Recently, I sat down with Hugo Wilson – a 19 year old social media marketer, to uncover his story, and find out more about how he is dealing with the current pandemic.
How would you summarise what you do?
Since a young age, I’ve always wanted to help people whether it be through simple acts of kindness to helping people to change their life completely. After going through depression and anxiety when I was 16, I decided to create a platform to help other young people dealing with their own mental health issues. Mind The Stairs is a platform that truly believes in the power of coming together; through this, we are breaking stigmas by sharing experiences to help both the writers themselves to feel a weight lift off their shoulders, but also to help other young people who may be struggling alone. Our goal is to break stigmas to open conversation, inspire community so that no-one feels alone and ultimately empower young people to achieve their full potential. By using our platform to spread positivity and acceptance on a social media feed often plagued with comparison and negativity, we hope to bring light to a dark time that many are experiencing.
How has your industry been affected by covid-19?
With young people all around the world being restricted from the freedom that they are used to, the need for mental health support is greater than ever. Many are struggling with the lack of structure that we face as a generation with the lack of school, university or work and we haven’t experienced times like this before. Through Mind The Stairs, we have been working hard to help individuals through their tough times by talking but also through the content that we post so that they are able to get through this difficult period. On the whole, I have been working with lots of different entrepreneurs to help create a better environment for young people during this time. Something that has become increasingly popular which I truly believe in is the belief that by coming together we can achieve much more. I no longer believed in the competitive mindset of becoming the best but rather the mindset of complementing the work of others so that our shared goal becomes ever-more powerful.
What keeps you motivated during this time at home?
I’ve always looked for external motivation in order to get started with things I need to do but recently I’ve begun to understand the importance of internal motivation through discipline. By understanding the purpose behind each action that you take, you know the value of what you are aiming to achieve. I’ve built a more structured lifestyle to keep myself busy and productive but also incorporating the notion of “mind over matter” to push through when I may wish to take the easy road. Reminding yourself of the “WHY” in everything that you do, provides you with greater purpose, something bigger than simply just doing it for yourself. But at the end of the day, we are all human and we can’t always feel sunshine and rainbows in our lives and that is okay. The important thing is to take time out, rest up and go again. When you truly want to achieve something, you won’t give up, no matter how many setbacks you may experience on your journey. Only through our lowest moments are we truly able to appreciate the highs in our lives.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs to stay in a good mindset?
I would say that surrounding yourself with the right people is vital to the success of anyone looking to achieve something greater than where they are right now. Every person has something to teach you that you won’t have known before; by connecting with as many people as possible, you have the opportunity to progress and learn within yourself to get yourself closer to your goals. However, entrepreneurship often leads to a solitary lifestyle with limited contact to those who choose the more conventional paths. With this in mind, maintaining friendships and connections with others is important simply for your own happiness and well-being. Entrepreneurship isn’t something that you have to go alone and I think it’s something that a lot of traditional motivation pages get wrong. When you are happy in your personal life, you are able to achieve far greater things in your work pursuits.
What are some of the things you’ve learnt while working remotely?
I think through working remotely I’ve understood the importance of balance to a greater degree. With life before lockdown, we had much less time due to commuting, school/university commitments and other commitments to fill our time. During lockdown, much of this fell away leaving a large hole consisting of empty space. Having finished school a year ago and no longer working, I had to regulate how I was spending my time so that I wasn’t wasting it, but more importantly so that I remained positive. I made sure that I divided my time between my ‘side-hustles’, keeping fit, and staying connected with friends and family. Balance is important in whatever you choose to do with your life because if one area of your life is suffering, you don’t lose everything during that time and you’re able to keep going.