Visit at Oregon State University

I started the month of November with a full day of events at Oregon State University, in Corvallis.

I was invited there to be part of the Entrepreneurs in Residence Series, presented by the Austin Entrepreneurship Program which is part of OSU’s College of Business.

The highlight of the day was my speech at noon, at the beautiful facilities in the LaSells Stewart Center.  After a glowing introduction by Associate Dean Don Neubaum, I spoke for an hour about how I became an internationally-recognized thought leader and the lessons for anyone seeking to be successful in today’s complex web-connected world.

This represented a different topic from my usual talks about livability and quality of life, and my rankings of the best places to live.  Someone said what I do is interesting, but how I do it is important.
The title of the talk was, “Create Your Own Brand and Control Your Destiny.”

I wish I could say that my every step was carefully planned and considered, but actually much of my career was accidental.  Along the way, I’ve tried to make sense of what works and recognize patterns that could apply to others.

Well, I was very gratified with the attendance and response to my talk.  The auditorium was packed (people were even sitting on the stairs) and I’m told that this is best turnout they’ve had in the lecture series.

From the talk, I was whisked to a luncheon with the OSU Women’s Network.  Over lunch, we shared stories and insights, and I answered questions about my unique business model.

Then it was off to a meeting with Hal Koenig, Jim McAlexander and the team of students to learn more about their really interesting Close to the Customer (C2C) project.  C2C is a revenue-generating market research company operating within OSU’s College of Business, providing services to companies like Microsoft, Harley-Davidson, Hewlett-Packard and Gerber.   It’s providing OSU students with invaluable experience on real-world projects.

After catching up again with Maria Schell about her projects with the College of Business, I finally got to relax for a few minutes before joining an enthusiastic group of OSU frosh to talk over dinner about the concept of entrepreneurship.  At OSU, they have an entire living and study facility for freshman entrepreneurs, which I understand is the largest residential entrepreneurship program in the U.S.

What I like best about this program is that it’s open to students of all concentrations, not just business.  In the group with whom I spoke, there were students majoring in genetics, art, music, and psychology.  I wish I could have spent more time with them; an hour can go by very quickly.

All the positive feedback I received has been very encouraging, and I’m thinking there is something here to share. In the future, I’ll be sharing more of my ideas on entrepreneurism in my blog.

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