Michael Simmons will be speaking at the Townsend Center for Performing Arts Thurs. Jan. 31, at 7 PM about how to become a successful entrepreneur.

The Department of Marketing and Real Estate will host this lecture as a part of their BB&T lecture series. The BB&T lectures are open to all major students who desire quality information from knowledgeable professionals.

“The media is wrong about work market,” said Simmons, CEO and Co-Founder of Empact and author of the best seller Student Success Manifesto. “There has never been a better time than now to start a business or think entrepreneurially.” Simmons’ intention for the BB&T lecture is to raise awareness concerning success through an entrepreneurial business. Simmons also wants to provide his audience with tangible steps to entrepreneurial success and dramatically reduce their risk of failure. “A very small percentage of young people even realize that entrepreneurship is a viable career pathway,” said Simmons.

Simmons is also the Co-Founder of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, where he travels with his team to colleges and universities to inform students of the many possibilities that can arise from an entrepreneurial career. “Over the last five years, we’ve worked on 500 campuses promoting entrepreneurship through keynotes and half-day entrepreneurship conferences featuring the country’s top young entrepreneurs,” said Simmons. “We’ve partnered with major organizations such as the White House, US Chamber of Commerce, and United Nations.”

Simmons wants to transform the minds of students who think other entrepreneurs are solely successful because that individual had an advantage.  “Our goal is always to get audience members to the point where they think to themselves, ‘If he or she can do that, so can I’,” said Simmons.  He feels as though his life experiences can help motivate students into pursuing their entrepreneurial goals.

Simmons said people “need to be put in some sort of program that provides ongoing support and accountability that will give them momentum.” Simmons feels that his program will give youths that motivational push. “In starting a business, momentum is key,” he said.  Simmons encourages students to find out if their university has entrepreneurship programs on campus. He said that future entrepreneurs should do research in their local community to find helpful programs that can assist them in starting a business. “I would look for entrepreneurship support programs that focus on helping you get momentum rather than just theoretical knowledge,” he said.

Simmons said that young entrepreneurs make two crucial mistakes when starting a business. One is not getting started, and the second is not keeping on going and improving. “Even if the first business someone starts doesn’t work, a long-term entrepreneur will realize that they are much better prepared to start the next business,” he said.

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