Spotlight on CEO Kid: Emily-Anne Rigal of Schmiddlebopper

We love YouTube in our family!  I know there is TONS of garbage on there and you really do need to be careful when letting kids spend time here.  On the other hand – my kids and I have learned some amazing things from people sharing videos all over the world.  We have also made some great friends and met some fabulous people supporting awesome causes!  Once of those people is Emily-Anne Rigal.  Here’s the Q & A we did with Emily-Anne!  Enjoy!

Sarah:  Where can people find you online Emily-Anne?

Emily-Anne:  YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/schmiddlebopper and  Twitter: https://twitter.com/schmiddlebopper

Sarah:  So when did when did you start thinking about starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur and why did you want to start?

Emily-Anne:   Becoming an entrepreneur is something I have been interested in since I was very young. I dreamed of starting a charitable nonprofit all throughout my childhood because I was eager to do great things and confident in my abilities. The older I got, the more I craved the experience and valuable lessons I would learn by starting my own program. I currently have a project called WeStopHate, which raises awareness about cyber-bullying through the power of the YouTube community.  This project occurred, as I would say, “naturally.” I say this because I have been making YouTube videos (as a hobby) for over a year, and it is something I really enjoy. Because of this, I was inspired to start a program incorporating the YouTube community.

Sarah:  What do you think are the most important skills you have that help you in business?

Emily-Anne:   I am very ambitious and motivated. I’m not sure if that would be considered a “skill,” but I believe they are traits that are essential in order to succeed.

Sarah:   What do you see as the biggest obstacles or problems in getting started in business?

Emily-Anne: I think in getting started, the biggest obstacle to overcome is simply just starting. It can be incredibly overwhelming, and whenever I feel as if its too much, I say to myself, “it’s just the beginning, everything that I want to happen will happen, but it isn’t all going to happen right this second. One thing at a time.” Remembering that it’s okay to start small, it very important when starting a business.

Sarah:    What is the problem, even or need that your business helps to solve?

Emily-Anne:  The program I am developing is helping to raise awareness for cyber-bulling, an issue I believe needs much more media attention. Cyber-bulling is a serious issue in our society, and yet I believe many people have a very limited understanding of what it actually is.

Sarah:  Where did you come up with your idea?

Emily-Anne:  Having been immersed in the YouTube community for such a long time, the idea to utilize the large followings of my friends and myself just made sense to me, and when I thought of the idea I was very excited about it. I believe it is a great opportunity because what I am doing with the YouTube community has never been done before.

Sarah:  How about your age?  How does that affect you?

Emily-Anne:   I’d like to say my age is an advantage, but my personal belief is that my age can be extremely limiting. I have no doubt that I am capable to doing certain things which an older person can do, but I believe many people refuse to work with high school kids in a professional setting, and so many things I would love to do, are limited because I am “too young.” However, there are some advantages to my age. For example, it can be very impressive when someone finds out I am only sixteen.

Sarah:    What about college?  Are you planning on going?

Emily-Anne:  I am planning on going to college, and I hope to go to a school in an urban setting, preferably New York City.

Sarah:  What were the best SURPRISES you found  in starting your business?

Emily-Anne:     I was pleasantly surprised with all the support I received.

Sarah:  What were your daily or weekly efforts in spreading your brand message and will you share some tips on making connections to grow your business?

Emily-Anne:  As far as making connections, I would say that what’s important is to be genuine. Try to find some common ground with whomever you are reaching out to, because building a relationship with someone is vital. My grandfather once told me, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Also, be grateful whenever someone is helping you and never forget to say thank you.

Sarah:  What advice or tips can you give to other CEO Kids and entrepreneurs?

Emily-Anne:  Try to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. You only live once and in my opinion the most important thing you can be is to be happy, not stressed! Make sure that you ENJOY what you’re doing, rather than starting a business as a way to impress someone, such as your parents, teachers, or college admissions people. Understand that you may not be ready to start a business just yet and that’s okay too. With that being said, if starting a business is something you’re passionate about then by all means jump in with two feet; don’t do it half way, make sure it do your best and give it your all.

Thanks Emily-Anne!  You are such a great example and force for good!  Keep it up!

Comments

  1. Johanna Vandenberg says:

    I have been a fan of Emily-Anne’s for some time now and her contributions as a teenager gives me hope for the world! She also has a great sense of humor!

  2. Oh, great interview, Sarah! As you know I’m lucky to know Emily-Anne as well. She is turning into a partner within my nfp, Realize, Inc. as she develops her We Stop Hate initiative.

    Honestly and truly, this girl takes care of business like a seasoned pro. Very on top of correspondences. Quick to seek counsel. Keeps plugging away in the face of annoying obstacles (like snags in getting Pay Pal linked to bank account!) And most of all she is just plain fun to work with ~ we laugh a lot during our Skypes :)

    Three cheers, Emily-Anne!

    • How exciting that you are working with Emily-Anne in work that you are doing! We love watching her videos and think she is doing a great job! So are you Miss Ruby!

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