17-year-old CEO’s million-dollar journey
For most Australian year 12 students, their schoolies schedule looks a bit like this: sleep in late, go for a swim then party until the small hours of the morning.
Rinse, and repeat.
But for 17-year-old CEO Jack Bloomfield, his schedule was a bit different.
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While his friends were getting out of bed between 11am and midday, he was up at 7am - a sleep-in for him - firing off emails and checking in to make sure his businesses thrived during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
For serial entrepreneur, Bloomfield, the high school graduates’ November pilgrimage to Queensland and Pacific islands was a working holiday, but fitting his business in around the rest of his life is nothing new to him.
Bloomfield has launched three ventures which have turned over millions of dollars since 2014 when he was just 12, starting with greeting card business Next Gifts, followed by patient health records business BlueHealth and Bloomfield Education in 2018, which aims to support students to become entrepreneurs.
And he’s been entrepreneurial since he was even younger, he told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief and New Investors: My Story host Sarah O’Carroll.
In fact, at eight-years-old, Bloomfield shot a video of himself dressed in a suit and tie talking about his first big idea - a shipping firm that would make $400 a year and would employ his friends from school.
“I knew successful people ran businesses, and that's how it started at eight because I always wanted to just do something more.”
He was never interested in earning money by working part-time at KFC or Target through school, but also swiftly learnt that making money through a business was incredibly difficult work.
One of his early ventures, an e-commerce company where he sold carbon-fibre money clips to put cash and cards in, saw him save up $500 through lawn mowing, only to blow through that money within two weeks on Facebook ads.
“I had no idea what I was doing. I was completely stuck. So I was mowing lawns next door to get more money, more money, more money. Every $20 I got would go straight back into Facebook ads to try something new because I couldn't afford a mentor. I didn't have anyone to teach me.”
He mowed a lot of lawns, and every morning for six months, he’d wake up and run down the corridor, check the phone and hope there’d be just one Shopify order for $30.
And one day there was.
“It was groundbreaking and I figured, ‘If I can sell one, one, I'll sell two, three, four, five’.
“So I stuck with it. [And through] trial and error I figured out what I was doing wrong - I still look at the ad account today and look back and go, ‘Oh my God.’”
Now, Bloomfield is thankful for that experience - he’s not sure whether instant success would have helped him to grow as much as he had.
But he’s also focused on enjoying being a 17-year-old.
“My biggest thing is regret,” he said.
“Whether it's my personal life, whether it's some business not doing enough, and I think that if I, in 20 years time look back to today and go, ‘I wish I did this, I wish I did that’ - that's the worst thought.
“So for me, I do everything that I can do in terms of taking the opportunities to go out with friends at night or do things during the day whether that’s personal or whether it be in business.”
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