How Meridith Rojas Rocked the Music Industry (Before She Hit 30)
The first big lesson Girl Scout alum Meridith Rojas learned in her career? If everyone is telling you that your ideas won’t work, you just might be onto something.
Meridith started out in the entertainment industry while she was in high school. Impressively, while attending New York University she was hired by Columbia Records during a time when the industry was rapidly changing.
Setting out to capitalize on this new climate, she had big ideas about how to use social media to promote the first artist she signed while in her next job at Capitol Records. Unfortunately, she found that the record label didn’t want to listen to her ideas, so she promoted the artist the traditional way. Capitol dropped him after a year.
A few years later, Meridith decided to create her own business, and she’s now the CEO and cofounder of DigiTour Media, the largest producer of live music events for teens. To date, DigiTour has raised $12.5 million and hosted more than 1,000 events. Here’s her advice for other entrepreneurs who want to buck the system and make their own unique mark.
1. Understand that your role as entrepreneur is also salesperson.
“Being a CEO, especially a start-up CEO, you're a salesperson. You need to sell your company to get investment, to get customers, to get a team,” Meridith explains.
“The first thing I ever sold was Girl Scout Cookies,” says the proud former Girl Scout Brownie. “It gave me a chance to learn how to sell and to try different methods. Connecting with my customers, explaining why they needed a couple of boxes . . . it was a thrill and helped me tap into my ability to be a good salesperson, even at six and seven years old.”
2. Don’t expect to have all the answers.
“How can you know how to do something that’s never been done?” rationalizes Meridith.
3. Expect people to resist the unfamiliar.
“What you’re up against is everyone in the industry who doesn’t want to be told that the old way doesn’t work anymore,” she explains, adding, “You just can’t be discouraged by people patting you on your head. Have the confidence to see resistance as a compliment.”
4. Don’t let ageism discourage you.
“I signed [an artist] early in my career,” says Meridith, “and immediately I was told that I needed an older male co-manager. That I didn’t have enough experience. But I knew that what I did have was an understanding of how social media was shifting everything.”
5. Expect building a business to start out hard—and stay that way.
“I’ve seen friends hit a hard point and throw in the towel. It’s scary following your dreams! But everything great takes work, and if you throw in the towel, you’ll never grow.”
6. Form a strong support system.
“It’s important to have people around you who you trust and who will get you through hard moments.”
7. Embrace the stress and let it motivate you.
“If you allow stress to make you miserable, you’re never going to be able to put in the time it takes to succeed,” says Meridith. “I had a mentor who told me ‘pressure makes diamonds.’ If you can use what feels like stress and pressure as part of your process, it will make you stronger.”
8. Don’t let your dreams or your goals weigh you down—let them lift you up.
“When you feel like you hit your breaking point, dig a little deeper,” she says. “Later, when you realize how strong you were, it will boost your confidence.”
9. Use what you learn to help others.
Meridith decided to write a book, Selfie Made: Your Ultimate Guide to Social Media Stardom, because she realized how many young women aspire to work in social media—in fact, it’s the number one career choice for Gen Z, she says.
“As an insider, having worked with the biggest social talent, I wanted to give advice to Gen Z, because there’s such a demand and I knew that I had learned a lot that could help people.”
Has your kid talked about launching a YouTube channel or online brand? Interested in hearing from a former Girl Scout and successful digital entrepreneur? You won’t want to miss an upcoming event led by Girl Scout alum Meridith Rojas, author of Selfie Made and CEO of DigiTour Media, the largest producer of live events featuring social media talent. Join us Sunday, December 16, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Girl Scout Central for a 90-minute workshop with Meridith. Click here to register!