I had the privledge of being a guest speaker at Western Washington University on Tuesday night for the International Business Club and the Marketing Club. It was entirely invigorating and I loved the questions posed by the students. It ends up being a bit of a trip down memory lane for me.
The talk was supposed to be focused on Bramble Berry’s international marketing and a discussion about how we ship to international customers. It ended up being more of a general business talk so I worry that I didn’t have enough topical information for the students. But, several of them did take business cards and hopefully will take me up on the offer to tour the warehouse and ask any follow up questions that they might have. So far, one very confident sounding student (“Jazz”) who has owned a vending machine business has already called. That’s the kind of follow-up I like to see with any would-be entrepreneur.
Some of the questions that were asked were general start up questions (How much money did it take? Where did you start out? How much did you work? What was the worst part of starting a business?) to current questions (Who helps run your business? How many people do you employ? How big is your warehouse? How much do you make? How do you market to your customers? Who are your customers?)
It was a fun talk and I hope that I get invited back. Not only was I inspired by the student’s enthusiasm and proverbial zest for life but I liked taking a walk down memory lane and remembering the mattress at my 3rd warehouse so I could sleep there, or the pain of our first stolen credit card or the absolute joy after Bramble Berry grossed it’s first $million. So, Western, if you’re reading this, please consider this an open-ended acceptance for any invitations you’ve got open to speak. It was a great experience.