Interview with Helena, owner of the memepage Spongeforce.
Helena is a 16-year-old high schooler and creative entrepreneur from Chicago, Illinois. She has run several social media pages, including the memepage Spongeforce and eCommerce stores while still in school. She’s been able to do this all while living the traditional life of a teenage girl, doing well in school and participating in extracurriculars. She told me her passion is building businesses that provide value to others, whether it is through funny posts or physical products. I asked her some questions about her story that have insights you can apply in your own life.
1. Small Beginnings
Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?
I have always wanted to work for myself. I take after my father, who is also an entrepreneur (although in a very different industry). He is my main inspiration in pursuing entrepreneurship. I also look up to several large influencers such as Lance Stewart and others, as my primary focus has always been social media.
Q: What strategies did you use when getting started?
Although using growth techniques and collaborating with other Instagram influencers helped me grow my audience, the most important thing I did was post good and funny content. Providing value to your followers should always be the top priority for an influencer. In my case, I made sure I posted content I deemed funny regularly, providing my followers with laughs. This thought of providing value to others to find success translates to other fields of life as well. It can be applied in any field of work and in any social relationship. Whenever you can make people happy, you will see a return (whether it is monetary or not)!
Q: What kind of mindset allowed you to have success?
The most important trait to have is perseverance. I have seen plenty of challenges and tribulations, from accounts getting hacked to dealing with payment processors. Truly, the only thing that distinguishes me from the next guy is the fact that I get back up and keep working after those setbacks. There are no problems that can ever fully stop you have from pursuing your goal. Be relentless in whatever you do and you will find success!
Q: What does success mean to you?
I believe that I will feel successful when I can support myself and those around me. I want to reach my full potential in entrepreneurship and create products and services that serve others. I want to create businesses that genuinely make peoples’ lives better. Apart from traditional measures of success like money, I also want to have strong relationships with those around me.
Q: How do you treat failure?
I approach failure as an opportunity to learn. I’ve had many online projects that never reached their full potential, but rather than being upset and quitting, I take it as a moment to see what went wrong and how I can do better next time. You should be just as excited to fail as you are to succeed.