THE BLOG

A Message From the Future Leaders

27/08/2015 10:50 BST | Updated 26/08/2016 10:59 BST

Anybody who has any experience speaking to anyone ever knows that there are certain things that define the way you're spoken to - your age, your gender and perhaps, also, your intelligence amongst other things. These things can make the difference between being spoken to like you're a moron, and being given the respect that every decent human being deserves to receive when being spoken to.

When I launched W!ZARD Radio Station at the age of 12, I did it with no ambition or aim. By the time I was 14 years old, that had changed a bit and I decided to call other brands, companies, etc... to form relationships. Needless to say, I wasn't treated very well. And, in all honesty, I understand why. After all, if an obviously 14 year old boy phoned me and asked me to speak to Coca-Cola or British Airways I would probably also think twice before inviting them into my office. But, I wasn't given a chance.

Now, I'm 17 and things are improving. The email reply rate has significantly improved and, no longer, am I given false email addresses or passed around the office like a hot potato. But, there are still countless times in my day when - despite the fact that I am an 'accomplished businessmen' who has been garnering experience for the past five years - I'm treated like a twart.

No doubt that a part of the solution has been that my business has become better known over the past few years, and our statistics have grown, but I believe that it's fair to say that a significant part of the solution is because I can now learn to drive a car, I have facial hair and I no longer sound like Julie Andrews singing on the hill tops.

There are many people who may disagree that ageism is still a thing in the media industry - especially as some of the industry's most important assets are those who have just hit double figures - but I would have to solemnly disagree with them. If somebody gets turned away simply because of their age - that's ageism, and it happens daily.

Don't get me wrong, I know that there are plenty of people who have it much worse. Heck - I would prefer to be turned away for my age (something that will change in a maximum of 12 months) than be turned away due to my skin colour, sexual orientation, gender, etc... but an issue which everybody assumed was no longer an issue definitely still is, and I'm here to remind you of that.

Some of the most inspiring, intelligent and creative people I know are below the age of twenty and all industry's (not just media) should start taking us really seriously - if only for one simply reason: We are the next Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Well, there is one difference: They all changed the world in their twenties or thirties, and we aspire to do it by the time we're 19.