If you’re a frequent reader of Elite Daily, you’d probably have read articles written by a contributor called Stacey Ferreira. She wrote an article titled ‘How Spending $4K To Meet Richard Branson Changed And Made My Life‘, recounting her journey to co-founding her own startup with her brother Scoot. Along the way, they received a US$1 million investment from notable names like Richard Brandson, Alex Welch, and Jerry Murdock. Named MySocialCloud, the startup is an online platform that lets people store their usernames and passwords for auto-login.
Her article motivated me, mostly because she is the same age as I am. While most of us were still in college or pre-university institutions at the age of 19, Stacey had already started on her entrepreneurship journey — and has been doing so for almost four years. I contacted her via her official website, hoping that she could share with us some things that she didn’t include in her article.
I was delighted and lucky enough to be able to talk with her online, where she told me more about her entrepreneurship journey and her ambitions for the year ahead.
1. Tell me a little more about your background before you found MySocialCloud.
I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and found a passion for learning at the all girl’s high school I attended: Xavier College Prep. I grew up doing a lot of activities outside of school — mostly focusing on music (taking piano, clarinet, percussion lessons, etc.). During my summers, I worked at a local TV station and attended GRAMMY Camp.
I completed my freshman year while working on MySocialCloud and then took two years off of college. Now, after selling MySocialCloud two years ago to Reputation.com, I decided to move back to NYC to work on my next startup while also enrolled in classes (mostly at lunch hour and night classes; NYU has been really great about making my schedule work for me).
2. What inspired you to start MySocialCloud?
The winter of my senior year in high school, my brother had a computer crash where he lost an Excel spreadsheet with all of his usernames and passwords. We had been learning how to program in high school, so we thought we could build a website that stored usernames and passwords and automatically log people into all their sites.
3. What were the obstacles you faced while starting up MySocialCloud and how have you overcome them?
I think a lot of first time entrepreneurs have — we kept building out features rather than really refining the one thing we really wanted to do. About six months into MySocialCloud, we built out a bookmarking service too and thought we would expand out to build a wallet to hold more data. But we realized after building out the bookmarking service, that we’d do a better job with marketing our service and getting it in front of people if we focused on one value prop and doing one thing really well, first.
4. Did you have any programming experience when you started MySocialCloud?
A little bit. I played a lot of computer games growing up and I really wanted to create my own game — so I started teaching myself how to program my freshman year of high school. I learned mostly by reading blogs and books that I picked up from the local Barnes and Noble and then eventually from getting more involved in the community and asking other friends questions as I tried to build little projects.
5. In the first few months, how was the experience for you?
The first few months were typical startup in that we lived in a two-bedroom apartment in South Central Los Angeles (not the best part of California). We rented out one of the rooms so that we could afford to live there and basically locked ourselves in the house all summer to just work on the product. We spent the first couple of weeks just ideating, prototyping and building a first version to get out to our friends and family to test it. From there, we saw the tweet and the rest is history!
6. How has it been to work with a family member? Did you fight or quarrel a lot?
My brother is actually my best friend in the entire world. We sometimes disagree on stuff, but we know how to compromise from growing up together and having to share toys.
When I went to middle school and my mom went back to work, we always had to look out for each other. Scott would pick me up at the school bus stop everyday after school and we would always play computer games together — which taught us how to work together toward an objective.
7. What are the three top lessons you have learnt from your experiences?
Be open to change and opportunities.
The best things that have happened to me have happened because we were open to change. Starting the business, raising money, hiring amazing people to the team and so on.
There is no substitute for hard work.
A lot of times the people who are the most successful are the ones who just out-work and out-last everyone else in the field. Like most things in life, work is a numbers game. If you’re working more hours and you’re working smarter than everyone else, you’ll come out on top.
Exercise and eat well.
It’s easier to think clearly and make solid decisions when you’re healthy.
8. What is your one main principle you live by every day?
Wake up early and accomplish one thing in the first hour you’re awake and then repeat that step for the rest of the day. That way if you work for 12 hours, you will have ended the day accomplishing at least 12 things.
9. Do you have any words of encouragement for people — especially at your age — who would like to start their own businesses too? What kind of advice would you give?
Look at the world with constructive observation. Observe something and rather than judging it — say “what can I do to make this thing/process better than it currently is?” If you think of a particularly intriguing answer to that question, don’t let anything stop you from creating the better thing that you’ve thought of. Also note: you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to do this — you can do this at any company!
10. What is next for you? I have read that you are working on AdMoar, we would love to hear more about it!
At AdMoar, we’re building an online marketplace to play matchmaker between brands and YouTube Creators so that brands can have their products in YouTube videos and get brand awareness while YouTubers can sustain their lifestyle doing what they love!