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Hey everyone. Stay tuned to the end of the interview where I’ll give you some actionable insights that I learned from my guest. These insights are also in the show notes. As always, thanks for listening.
Now on to my guest for today, Brooke Yoakam. At 19, Brooke has already been at the helm of her company, Gift Pocket, for seven years.
Brooke comes from a family of entrepreneurs, yet when her mother first proposed the idea that she join the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she balked. But she agreed to try it out and found she loved it. It was at the academy that Brooke came up with the idea for Gift Pocket as a solution to a problem she had, which was that her grandfather kept giving her gift cards to stores she didn’t want to go to. The app she created, enables users to store gift cards digitally and to exchange them for ones from different stores. The app also solves the common problem of people losing gift cards. Brooke sees her company as innovating in an industry that has long been stagnant and helping companies build revenue.
Brooke continues to run her company while she attends college, where she’s learning skills in finance and computers as well as building an invaluable network. She talks about balancing being a CEO with being a college student, the frustrations of working with funders, and how she sees everyone who comes to work with her as potential collaborators in making the company even better.
Now, let’s get better together.
- Be open to trying out new things; if you’re a parent, encourage this in your child. Even if that thing doesn’t end up being something you’re interested in, you’ll never know until you try. While Yoakam’s entrance into entrepreneurship was perhaps inevitable, it was her mother pushing her to try out the Young Entrepreneurs Academy that was the jumping off point for her.
- While your idea needs to be a solution that solves a problem, it’s imperative that it’s something you’re passionate about - because you don’t know how long you might have to work at it. Make sure it’s something you can feel proud to be a part of.
- Yoakam’s attitude is “every no leads to a yes.” She believes that things are always working out for the best and doesn’t see “nos” as failures.