Life of a 17-year-old Founder & Influence Marketer

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@jaysondombeleJayson Dombele


I see many people who love engaging with the millennial generation. I, personally would like to thank any sponsor, organization and, individual who set or spent any time to help empower young individuals to step forward in life.

Today, I will be interviewing Matt L.F Smith who is a founder of Hustle Gurus a company that taps into rising brands and startups in your city, giving meaningful work opportunities to the young and talented.

I got promoted and hired today to work on their website which you can check down the below the article.

Let’s not waste time and now dive in to the interview!

17 year old Serial Entrepreneur and Influencer (left) Matt L.F Smith

What projects have you worked and how did it turn out?

I been working on starts and trying to build my own venture, and at one time a rap career but, mostly business startup related stuff for the past 4 years.

Since I was 14 I first started out trying to build these headphones with a friend of mine at school that I thought we could create — not only to listen music but to help you focus.

We worked on that for about 8 months running back and forth between libraries that had free 3D printers and printing out models and designing headphones and the most I really did there was learn a lot about how difficult design really is and I started to learn that so much more to creating something — and coming up with something you have the image in your head.

And so then I started to use YouTube and music after pursuit kind of failed.

I was helping my friends run a YouTube channel called SuperDuperGaming, where they made video game videos and occasionally they made a music video and I decided I would rap in one of their music videos just as a joke.

And, then I actually ended up liking it a lot more then I thought I would and slowly but surely I started taking music seriously and I was making music all the time throughout all of sophomore and most of junior year I was intent on making music with my friends.

I clicked with ETP which is now starting to actually blow up a lot of attention but I didn’t stick with it to long enough to get to that point.

After music I decided — -the reason I left music was because I decided that uhm — startups was the best way to help improve the quality of people’s lives in a way that was most satisfactory for me — that, I tried to look a line in my life for the next couple decades and I tried to imagine really hard about what I could do for people if I made it as a big time musician.

I just couldn’t see the same impact as I built my own startups and create my own solutions for problems in the world. It’s not that i’m discrediting any musician obviously these guys making music — my friends are going to be my friends probably for the rest of my life but I just saw startups was something much better for me.

It will help people more. As I moved on I started connected with people more and trying to find people that are interested in business in my city Chicago and I met a couple people I worked on a cooking app with called lets cook which suppose to take the ingredients from your fridge and turn them into potential recipes like my friend Ali didn’t know what to do with the food in the fridge so that’s when we really got into startups and building app applications and building software. We really wanted to add value to people’s everyday life. I took in a lot of information and took Let’s cook to an incubator to apply what was learned. I got connected with a lot of mentors at this incubator called Quarter0 and our mentors shook us straight and showed us Let’s Cook wasn’t really solving any world problem. None the less I learned about asking good interview questions and learning how to talk to people and ask questions the right way when trying to figure out the under layer of people’s experiences and how to get people to talk to them about what’s really bothering them which is helpful because I did a countless amount of customer interviews.

After I stopped working on Let’s Cook I started working on Reconnect which connects young entrepreneurs in their area based on their venture.

I generally saw that there was a general disconnect with people who are young trying to find others who are trying to build a venture because with Let’s cook it was hard to build the team.

We worked really hard with this app no only to get people from business but other categories as well.

Long story short Reconnect eventually kind of broke up the team disbanded and we had a problem getting people on the app.

It was a great learning experience after all!

Tell us a little bit about Hustle Gurus:

Well, it’s actually kind of similar to Reconnect I just took the things that I seen most real about the need that we were solving for and ways I thought we can make things work.

So, I thought the reason Reconnect failed was because we never got niche enough.

There are so many entrepreneurs, ventures and market sectors which needed anything built to be niche so I thought what if I create an initial audience that gets an initial interest about young people in my city and get them connected that way.

And, so I started thinking over what was the best way to do it?

I came to a conclusion that it would be through media and videos would be a strong part of content marketing if not — the dominant form.

I decided to get into making a YouTube channel and become heavy on my video skill then build an ecosystem based on videos, interviews, a day in a life — videos of young people and their youth led ventures, businesses, non-profits and startups and connect people of all kinds who might want to work or become a consumer of that business.

I’m using Youtube to host my content but once I create a initial audience I’d like to create Hustle Gurus own platform where it becomes seamless to get in touch with startups in your city.

What are you looking forward in the future?

Well, I already made the desicion that I will be working on Hustle Guru for as long as it takes to become an established platform.

And, maybe that’s going to take 3,5, 7, 10 years maybe?

But, I’m really willing to go through this long hall and really work hard on it because I want Hustle Gurus to bring in young people.

When I talk about young people I’m talking about various of ages. People that are new to the startup world!

I can’t wait till there will be Hustle Guru New York,

Hustle Guru San Francisco,

Hustle Guru Dallas, Miami, Tokyo, Seoul, Cape Town!


I want Hustle Guru to become an international hub for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders so that they can connect and support each other based on their already-established businesses!

I would also like to give access to this free democratized tool of community.

People will be able to show their skills without needing credentials and have a soft sounding start to their business life.

I am pursuing for a diverse youth and a 50/50 gender balance. I want the platform to represent the diverse community of the world and I want the platform to represent something that doesn’t care about your degree but cares about your authentic skill and your purpose and motivation.

I want it to be everywhere!

If someone is trying to get a hold of you how can they contact you?

Personal Email:

Hustle Guru Email:

or contact me at the Hustle Gurus Site

Thank you for reading my article! Feel free to leave a comment or learn much more about me below!!

If you missed my last article:

More about Myself:

I’m 16 years old | Programmer |CEO of Documented Press| Content Marketer

// I am currently looking for an editor for my article so if you interested please shoot me an email! //

Any questions, business inquiries or concerns please feel free to email me @:

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