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Self-Made Teenage Entrepreneur Changing The Startup Game

Yan Gorshtenin is the teenage entrepreneur and founder of media platform, Netlodge.

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Yan Gorshtenin

Yan is the perfect example of a young entrepreneur bringing other entrepreneurs great insight via an online platform of start-up content. Gorshtenin began brainstorming and planning Netlodge in 2014, when only 14. Netlodge now has 100,000 followers across all of social media, including 1,500+ startups and entrepreneurs on its platform.

Yan Gorshtenin, founder and CEO of Netlodge. In this insightful interview, he discusses his entrepreneurial journey, the creation of Netlodge, and what’s coming up next. Yan describes himself as a highly energetic and motivated strategy and operations professional. Yan is the perfect example of a young entrepreneur bringing other entrepreneurs great insight via an online platform of start-up content. Gorshtenin began brainstorming and planning Netlodge in 2014, when only 14. Netlodge now has 60,000 followers across social media, including 1,000+ startups and entrepreneurs on its platform.

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I wanted to become someone bigger, change the world for the better or even inspire someone with the right mind to change the world even more than I can. I am here for a reason and I’ve been hungry for success ever since I was young. I started making a few figures, making money for myself and not working for anyone that already had their dreams built for them. I wanted to create something that changed the world for the better and let people explore through content for their business needs and doing work that changes the way they start a business without spending such a big amount on marketing.

Who were your biggest influences? Was there a defining moment in your life?

My biggest influences would be my parents, they would always give me the freedom to explore with anything I had started with such as the very first businesses I opened while even being in middle school throughout high school till now. I always had created my own opportunities as nothing was handed to me, as I grew up I would see my dad and mom struggle to pay for some bills and it took a toll on me as I was so young and was not able to work or do anything about it. I grew up watching my parents hustle and I ended up hustling and starting from nothing to now being somewhere from hard work, I learned that if you put in the work, you’ll get the results you worked hard for in the end.

I would always get asked how I started Netlodge…

I started Netlodge as a storytelling platform (through content) and struggled to get growth the first few months back in 2014, I thought to myself as how I can market my platform and add value for people to come to it on its own. I never paid for any advertisements nor a single dime to a marketing firm, I ended up making Netlodge into a growth incentive tool that I used to grow our own platform.

Some notable moments in my journey would be:

My favorite moment would be getting noticed by big tech giants such as ProductHunt, Forbes, Startup Grind by Google and TechCrunch. A moment I would never forget is being my age as of now, 16, and exhibiting Netlodge at Techday LA in September 2016 in front of 10,000 startups, investors and students on what we do and how we change the world through growth. The looks of the people that I laid my eyes on while showcasing our platform inspired me as people looked up to me as a young entrepreneur.

I’ve failed, and it I’ve gotten up dozens of times and I’ve learned from it.

I’ll say it with pride and honesty, yes of course I had failed. A startup fails time to time and from day one, netlodge has been a tool and experiment that has just happened to come out from the ground up and help people succeed. I opened about my failure, when it took a year for 150 members to register on our platform. I changed my behavior and gained insight, 2 ½ years later we have thousands on our platform sharing their content. I figured that there was a need for Netlodge, there was a big enough market and market our platform in a cost effective way.

You must follow a groundwork as an entrepreneur, consider innovating first. It’s the first thing you should do and during the idea and brainstorming phase of starting up, without innovation there is nothing you can differentiate yourself from competition. It all depends on how you innovate yourself, it takes coming out of your comfort zone and taking priority over convenience if you want to be successful.

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