Archive for November, 2013

If You Can’t, You Must

Chad French, a high-school dropout, turned computer geek, turned successful internet entrepreneur, inspired everyone in attendance at Eastern Florida State University with his presentation titled: If You Can’t, You Must.

Mr. French spoke openly about his hardships from his early years, the countless businesses that failed, as well as the early successes. Chad didn’t leave a single thing out of his life story, literally spilling his guys with the 500 + students, faculty, and staff in attendance.

And the students of Eastern Florida State University gravitated towards Chad’s very inspiring story. He received two ovations from the crowd and almost brought some students to tears (myself included).

“If you can’t, you must,” is such a power statement on so many levels because it reminds you that if you feel like you can’t do something, you must press forward and take action. And to finish that quote from the famous motivator Anthony Robbins,  “and if you must, you can.” If you must, you can. If you believe in yourself you can do anything you set your mind to.

Chad French illustrated to all the students, faculty, and staff in attendance that if he can become a successful entrepreneur, then every student, faculty and staff member  can as well. All it takes is passion, perseverance, and dedication.

Always remember, “if you can’t you must, and if you must, you can.”

Thanks Mr. French for being a part of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour!

 

Is your brand too comfortable?

When Michael Simmons started  his first company at 16 years old, his biggest insecurity was his age.

The only insecurity that fell second to his age in starting his web-development company was the fact that he had only built one website before… his own.

Michael and his business partner quickly learned that they were trusted by their first client not because they were the same as everyone else. They were trusted because they were different. Their age was their advantage.

Michael went on to say, “in a globalized world we are competing against everyone. There is more and more competition. When you are competing for a job or a client, someone who has a choice of 10s of people or 100s of people, the only way you can succeed is by being different.

In his time as  an entrepreneur, he has learned that “the biggest area where we think we are different, our weakness, is actually our biggest strength.”

Initially he tried to hide this insecurity, tried to hide the fact that he was young. He even joked about being more nervous about being seen getting dropped off at his first meeting by his friend’s dad then the meeting itself!

To Michael’s surprise, when the client learned the age of Michael and his partner – he was highly impressed! Michael was then able to see that he needed to “own” insecurity and use  it as a point of pride and possibly even a brand; The young prodigy web developers!

Michael went on the found the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour with Sheena Lindahl. Among other things, Michael and Sheena were passionate about giving other young entrepreneurs more confidence through these relatable stories for inspiration.

If anyone follows Michael on Facebook (Facebook link) or reads his column for Forbes(Forbes Link) then you know how much Michael has grown since that insecure 16-year-old. He still has his insecurities, but he now seeks to discover them and relates to the world through them.

Michael shared this story in Florida to over 500 students at an Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour hosted by Daytona State College. It was his first time returning to the Entrepreneurship Tour he created in over two years.

 

 

 

Sacramento Sushi!

The Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour made their third stop at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, California on November 6th.

After picking up a bright red Hemi Dodge Charger, we made our way to dinner to meet a few of the folks that have helped bring the Extreme Tour back again this fall.

Now, I knew we were going to an authentic sushi restaurant, but I didn’t know what to expect. You see, I’m from Wisconsin; our sushi comes frozen from the state we were in, California.

Once we sat down, I was a little lost trying to scan through the menu. I had to ask the waiter multiple times how to pronounce items on the menu, and even what was included in each dish. After a few minutes of being indecisive, I settled on an incredible avocado sushi dish.

Duane Spires, Devin Lars, Marc Busko, and Mann Phan, the event host all sat down and enjoyed each other’s company. We heard more about Mann’s background and his vision of an entrepreneurship curriculum at Cosumnes River College within the next few years.

Duane Spires shared his incredible story of hustle, hard work, and self-education that has allowed him to start three success businesses by the age of 31.

For the first time I had the opportunity to hear Devin Lars’ inspiring story. Devin started Doing Everything Different, an inspiring clothing line that has Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, and countless others sporting their gear.

As the waiters came back out, they carried large dishes filled with sushi of all kinds. California rolls, shrimp rolls, avocado rolls, and even spicy rolls. I picked up my chopsticks and attempted to pick up a roll. After struggling for a few minutes, I was able to taste what real, authentic, hand-made sushi tasted like. Man, was it incredible. One of the best meals I’ve ever had.