Research is key to being an entrepreneur. It’s also good to remember that you always get what you pay for.

 

Meredith Stevens has been identified as one of the rising stars of the digital design industry with her work at Miss Bongo. During her college years, Meredith Stevens spent much of her time studying art and expanding her knowledge of technology to include the latest design software which led her to her current position of Vice President of Digital Design at Miss Bongo Prix.
Spending Summers in California and Winters in the stunning setting of Bondi Beach, Australia allows the design expert the opportunity to indulge her love of surfing and kayaking in one of the world’s most beautiful settings. Alongside her love of water sports, the Miss Bongo executive also loves to spend her time traveling and using the five languages she speaks fluently.

Where did the idea for Miss Bongo come from?

Miss Bongo is an intelligent monkey who has been created to provide some fun and allow social interaction between users with my team working largely on the design and look of every aspect of the Site. The company was born from an idea to use fun images and creativity to build social interactions between young people in a safe and secure environment which can be controlled as part of the Miss Bongo Prix.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I tend to spend much of my time working remotely so I try and start the day with some form of exercise which can assist me in becoming focused on the important tasks. When I’m in California, I tend to attend a yoga class, but in Australia, I like to hit the water and get back to nature. The first thing I do when I finish exercising is to check my messages from the night before and contact anybody who is in need of my assistance. Then I take a look at the projects we have to complete and check they are moving towards the required deadlines satisfactorily. Throughout the day I’ll field calls and respond to messages as I work through the important details of the day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I like to explore my ideas on paper because of my background in art. My colleagues and friends will tell you I spend a large amount of my time with my head in a sketchbook making notes and working on various ideas. Once I have worked through my ideas on paper, we move to the computer and start bringing them to life in a positive way.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Animation. Bringing Bongo to life for our app has opened my eyes to the possibilities of moving artwork positively.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Sticking to my guns and believing I have the right approach. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always open to new advice and ideas, but sometimes you have to simply believe in yourself. In the early days of Miss Bongo Prix, I was told much about how I should be doing things by people, but I think every entrepreneur has to find their way in business.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Over the course of my career, I had learned to trust myself which is something I wasn’t confident enough to do on a regular basis when I was younger. My belief in my skills trickles down to my team and makes us all more productive and better equipped for every day. Many years ago, I heard a story about a movie director who would finish one shot and immediately call for the camera to be moved to a new spot on the set to allow himself more time to think about his next move. There are days when I feel I am acting in the same way as the movie director in calling for moves based on gut instinct.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

Australia is the greatest country in the world.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Research is key to being an entrepreneur. It’s also good to remember that you always get what you pay for.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

We have taken a major interest in the use of social media marketing in recent times. Social media advertising and using sponsored posts has become a great option for attracting younger people to our brand.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

An update to our stickers was less than successful a few years ago. Bouncing back was hard, but I took it on the chin and made sure I worked harder to put the problems right for the future.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I wish there were a simple app allowing me to find a way of tracking the tides and surf conditions around the world so I can use the same phone in both Australia and the U.S.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

This may not be the answer you are looking for, but I have recently been looking to create a healthier lifestyle and bought a juicer. It has been a great buy which has let me eat healthier and gain protein in a simple form.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

We use a lot of graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, InDesign, etc. As for a web service, we use all forms of social media whenever possible. Right now SMS is our biggest service.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I recently picked up “The Myth of the Nice Girl” by Fran Hauser. I’ve been inspired by its message of achieving personal success while being a kind and compassionate person. I also loved Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Her business success in the face of adversity inspires me.

What is your favorite quote?

“Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” By Oprah Winfrey

Key Learnings:

• Don’t be afraid of change or trying new things.
• Success doesn’t come easy, but it does come if you are persistent.
• Stick to your guns and believe in yourself.

Connect:

http://missbongo.com
Meredith Stevens on Twitter: http://twitter.com/missbongomeredith