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The British Teenager Who Built a Business Whilst Taking His Exams

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The British Teenager Who Built a Business Whilst Taking His Exams

Along with most 18 year olds in the UK who were studying hard for their notoriously difficult A-Level exams, Nabeal Khan, now 19, was also building his first successful business. Enkay Media is an eCommerce growth & marketing agency responsible for generating multiple figures of revenue per month for various eCommerce stores across the globe – he often shares results to his 100k+ followers on his Instagram (@nabeal.khan). 

Since the company’s inception, Nabeal has seen great success in his endeavours, however, building a business of this magnitude at such a young age has been far from a smooth ride for Nabeal, although it is something which he has always been determined to do. 

Throughout his teenage years, Nabeal had always wanted to start his own eCommerce store, but he was struggling for an idea to commit too. However, he knew that as soon as his idea would eventually come to him, Facebook Ads were the tool that would propel his businesses to where he wanted it to be. He therefore invested thousands of hours researching the software extensively until he understood it inside and out. One day, Nabeal became aware that there were numerous companies that existed that ran Facebook Ads on behalf of other businesses, but he believed a lot of them were doing a subpar job. Knowing he could do a lot better, he thus decided to reach out to a few smaller eCommerce stores where he agreed to provide his services in exchange for a share of profit. It was here that Enkay Media all began. 

With these initial relationships, Nabeal saw huge success and now, just a few months later, his company is working with multiple 7-figure businesses including various high-profile clients such as the clothing brand of a Premier League soccer player as well as a company which found big success on BBC’s Dragons’ Den (the U.K.’s equivalent to Shark Tank). 

Unfortunately, this is where things started to become difficult for Nabeal. The period of time in which Enkay Media was really taking off coincided with the time in which 18 year olds all across the U.K. were busy preparing for their crucial A-Level exams. Nabeal was therefore faced with a tricky dilemma: abandon all the clients he had worked so hard to attain by postponing his business until after his exams, or, take on his business during exam season with the risk of his grades potentially being affected. He decided to commit himself to the latter, knowing that the future reward would be far greater than the regret. 

In the words of Nabeal, “as if studying for A-Levels wasn’t stressful enough, I also had to think about the several thousand dollars of ad spend I was responsible for on a daily basis.” As time progressed, this feat proved to only become more challenging for Nabeal as his exams became closer and his business continued to grow. 

How could anyone possibly manage to build such a thriving business whilst also undertaking such important exams? Nabeal’s response was simple, he “slept no more than 3-4 hours per night.” He continued by saying “looking back on it, I have no idea how I managed to function on such little sleep. Although, at the time it felt amazing due to how hard I was pushing myself. The best way to describe it would be by comparing it to a runner’s high. The one thing I did find particularly challenging, however, was being able to maintain the self-discipline to focus on studying when I needed to and refrain from my business. This was constantly exacerbated by the fact that I always believed my next 5-figure deal was only ever 10 more minutes of work away and sometimes, I couldn’t resist, and I would end up securing one of those lucrative deals. It drove me insane, it was like I was getting paid not to study.” 

Despite achieving excellent grades, by the time Nabeal had completed his exams, due to all the hard work and dedication he had invested in his business, not going to University was evidently the path for him. Nevertheless, this is still a significant decision that should not be undermined, here is what Nabeal had to say: 

“Up until a few months ago, my whole life has been spent in a private school where essentially every single person I was surrounded by wanted to go to University. I don’t have a problem with that at all if you want a job, but for as long as I can remember, that has never been the case for me. It is simply too restrictive for the type of person I am. When I say that, I am not solely referring to money, it all comes down to working for a purpose and being directly rewarded for how hard and how smart you work. I love how I can work 100+ hours in a week and I am the one who enjoys the compounding reward of that, not some employer. I knew that the sooner I committed myself to entrepreneurship the further away I was from being trapped in a monotonous lifestyle. In the words of Steve Jobs, I feel that at this stage of my life I have “absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.” At the end of the day, Enkay Media is just the tip of the iceberg for me, I see it as my business education, and I unequivocally believe it is teaching me more than any degree ever could.” 

CEO of Penske Media Group. Experienced Content Editor with a demonstrated history of working in the newspaper industry. Spoken on stages around the globe - NYU, US Embassy, P&G Toronto, and much more.

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