Influencer Intro: Veronika Obeng
I rarely watch TV. I spend more time on Netflix and YouTube than I do in front of a TV screen. Because of that, I leave it up to social media to teach me everything I need to know about what is going on in front and behind of the TV. I came across Veronika Obeng on Instagram, and immediately took to her story. I've never watched Second Wives Club, which is the show she appears on, but I didn't want to talk with her about the show when I met up with her: I wanted to talk with her about what it was like growing up in a small town, becoming a reality star, and raising kids in this day and age of social media. She made Gabe and I laugh more than we've ever laughed in an interview before, and I felt instantly connected to her passion and drive for success and living in Hollywood. Here is what I learned from my hour with Veronika:
What's meant to happen, happens.
Hailing from a small town, Veronika always knew she wanted to escape and do something major with her life. Similar to my dream when I was a kid, she knew she wasn't going to be one of the girls to get pregnant and go to college down the street. Once she moved to LA, she realized that everything you see on TV and online is fake, for the most part. In the third grade, she made a pact with her close friends that said they all agreed to escape their small town as soon as they were all old enough. She's the only girl who ended up leaving.
Her advice for young entrepreneurs:
Dream big. Anything in this life is possible. She grew up on a dirt road with an alcoholic father and a mom who worked on a factory 100 hours a week. If someone doesn't believe in you, don't hesitate to cut them off. Life is too short to be surrounded by negative people. It's important to be fearless, and not be afraid to start small. No one becomes successful and wealthy overnight. It's not always going to be easy, but life wasn't meant to be easy.
On being a young mother:
Veronika's parents were highly religious, and she says her mother barely talked to her when she had her child. Having a baby in high school was incredibly difficult for her, but she learned that discipline is key to becoming successful, regardless of if you have children or not. Don't hesitate to continue to prove people around you wrong.
Veronika was adamant about young adults not having kids in high school. "The world is magnificent. Life is magnificent. Taste and smells and experiences. The mind is a rubber band when you stretch it it can never go back. I was a small town girl before you pull the trigger." She says you won't be the same person at 25, so give yourself time and space to grow and change.
On one thing people would be surprised to know about her:
"I'm an amazing cook. I cook almost every night."
On the things that inspire her:
"Myself. Even if your parents say they don't believe in you, who cares. Parents aren't there during your first final in college. I'm different in the sense I would hear my mom tell these stories and she was obsessed with what else there is out there. My mom was different from other moms, and I really learned how to truly let go of negative souls from her."
On social media in 2017:
"This generation stares at a phone. My daughter couldn't get home one day because her phone died, and she was calling me freaking out. I asked her how and why she didn't know how to get home- I was completely confused on how difficult it could be for a smart girl to make her way home! This generation needs to be grounded and learn how to experience life. When Instagram and what not is gone, what are they going to have?"
On making the decision to go to college:
"You should go to college. I learned there will never be a replacement for an education. Degrees are still very necessary, even though all these kids are getting rich overnight. Do you know plastic surgeons come out making $700k a year? I advise my child to go to college, but I was also lenient on taking a gap year, if they desires. College makes you grow, and you come out more remarkable and wiser than before. It's easy to think you're "special" and don't need an education, but let's face it: you need to learn more than how to follow people on Instagram".
Hope you enjoyed this special Influencer Intro!