BANGOR -Nathan Sykes runs a marketing company that has done work for Fortune 500 companies. He’s also written a book — and he’s only 16 years old.
“It’s basically telling your mind that you want this and nothing is going to drive you away from it,” said Sykes, CEO and director of Howdy Interactive.
So while most 16 year olds are working to get their driver’s license, Sykes is busy running his own company, which he started at 14.
“I‘m actually all self learned … I started throwing small-scale events and those quickly turned into larger and larger shows.”
Sykes started Howdy Interactive, a corporate marketing company with an office in Bangor that has worked with everyone from Amazon to Five Guys to Rep. Joe Perry, D-Bangor.
Sykes sometimes works from home, working on advertising, social media and events for clients.
He said he learned about marketing through gaming.
Now he’s passing on teen entrepreneur tips in his book that came out this month, Retire Before College, and to his surprise has already made the best seller list.
“My reaction was awe,” he said of making the best seller list.
“You can’t create a bank account without parent approval, you don’t have access to trade credit or credit cards or loans … It’s very stressful and there are certainly times you can throw in the towel,” he said.
Sykes planes to retire by the age of 25.
“Travel the world, do things my own way. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life sitting behind a desk,” he said.
In the meantime, he’s busy managing his international marketing team of 170 people, taking high school and college classes online, and preparing for his TED Talk in Florida next month.
When asked if there were times he thought he wasn’t going to be able to accomplish what he has, Sykes joked, “Every day but it’s important to tell your mind to go away and keep on pressing through.”