Introducing Naomi Porter, a young American woman from Los Angeles who started her own business at the age of 11. She has since started another business venture and is rising the ranks at Girls Scouts USA. Naomi is proof that age is not a barrier and is a truly inspiring young woman - a name to remember!
Tell me a bit about you, your career and what gets you up in the morning.
I am a 16 year old entrepreneur from Los Angeles California. I started my entrepreneurial journey when I was 11 years old and founded Spice It Up My next business is bright futures tutoring and academic coaching which I started when I was 13. I am passionate about entrepreneurship and equipping my generation with the skills they need to be successful. Lastly, for the past two years I have been a National Intern for Girl Scouts of the USA and more recently a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout.
How did you begin your career and what was your starting role?
I began my entrepreneurial journey when I was 11 years old. As a young entrepreneur, I noticed there was a need for an eco- friendly, portable spice kit. So, I created a product that could fill this need. Spice It Up, is a company that sells travel spice kits that are portable and affordable. The kit is reusable, waterproof and lightweight- perfect for all scouting adventures.
At age 13, I launched my second business: Bright Futures Tutoring & Academic Coaching. I noticed that many sixth graders were struggling with the increased homework and study skills demands of middle school, and I realized I could help. I created a business to support families and students by equipping them with study skills, organizational strategies and academic assistance. As my business rapidly expanded, I realized I needed help. I now hire and manage a team of employees who have served over 15 students.
One of the biggest impacts in my life has been Girl Scouts. As most successful women in business would say, selling Girl Scout cookies was their first business- I am no different. I am a proud Gold Award Girl Scout, but beyond that I have had the honour of being a two year national intern for Girl Scouts of the USA. My responsibilities have included developing and launching the first Girl Scout national TV show, hosting focus groups on mental health, writing research reports, and providing relevant online content for scouts during COVID. Just recently, our team of interns presented our mental health research to the National Board because we recognize the importance of mental health.
What has been the biggest influencing factor on why you do the work that you do? Eg; was there a bad experience that led you to want to do something differently? Did you travel and abroad and found what you were looking for?
The biggest influence on the work that I do is my passion for entrepreneurship. I want to help my generation learn the skills they need in order to succeed. In order to learn entrepreneurship, one must practice and do entrepreneurship. Sitting through guest speaker presentations and PowerPoint lectures is just a starting point. Students need to actually DO entrepreneurship and my Girl Scout Gold Award project helps project participants achieve this.
Entrepreneurs are people who create new businesses, products, services or find ways to improve what currently exists. Entrepreneurs have courage to try something different and solve problems in new ways. They look in their community for ways to make positive and lasting changes.
I am passionate about entrepreneurship and equipping my generation with the skills they need to be successful. My Girl Scout Gold Award partnered with five organizations to provide free entrepreneurial education. With extensive mentorship, a hands-on curriculum, and real-life experiences, each student launched their own business and had an opportunity to receive start-up funding.
Life is busy. How do you manage it?
With so many opportunities you have to clearly discern what to say yes to. I can’t say yes to every opportunity because every “yes” requires time and attention. Before I commit to something, I make sure it aligns with not only my goals, but that of the organization’s. I want to give my full attention and produce quality work.
What is important to you when it comes to the work you do and the work of those around you?
It is so important to uplift and support each other. Even the simplest of accomplishments should be praised. That has always been at the core of my work. It is so vital to foster an open and welcoming work environment.
Where to from here? What are your plans for next steps?
I hope to continue to grow my businesses and help more students launch their own ventures. Likewise, I will be applying to colleges in two years and plan to study business or political science. My dream job is to be a congresswoman, Dean, or CEO of a pre-existing company.
Top 3 tips for women looking to get their start.
My advice for anyone looking for starting their own business venture would be to find your PASSION. And do it for YOU. Not your friends, not a college, nor anyone else. But do it for YOU and your future. Because the organization will see that passion. They will feel your fire. And it will be beneficial to everyone.
If my story has taught you anything is that if you can dream it- you can DO IT. As women we are taught to doubt ourselves and compare ourselves to others. But in reality- we are FAR more similar to one another than we are different. We all strive to make our world a better place. And It starts with uplifting each other. It starts with showing up. Thus, it starts with becoming an entrepreneur.
If you remember anything from my story, remember this- entrepreneurs look for a need in their community. They ask themselves how they can make a difference. And I encourage you to do the same things. Find your passion. Show up. Because if there’s anything 2020 has taught us- is that we should support and UPLIFT each other ALWAYS.