a great idea, act on it now.” Max Levchin, founder of Paypal, Yelp & Innovator Extraordinaire

Do you know who Max Levchin is? I have to be honest, I didn’t know who he was until I saw him on CBS This Morning recently discussing his new loan business that’s likely to revolutionize banking (much like  his idea for Paypal which revolutionized the way we pay for things online.) Clearly he’s a smart and cool guy with a lot of amazing ideas but the one thing he said that really struck me was that young people need to pursue their good ideas now. In other words, don’t wait until you finish your education to pursue a dream – do it now!

History is ripe with examples of people who put aside what they are “supposed to be doing” to do, what they know deep inside, they need to be doing. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are two perfect examples of people who dared to dream big and changed the way we compute and stay connected via social media. I’m not suggesting you should or have to drop out of Harvard (or any school) in order to be successful but I am suggesting that sometimes big dreams require big leaps of faith and big actions.

Here’s the thing, yes you may only be a teen and yes, you may not quite have all the tools you need at your fingertips but that shouldn’t stop you from acting on a great idea. For example, with online crowdfunding opportunities, you actually could sketch out your idea and proposal and raise the funds to make a go of it. Look at student Jeff Powell who created a prosthetic hand with a 3D printer for a little boy who needed one.  Or 13 year-old Shubam Banerjee who made an inexpensive braille printer using Legos and a robotics kit. I bet they never said, “I have a good idea but I’d better wait until I’m in my 40s to pursue it.”

Your age is not a roadblock to your success. In fact, because you’re young and energetic and have your finger on the pulse of the latest ideas and technology, you are the perfect age to ignite change in this world!

So stop sitting around and waiting until you get older. By then, someone else could come along and steal your big idea.

Dream big but act now.