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Forsyth County entrepreneur holds workshop for teens
Part of library programming
Local business owner and entrepreneur Tommy Johns presented his Teen Boss Workshop at the Sharon Forks Library. - photo by Paul Dybas

SOUTH FORSYTH -- Teenagers who attended a seminar Wednesday at the library branch in south Forsyth are one step closer to starting their own businesses.

Local business owner and entrepreneur Tommy Johns presented his Teen Boss Workshop at the Sharon Forks Library, teaching teens in sixth grade and higher how to begin exploring the benefits of owning their own business.

“[Being an entrepreneur is] a great way of earning a living and making some extra money as a teen. And the best thing is you don’t have to wait until you’re 16 to get a ‘real job’ to do it,” Johns said. “It really is where our economy is headed.”

The 90-minute seminar covered topics such as goal setting, choosing the type of business that best suits the person, developing a business plan and marketing advice.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember,” Johns said. “It started cutting grass at 12 and was babysitting and cutting grass at 14.

“Then I took a cut in pay when I was 16 to get a real job and work in a grocery store, because that’s what everyone did.”

In college, he continued to work odd jobs, including hanging pictures and moving furniture for people.

“Being my own boss is a lot of fun,” he said.

He is now a professional magician, puppeteer and motivational speaker.

Following the workshop, participants were told they could access the Teen Boss Toolkit, an online collection of business resources, how-to articles and promotional templates for teen entrepreneurs.

“We love to offer educational programs for all ages, and this definitely fits the bill,” said Cleo Joyce, youth services supervisor at Sharon Forks.

She said the library’s teen advisory board specifically asked for a program that will help them figure out how to make more money and “keep busy over the summer, since that’s coming up fast.”

Sharon Forks was the second-busiest library in Georgia last year, and those who work with the Forsyth County Public Library system often have credited community programs as a reason.

“They’re popular because we look for what the community is interested in,” Joyce said. “We take patrons’ suggestions very seriously.”

For more information on programs at any of the county libraries, visit