HPU welcomes roundtable entrepreneurs, governor

By Stephanie Schwartz, Advertising Manager

April 10, 2013

On March 20, High Point University welcomed five innovative entrepreneurs to the Hayworth Fine Arts Center to participate in a roundtable discussion moderated by HPU’s very own Dr. Nido Qubein.  Speakers included North Carolina’s newly elected governor Pat McCrory; NASCAR legend and president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, Richard Childress; founder and CEO of School House, Rachel Weeks; CEO of BEC and co-founder of Glance Metrics, Bryan Young; and CEO of International Market Centers, Robert Maricich.

The overall theme of the conversation was how to take that initial step into entrepreneurship and how to make your mark. Many pieces of invaluable advice were offered to the audience.

Maricich differentiated himself from the other entrepreneurs by calling himself an “In-trepreneur.” Rather than producing business ideas from the grassroots level, he goes into already existing companies to help them expand and grow through his intricate thought and innovation. All five speakers agreed that it is important to have a mentor to look up to for guidance and advice. Gov. McCrory mentioned multiple times the importance of surrounding yourself with a team of intellectuals who are smarter than you and who excel in areas that you find as your weaknesses.

Qubein then asked the speakers to provide an “ingredient” for the recipe of success. Young offered resilience. He mentioned going out on a sale call and not getting a positive outcome but remaining strong and continuing to market himself. Weeks said passion. In order to succeed in what you do, you must be passionate about the field. If it doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning, find another passion. Maricich said luck. So many of these entrepreneurs said that they were in the right place at the right time and that their success came from preparation meeting opportunity. Childress said in order to have success, you must be overly prepared for the opportunity that is being thrown at you. Finally, Gov. McCrory said serenity. He noted that he has learned to take time for himself and not to be so involved in work every single minute.

The speakers closed by offering their advice. Young said, “Make sure you learn. Go the extra effort and don’t expect success.” Weeks said, “Be ready and willing for it to take a decade to achieve your dream. Love the journey and how hard it might be. You have to be non-traditional to live the entrepreneurial lifestyle.” Maricich said, “Be sure to have fun and enjoy the journey. Failure is just part of life.” Childress said, “No one wins alone. Build yourself a great team around you and success will follow.” Finally, Gov. McCrory added, “Listen to the people who have the courage to disagree with you and challenge your ideas. Be around problem solvers, not just people who identify them.”