November entrepreneur event inspires MnSCU students with the AB(G)Cs … ‘Always Be Genuinely Curious’

November entrepreneur event inspires MnSCU students with the AB(G)Cs … ‘Always Be Genuinely Curious’

By Sarah McGrane

Like many others, I sometimes find myself dreaming of being my own boss and starting my own business. It takes only one good idea and some very strategic planning.

That is why I decided to attend an entrepreneurship event hosted by Advance IT Minnesota called “Is the Entrepreneurial Life for You?” The event, open to all MnScU students, took place at Inver Hills Community College Thursday, Nov. 12. The schedule included a keynote speaker and two panels of experts, along with time for attendees to ask questions.

After a light dinner, keynote speaker, Bob Hoschka, revealed what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur – dreams and doing. He suggested ways to bring about opportunities in our lives, such as networking and his ABGC motto: Always Be Genuinely Curious.

Following his presentation, we heard panelists Sharon Boerbon Hanson, Advance IT Minnesota, and Tracey Pass, Target Corp., offer inspiring advice and stories from their personal experiences in both “intrepreneurship” and entrepreneurship.

Then we heard from local IT entrepreneur Casey Allen and his panelist colleagues, Chad Halvorson, and Joseph Rueter. They spoke about life after college and how they decided to take big risks and become entrepreneurs.

Casey Allen began the panel discussion by giving the audience his phone number to text him questions, live. As the questions came in, Casey and the panelists answered them, referring to their own successes and what it took to gain a necessary entrepreneurial mindset.

One of the most valuable pieces of advice that stuck with me came from Joseph Rueter, who explained how you must be able to separate yourself from your ideas. Too often, Rueter said, our ideas become who we are, and so criticism becomes very hard to take. But once we separate it from who we are as a person, then it’s much easier to accept that criticism as useful feedback that we can move forward with.

You have to be able to separate yourself from your ideas. Too often, our ideas become who we are, and so criticism becomes very hard to take. But once we separate it from who we are as a person, then it’s much easier to accept that criticism as useful feedback.

-Joseph Rueter, entrepreneur panelist

The entrepreneurial life could be for anyone driven and passionate enough to follow the advice of those who have gone before them. I am thankful for the opportunity to hear these entrepreneurs speak about their own valuable experience and I can’t wait to follow their advice and take some risks.

If you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur and weren’t able to attend this event, join the continuing conversation on Twitter by tweeting Casey Allen and his colleagues any question using the hashtag #LaunchMN.

Sarah_McGraneSarah McGrane is a senior at Metropolitan State University, studying Technical Communications and Professional Writing. She is currently an intern for Advance IT Minnesota and Metro’s Communication, Writing, and the Arts department, assisting in social media management and writing.