Last week’s guest speaker at Luther‘s Entrepreneurship class were Jon and Tara Baklund from BAKLUND R&D LLC (Read their article here). This week’s guest speaker was Mark Heninger an alumnus of Luther College and “an expert at architecting cloud based applications, responsive design, programming, streaming video, Internet search marketing, social media, mobile and e-commerce solutions”. Mark is also the President of 11 Amps, Inc. which is “a platform for filmmakers to find and make solid connections with their audience”. Please visit their website for more info. Mark spoke about several topics ranging from personal experiences to entrepreneurial insights. This article is a synthesis of Mark’s thoughts, I hope you find them helpful in your pursuit for personal, and entrepreneurial growth.

  1. Even in the worst moment keep a good sense of humor. Surely enough, in business or in virtually any discipline having a good sense of humor does not only allow you to see things more clearly, but it will also help you go through the worst moments. Apparently it also makes you more attractive to the opposite sex among other things (read more here)
  2. Be a good leader by leading yourself first. Although I know some people who will disagree with this (because to lead someone must follow), I do understand Mark’s point, which essentially means train yourself first, prepare yourself, and when deemed ready then do the same with others i.e. be a leader!
  3. Know your spouse, and make sure you both are on agreement. When doing something the two must be committed to success or failure. Closely related to Jon Baklund’s point about having “the right espouse”, this insight is a key element that every entrepreneur must consider. Having the right espouse (someone who can understand you, and support you regardless off) will not only likely make you more successful (read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill), but it will also ease your burdens as an entrepreneur.
  4. Always know what you win, and what you lose by sharing info with people. In other words don’t go around sharing the latest news/ideas with everyone. Do, however, share info when it is necessary, and of course with the right people.
  5. Invest only in what you know! Although hard to tell how much you know about something, this point pretty much means don’t be a fool, and get to know your portfolio/companies first, or you may regret doing something “stupid” later. This insight is probably best suitable for young entrepreneurs most of whom have plenty of energy, but very little experience in the world of business.

Note: The points discussed above are not in a specific order or level of importance. The discussion after the text in bold are my personal opinions about each point.

Special thanks to Professor Tim Schweizer for making this class possible!

Mark Heninger (right) Ervin Liz (left)
Mark Heninger (right) Ervin Liz (left)