When you launch your own business one of the best approaches you can take is to work with your competition. This might seem like unusual advice but working with your rivals can be really useful - I promise.
I started my own online media business at the age of 12 - I have always loved technology and that interest quickly turned into something bigger and before I knew it millions of people were visiting my websites each month. This is the point where my hobby turned into my job.
Obviously at that age I didn't know anything about running a business, I just kept doing what I loved and the strategy seemed to work. But five years on, I'm now 17 and I am a lot more focused about growing Wizzed Media and taking advantage of the opportunities that are out there.
Over the last year I have been making more business connections which has allowed me to tap into a network of other like-minded young entrepreneurs who are in the same position as me.
It really has been an eye-opener. Here are people - some of who are in direct competition with me - that are eager and willing to share experiences, contacts and ideas to help and inspire each other. That just doesn't happen in business usually.
We are the business industry's next generation and it's this network of collaboration and forward thinking that is fuelling our success - so it's no wonder that the number of start-ups is on the increase.
A really common phrase I hear is 'but you're so young' - but I really believe that it doesn't matter if you are 12 or 70, age is just a number and I don't think it means anything in business. Yes I started young and followed my passion for technology but it's not always that easy for everyone and that's ok.
Running your own business can be challenging but so rewarding at the same time so I wanted to share some of the insights I have learned in with Wizzed Media.
Trust your instincts
I am a big believer in following your gut - if you have a feeling, good or bad, you need to follow that instinct as it usually will be right.
Google is your friend
I learned how to do most things by watching Youtube videos. No matter what you want to learn, or what skill you need to master, the likelihood is someone has already done something similar, filmed it and stuck it on the internet. Take advantage of this.
That one big idea you had can't be it - you can't stand still. You need to constantly be innovating and pushing yourself to the next level.
Which leads on to my last piece of advice:
Again this might seem a cliché but it's the approach that I have always taken and it works, 95 per cent of the time. You can't worry about failing because if you believe in what you are doing you can't give up. Sometimes, an idea doesn't instantly work but that doesn't mean it won't eventually.
Look at Bill Gates. His first business failed before he went onto launch Microsoft. Now we won't all be able to match his success - but I am going to have a good go trying.
Follow me on Twitter @arranrice or visit my company website www.wizzedmedia.com