Devine came to the conclusion that the corporate world was not for her. “I was getting to the point in my career where there was this endless waste of time – meetings and talking about things that never got done – but that’s how big corporations operate. “There was a lot of politics involved, and if you don’t particularly like to play politics, it’s not a pleasant place to be. I know how to play the game but it just seemed like an incredible waste of energy.” Devine said that for her, making a difference is the key. She recently chaired a panel on social entrepreneurship as part of a conference sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Corporate Governance at Villanova. Even if her company doesn’t become a huge capital success, she’s pleased that her entrepreneurship has opened up avenues for her voice to be heard. She said she is able to share her message at national conferences where she is often invited to speak. “I shake trees,” she said. “Hopefully I plant seeds. We cannot ignore these health issues, especially with children. We just can’t.” That kind of passion is the No. 1 thing a successful entrepreneur must have, according to Devine. She also
mentioned stamina, multi-tasking, the ability to get by on little sleep, and a willingness to “roll up your sleeves and do what needs to be done” as vital ingredients in a successful venture. Devine said that persistence is important because the outside world would not always make it easy for the budding entrepreneur to succeed. “I think it’s important to see this clear path and not be discouraged when people throw stones at it, because they will,” she said. “You have to be willing to see the path, believe in it, and have the stamina and persistence to stick with it. “You have to stand your ground and have confidence.”
Christian Erickson Founder, Biz4Kids
MBA, Erickson is the founder of Biz4Kids (www.biz4kids.com). In a twist that reinforces his belief in entrepreneurship, his company makes and sells kits that teach children how to plan, create and grow their own businesses. “The idea for my business started while I was getting my MBA,” Erickson said. “I realized that there was so much I could have learned about business when I was much younger. So I thought I would write a book about it and teach young people how they could start and run their own small businesses. “What it morphed into was a business kit with worksheets and business tools. I never really thought of it as a business at first – it started as a hobby and turned into a business. When it got bigger and drew more interest, that’s when I decided to go at it full time.” Erickson’s philosophy is that children can build character through entrepreneurship by having a plan, setting goals, and seeing those goals become reality. A child may choose to operate a lawn-mowing business, babysitting enterprise, dog grooming (or sitting) service, or any number of other small businesses.
ome people can be described as serial entrepreneurs. Their drive to create, build and grow allows them to look beyond former failures and pursue yet another idea. Christian Erickson is that type of person. FAD1015_BetaGamma_Dam.qxd A Beta Gamma Sigma member from Baylor University, where he earned his
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