- November 11, 2008

Collegiate Entrepreneurs Association

Last Saturday morning (at 8:30 am!), I delivered a keynote presentation at the annual meeting of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Association (CEO) in Chicago’s McCormick Place.

CEO was founded in 1997 by Dr. Gerry Hills, an entrepreneurial professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who had worked tirelessly since 1983 to establish the organization. CEO’s vision is to be the premier global entrepreneurship network which will serve 30,000 students, through 400 chapters and affiliated student organizations at colleges and universities. Today, 150 universities and colleges from across the country are members of CEO. Congratulations, Gerry, on a remarkable accomplishment!

There were about 1,400 students attending this year’s conference, representing universities and colleges nationwide. The energy level was stimulating, and it was terrific to see so many young people excited about the idea of starting their own businesses. Many had done so already.

I shared some of my own entrepreneurial experiences, and liberally referenced quotes I like regarding the life and actions of an entrepreneur. I thought you’d enjoy seeing some of them.

“Pioneers get arrows in their backs. They also blaze trails that have a way of turning into highways for countless travelers to follow.” Jason Fry, Wall Street Journal"

The innovator has for his enemies those who did well under the old conditions.” Albert Einstein

“Don’t be afraid to innovate; be different: Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.” David Ogilvy, Co-Founder, Ogilvy & Mather Ad Agency

When asked which customer had given him the idea for the Model T automobile, Henry Ford answered: “If I had listened to my customers, I would have built a very, very fast horse.”

“Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry loose is not nailed down.” Colis P. Huntington, Builder of the Transcontinental Railroad

“When there’s a ton of water, a lot of things float and look like boats. When there’s a ton of money, a lot of things float and look like companies.” David Roux, Silver Lake Partners

“The meek may inherit the earth, but they’ll never increase market share.” William McGowan, Chairman, MCI

“Good managers challenge their people. Poor ones comfort them.”

“Time lost in not making a decision can never be recovered. Sooner is better. Right now is best.” Howard Tullman, Chicago Entrepreneur

“Never give in, Never, Never, Never.” Winston Churchill

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