AchieveIT360’s Interview with Irving Torres

  1. What is Young and CEO and why did you start it?

Young and CEO, an entrepreneurship organization that supercharges aspiring and current entrepreneurs with great resources and powerful tools. We organize meet-ups, help young entrepreneurs with advice, send out a monthly e-mail full of content, and just started an on-line magazine.

Our major project is the Power Boost newsletter that we send out once a month. With over 20k subscribers, it’s a popular free service we offer. This includes book summaries and reviews of the latest Business and Startup NY Times bestselling books. Articles on the latest trends happening in entrepreneurship, and interesting motivational stories that teach valuable lessons. I also include web tools that I have found to be extremely effective for my business, interviews with entrepreneurs, and start-up events happening around the world.

It’s a really well mixed cocktail of resources and information to supercharge entrepreneurs.

  1. What is your 5-year vision for your site?

I think Vision is the right word to use because I play everything by ear. I know things can change very suddenly so I am seeing what happens.

My vision is to grow a community of entrepreneurs around the site, the events we throw, and the mission to change the world through entrepreneurship and innovation.

I want to grow the outreach. The first step was the newsletter and as the readership grows I will continue to expand to a digital magazine (first) and then to more content like video.

In a few years I will be able to start organizing bigger events with partnerships and sponsorships from big organizations to really drive the message home for aspiring entrepreneurs. I am working on a few partnerships but I ultimately want to be able to reach many young people including high school minority entrepreneurs who are almost non-existent in the startup world. (I never see any other Mexicans, Latinos, or African Americans)

5 years from now I want to be able to have a recognizable brand and be able to have measurable impact on startups and young entrepreneurs.

3. Who are your mentors and why?

I have a few close mentors who I keep in touch with and a few advisor type of mentors who I check in with from time to time.

Jerry, Darren Thorn, and David Chen are whom I consider my current mentors.

Jerry is a client of mine whom I instantly had a connection with. When I initially launched Young And CEO, we were a branding consultancy so we did some work with his company brand. After a few months we started to have regular meetings about entrepreneurship and the path I wanted to take. He shared a ton of advice with me and motivated me on a regular basis by sharing valuable lessons on networking, goal setting, attitude, and approaching other clients.

Darren Thorn was my high school music technology teacher and an entrepreneur. He has an educational entertainment company called ‘Thorn Entertainment’ and his mission is to produce quality entertainment and educational products that send young minds soaring. We meet on a regular basis when we both can to grab coffee or lunch and discuss plans for his new book or for my path as an entrepreneur.

David Chen is a friend and fellow entrepreneur. I am currently working with him at his startup.  I’m part of Strikingly, the best website builder to instantly get beautiful one-page sites up and running with no coding experience. We’ve been on Forbes, Techcrunch, and the NYTimes. I admire his passion and incredible intelligence. I have learned a ton while being here in Shanghai China with him about business, hustling, and driving growth. We are a Y-Combinator company so there is a ton of support and connections but working with David directly as a Growth Hacker has been an amazing learning experience.

Naddia, Michael Segal, and Steven Leon are my advisors and I check in with them from time to time.

Naddia was my Chicano Latino Student Affairs advisor while I was at Pomona College and she was the one who taught me to have a high self worth. I remember that she was the first one to ask me the amount of money I wanted to make when I graduated. When I said a modest number she almost scolded me for not reaching higher. She was the first mentor to tell me to follow my passion and that I was ahead of many of my peers for thinking completely different.

Michael Segal has been an amazing advisor who has taught me everything from proper etiquette to networking properly. He is the previous owner of Fred Segal and a Pomona College trustee who I met while ‘networking’ at school. I really like talking to him because he pushes me to try harder at what I do.

Steven Leon is the coach who has always been there to push me in the right moral direction since I met him at college five years ago. He works at the University consortium and has been there in my low times and my best times to show me that I am making a difference. Steven was the one who gave me valuable advice on my business, school life, and still motivates me to be a better person. He always pays it forward and constantly helps out people in need. He is a great role model and father to his son.

What is your CALL TO ACTION? How can people follow you, help you, get involved with your cause?

If you want to get involved with my mission to make the world a better place through entrepreneurship check us out and sign up for updates via our website at:

www.youngandceo.com. If you want to connect or get involved in co-hosting events or something else please reach out to me via my personal site or by responding to one of my newsletters!

I am always looking for partnerships with exceptional organizations and businesses to push forward the pioneers of tomorrow.

5. Anything else I have missed that you think is important….

Steve Jobs famously said, “When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again”.

Keep this in mind young innovators-

Realize that you have more power than you thought possible and realize that YOU are in the driver’s seat of your life.

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