rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelutionary Entrepeneur: An Inspiration


Several weeks ago, our good friend, and fellow blogger, Caleb Hayden, made an excellent post about young men and entrepreneurism. In response, a reader of both his blog, and ours, sent the following email, which we have been given permission to re-post it here on The Rebelution:


I am writing to comment on one of your recent blog posts, entitled Starting Young. Although I scarcely know you, after reading your blog post I decided to share a little about my semi-involuntary plunge into entrepreneurialism at a young age. My parents had a vision to teach my sister and me practical business skills. It all started with our tree nursery 10 years ago. We planted over 3000 trees as part of a multi-year plan to profit financially and grow entrepreneurially. As a family we learned how to work hard, serve customers, perform marketing, and many other practical, hands-on business skills.

My father specifically wanted to impart to me his business knowledge and experience. (He did leave it open if I was led in another direction) I started working with him in his professional advisory practice at the age of 15, although I kind of grew up in it with going to conferences and meetings with him.

As I gained experience, I decided to work with my father for at least a season of life. As I met the requirements for becoming certified in my profession at the age of 17, I became the youngest person in the world to hold that designation. I say this not out of boasting, but rather to encourage other young men that many things can be done very young, especially as a product of an apprenticeship-type situation. Anyone else whose parents have home-educated them and raised them in the fear and admonition of the Lord can attain mature accomplishments in their youth.

In February 2005, when I was 17, my father died of cancer with only a couple months notice. After finding out about his illness, he told me that I was not obligated to operate the business, but if I wanted to, I was ready. My decision was to run the business. By the grace of God, the year since I have been the running the business has been a fantastic year surpassing all expectations. This was largely due to some projects that my father started in 2004, and I completed in 2005. It has been extremely challenging, but as the Rebelution blog exhorts, “Do Hard Things”.

I would highly encourage Christian young (and older) men that entrepreneurialism can be a rich blessing. Having a family business promotes and fosters large amounts of time invested in intergenerational family relationships. It promotes the passing of business and spiritual knowledge and wisdom.

I would encourage you with two points my father and other godly businessmen have charged me with

  1. Don’t let your age, as such, hinder or restrict you.
  2. You can afford to take risks and possibly fail when you don’t have a family so embrace entrepreneurialism when you are young.

From a grateful son,


This is a wonderful example of a young man “doing hard things.” As Caleb observed, “Although the task of owning and operating a business seems daunting and there are many naysayers, let us each be encouraged by this testimony of a diligent, industrious young man who owns his business. He was discipled by his father and is carrying forward his father’s legacy. Very few sons and fathers desire this, no matter their age. In our society, we never hear of 17-year-olds like this, but this young man is a notable exception.”

Take these words to heart, and let them inspire you to follow God’s call on your life, even in the face of challenges and seeming obstacles. God bless you all!

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • Jeremy,
    No, the author does not “have to” support his family in the sense of immediate necessity. However, he does do that.

  • Wow, that sounds very familiar, in a few respects. While I have not had the pain of losing a parent, or any thing of that nature, I have had the tremendous blessing of having an entrepreneurial Father.

    I travel with him to many locations around the U.S., and watch him desciple men in the Godly practice of honest business.

    It’s pretty amazing, actually. I live with him, and know him very well, and yet I’m still fascinated every time he starts coaching somebody, systematically troubleshooting their financial problems with bible verses.

    It’s impressive, really. I hope I can do the same thing and apply his wisdom to filmmaking, where finances play a major role.

    Haha, of course, he hasn’t yet agreed to finance a film that doesn’t have much chance of a return. Really, he’s trying to get the point across that funding in the real world is extremely difficult, and a project must be commercially viable and well thought out before money every comes into the scene.

    Back to the original post though, I’m amazed at the post. It’s amazing. Again, encouraging, to see young Christians going into difficult projects and situations like this, and coming out triumphant!

    God Bless B.!

    In Christ, John.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →