Thursday, January 10, 2013
Best-selling author and award-winning entrepreneur Michael Simmons will share strategies for making goals a reality and becoming a successful entrepreneur at the upcoming BB&T Lectures in Free Enterprise, hosted by the Richards College of Business. The presentation is part of University of West Georgia’s ongoing commitment to providing valuable speakers and events for both its students and the West Georgia community. It will be held in the Townsend Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.
Simmons co-founded his first business, Princeton WebSolutions, at age 16. As a teenage business owner, he grew his profits from hundreds to thousands by his senior year of high school. After graduation, he attended the Stern School of Business at New York University. While studying business at NYU, he wrote The Student Success Manifesto, an award-winning bestseller that outlines a blueprint for planning, prioritizing and pursuing your own vision while becoming a change agent of the century.
Simmons faced many of his fears in the business sector and believes entrepreneurship does not have to be financially risky. “You don’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to test your idea for a business,” he said. “You can test an idea in one day with a few dollars or even none.”
Today, Simmons is the CEO and Co-Founder of Empact, the largest showcase of the best companies started by young entrepreneurs. Empact helps build the global entrepreneurship ecosystem by bringing top young entrepreneurs to college campuses to speak about entrepreneurship. His company has held over 500 events at colleges, high schools, workforce development organizations, corporations and Small Business Development centers. In addition, Simmons and his company have been featured in several books and USA Today, as well as on ABC, NBC and CBS.
“Entrepreneurship is a mindset that anyone can possess,” said Simmons. “I teach people how to cultivate that mindset and get started with their business. It’s about them designing their lives around their goals instead of around the circumstances that surround them.”
Simmons uses life challenges as motivation.
“My father died when I was eight years old,” he said. “Not having my father definitely gave me a sense of urgency to accomplish my goals in life. I realize that I will not live forever and that is something that crosses my mind daily.”
He was also motivated by his mother, a Poland native who moved to America at 17-years-old. “She always pushed me to be independent,” Simmons recalled. “She taught me that you have to have a really strong belief in yourself because your thoughts can turn into actions and those actions can have a lifelong impact on your life.”
Simmons has been the winner of entrepreneur of the year awards from the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Fleet, and the National Coalition for Empowering Youth Entrepreneurship. In 2006, Business Week named Simmons one of its “Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25.” Most recently, Inc. highlighted him as one of the “Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30.”
To learn more about Michael Simmons, visit michaeldsimmons.com.
Admission for the event is free, reservations required. For a printable flyer of the event, click here.
For more information on the BB&T Lectures in Free Enterprise Series and to reserve tickets, contact the University of West Georgia’s Richards College of Business at (678) 839-4722.