Stacey Ferreira is a young woman on fire! Starting her first business along with her brother at only 18, she had a chance encounter with Sir Richard Branson (and the rest is history). Stacey helped build My Social Cloud and then later sold it and began working for and with numerous other businesses. Stacey’s first book is also coming out this month and she is just getting started! We sat down with Stacey to find out how she got started and what it’s like being a young, successful entrepreneur!
1. Tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship was something that quite possibly was always in my blood. Growing up in Arizona, my brother and I spent a lot of our younger days pretending we were running our own magazine or restaurant businesses. I remember in elementary school when my dad came home with a computer for us. We spent all day playing around with a computer program (somewhat like a very early version of the Sims) that allowed us to create newspapers based on fake happenings of the town. We loved it. We created tons of these newspapers and printed them out everyday to “deliver” them around the house. That was the start.
In high school, I found a passion for technology. I played a lot of video games that made me want to create a computer game, so I started learning about programming. A few months later, I realized I didn’t have quite the skill for games (yet), but started using Joomla and WordPress to create blogs and websites for friends.
2. How do you find it being a female in the business world?
Like anything, it has both advantages and disadvantages. But navigating it has been a fun study in the humanities.
3. We read previously that you had a chance meeting with Sir Richard Branson. How did that meeting come around and what inspiration did you draw from this encounter?
When I was starting my first company with my brother, Scott, and our friend, Shiv, I saw a tweet from Branson that said “Meet me in Miami for cocktails, Donate $2K to charity” with an email address on the next tweet. Naturally, I emailed the email address explaining that we were broke college kids trying to start a company but would love the opportunity to meet him. Later that night, we got an email back that said if we could donate the $2K and be in Miami in 48 hours, we could have the opportunity to meet him.
To make a long story short, we ended up borrowing $4K for my brother and I to attend. When we got to Miami, there were 18 people who had responded to the tweet and we all went around the room and chatted about who we were, why we were there and what we were passionate about. My brother and I spoke about MySocialCloud and our passion to solve this problem of usernames/passwords, but we expressed that we needed advice and guidance. It was here that we asked Branson for his email to get his advice on our company.
When we got back home, we sent him an email to get advice on MySocialCloud and a few weeks later he, Jerry Murdock and Alex Welch ended up investing in MySocialCloud. Tracing it back, Twitter ultimately changed my life.
4. What has been your biggest success either personally or professionally to date?
In 2013, Scott, Shiv and I sold MySocialCloud to Reputation.com and began working at Reputation.com. Throughout the entire MySocialCloud journey and through the acquisition, I’ve learned more than I ever could have imagined about entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, etc.
On July 28, 2015, a book that I co-authored will be published by St. Martin’s Press. The book is called 2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials Are Breaking Down Age Barriers & Changing the World and slashes negative stereotypes to prove that the Millennial generation is making an unprecedented and positive impact on the world. It’s one of the first times I’ve ever created anything physical.
5. How do you juggle a work/ life balance?
One of my favorite quotes is by Alain de Botton: “There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”
It’s cliche, but I truly love the two projects I’m currently working on, 2 Billion Under 20, and Forrge – so besides hanging out with my closest friend group and going to the gym to stay healthy, I pretty much exclusively work on pushing the mission of both my projects along.
6. What advice can you offer to those our there who want to break out of the 9 to grind and start their own business?
Start somewhere. Start today.