How was it growing up as a kid with immigrant parents?
My father and mother immigrated from Asia to the United States at the very young age of seventeen. To make ends meet, they ventured into the restaurant business and began their first Chinese food business in South Carolina.
Being the oldest, I was able to help my father out in the restaurant after school and on weekends, and I would sometimes help my mother in her nail shop depending on which place was busier. I soon began to love the idea of owning my own business. While working at the family business, I had to teach myself e-commerce and how to use social media to influence business and Facebook advertising. I soon tested my new marketing strategies on my family business by introducing Internet marketing to their business, which immediately resulted in an increase in profit
It is beyond impressive for someone to build their own business let alone in the 9th grade! Please tell us more about that?
In the ninth grade, I actually started my own online business after saving the money I got from my parents from working at the restaurant. I combined my love for Minecraft and coding by creating a hosting company called NuclearNode LLC. Though I started this hosting company initially to host Minecraft servers, I soon diversified and began hosting small business websites as I realized they could be really profitable for the business.
Do you still run NuclearNode LLC?
My business partner and I later sold the company to a larger hosting company called Shockbyte.com in 10th grade. I met my other business partner Kyle Buckner in the 11th grade and venture into his e-commerce brand, called DesignSkinz.
Was it the right place at the right time when you met Kyle Buckner from DesignSkinz or did you have it planned out?
A friend introduced me to him, and as soon as we met, we both clicked instantly. Kyle Buckner hired me on the spot as an 11th-grade intern. Working with him as his right-hand man, he has been more than a business partner, he was a mentor and a friend. We soon traveled together and made many connections that scaled our DesignSkinz brand.
What advice would you give others that are looking to start their own business?
My advice to other people is not to be lazy. The number one reason I see people fail at starting a business is that they rely on people to walk them through the process instead of learning it themselves.
Do you think it’s possible to scale a business through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook?
I mean the number way, in my opinion, to scale a business through social media is branding. Once you have that, you’re good to go!
What can we expect from you in 2020?
At the current moment, I started a new company called Project Wifi with 3 new business partners, Moe (CEO), Paul Parker (CMO), and Marcello Cantu (CFO). Project Wifi is an automation service we provide to people who are interested in making money online but do not have the time to run the business themselves. That’s where we come into play, and automate the process for you with our team of virtual assistants in the Philippines. My dedicated role is that I make sure the entire operation is taken care of from VA clocking into the client’s amazon store.
Where can we keep up to date with you on Social Media?
You can keep up to date with me on my Instagram @andyvonde
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