…and he’s only 17!

I was excited one day when I received a kindly email from 17 year-old Armen Haroutunian. Through a series of emails, I got to know about his involvement in business from when he was little to now. It’s a lengthy article, but it’s definitely a recommended read – it provided a ton of inspiration for me!

At the young age of 17, you’re already the Chief Marketing Officer of a reputable telecommunications solutions company. How and when were you introduced to this position?

I have always been involved and interested in business. I got introduced to the telecommunication industry because it has been in my family. My father owns the company, yet I have proved myself to him as being worthy of my position. I had always been in the office from a young age working with telecommunications products. I remember how I would register phone systems and set them up, making the job of the technicians much easier. I also would answer incoming phone calls and transfer them to the correct department. Once in a while if a customer had some questions regarding the products we sell, I would take the initiative and answer them to the best of my knowledge. I officially began doing sales for Phone Lines Com Inc. about 2 years ago. We sustained great growth through some of the techniques I implemented. Following this, as a company we sat down and decided we must market ourselves to a greater number of small businesses. One of the first steps we took was to create a new and redesigned website, www.phonelinesinc.com , which launched in late August of 2009. Much of the responsibility for publicizing our company and site now remains in my hands. The great part of what I do is by executing the tasks at hand, I am able to learn and further educate myself about marketing.

Has business and money-making played any role in your younger life? Were you always such an entrepreneur?

Thinking and dreaming about business has been in my veins for as long as I can remember. For me it is just a natural part of my everyday life. I am always thinking how I could improve our business. I have always been involved in business. I remember as a kid I would have lemonade stands regularly. At the age of 10 I was thinking like an entrepreneur. I had a lemonade stand, but I didn’t only sell lemonade. I would have iced tea on certain days and sell Limeade as well. This gave my customers a choice on refreshments. I also began offering the lemonade in a larger cup (16 oz.), I put a lid on the cup and a nice straw, this way I was able to sell my lemonade for $1.00 instead of $0.50. When I turned 12, I began to write letters to CEO’s asking them what they did that helped them achieve so much success. After writing about 50 letters, I received 20 responses all of which were very insightful and motivating. At 15 years of age, I started a business club at school. Through the help and commitment of many friends this club has become a prime club at our school. I served as President of the club for 2 years, in which I learned a great deal of leadership skills.

Can you give a brief description of what your job at Phone Lines Inc. entails?

My job and duty at Phone Lines Inc. entails a lot of researching. I am always on the computer searching for new avenues with which we can market our products and services. It definitely takes time and effort especially when you are not very experienced, but knowing that adults trust you in what you do truly gives me the determination and hope I need to succeed.

Aside from your job at Phone Lines Inc., you intern at a real estate agency and you’re in grade 12 – a busy life. What do you like about your job/internship that makes you so determined to balance it all?

I never thought I would find much interest in real estate. I always would tell myself, that once I had enough money to invest, then I would start looking into developing and investing in real estate. I had the opportunity over the summer to learn more about real estate and took it. It turned out to be great! I truly loved how I was learning so much about commercial and residential real estate. So I began to intern at Keller Williams by a great broker, who always provides me with insight into his business. The most important part of real estate is marketing. There is a lot of competition in the industry because most agents do the same thing. Off course the way you present yourself to the client means a lot, but ultimately what matters is how many potential clients you can expose yourself too. The more people that recognize your name the more deals you will close. That is why marketing is so important to real estate. Learning more about marketing in real estate has also made me come up with new and more innovative ways to market Phone Lines Inc.

What do you see in your future?

I will be applying to university this year. My goal is to get as much experience in the business world as possible through all of college. Once I get my B.A. I am planning on getting my MBA. After I have met those qualifications, I hope I can become a CEO of a business one day and grow that business. Seeing a business you started or had a part in, become more and more profitable would make my dream come true.

What word of advice would you like to give to people?

I would like to tell anyone reading this to just work hard and start from a young age. Experience is what defines you, the more experience you have when you enter the business world the more likely you are to succeed. A great way to gain a lot of information is right on your fingertips. The internet has an infinite amount of resources and use that to your advantage. Also, read any sort of material that interests you whether it be online or in various kinds of books.