Latest posts by Deborah Reber (see all)
- Build a Financial Plan [Business Plan Basics #8] - January 13, 2018
- Overview of the Management Team [Business Plan Basics #7] - January 12, 2018
- Create Your Operations Plan [Business Plan Basics #6] - January 11, 2018
Though she’s now 22-years-old and officially not a teenager anymore, Catherine Cook was only fifteen when she and her younger brother David founded social networking site myYearbook.com in 2005 with the help of a $250,000 investment from her older brother, Geoff.
Today? myYearbook.com has over 20 million members and was sold to social media site, Quepasa this past July for $100 million. That’s right…we said million. As for Catherine? She graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC this past spring and continues to work on the growth and development of myYearbook.com.
We know Catherine is superbusy, so we’re grateful she had time to answer a few questions for Like a Boss about what her path as a teen entrepreneur has been like. We hope her story and advice inspire you!
Q: What has been the most fulfilling part of being an entrepreneur?
A: One of the most fulfilling parts is knowing that you’re helping others through your idea. I love hearing about our members who have met their best friend or a significant other through the site or our mobile apps. Our goal is to be the best place to meet new people, and we love when members tell us when they make new friends!
Q: Have your ever doubted your ability to see your idea through? And if so, how did you manage your insecurity?
A: There are so many competitors in our space. It’s a very quickly growing market, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Although it’s tough, you need to wake up every day believing in your idea. You need to fight that insecurity every day. While you’re working hard to make your company great – you won’t have time to feel insecure.
Q: What quality do you have that you credit with your ability to be successful?
A: I’m a very hard worker. I’m very persistent and will stop at nothing when I want to get something done. Passion is great, but unless you combine it with hard work, you won’t get anywhere.
Q: What has been the single biggest challenge you’ve had to face in creating your venture, and how did you overcome it?
A: One of the biggest challenges when creating myYearbook was ignoring the people who said we couldn’t do it. There were so many people in my high school who thought the idea would fail – even before we launched! It was hard to ignore their pessimism, but if you believe in your idea, you can’t let anything hold you back!
Q: What piece of advice or insight would you share with teen entrepreneurs who want to start their own company?
A: Go for it! This is the best time to start a company! When you’re young, you don’t have the same responsibilities as when you’re older. You don’t have a family to support; you’re still living at home. Right now, if you fail, the worst that can happen is you have a great experience that will set you apart from the pack when applying to colleges or be a valuable experience to make your next venture a success.