Stories with Connie: The Little Book of Attributes for Student Entrepreneurs
Bullis Director of Entrepreneurship and alum Marc Steren 1989 has released another book for students about entrepreneurship. Steren wrote Stories with Connie: The Little Book of Attributes for Student Entrepreneurs with Tami Levey and the book came out on October 7, 2018. The book honors beloved Bullis faculty member Dr. Connie Giles, who passed away in the summer of 2016. Dr. Giles was deeply admired and respected throughout the Bullis community. In the book, Marc reflects on Connie's guidance and mentorship.
"Connie was a mentor to me and her students. She was a colleague whose friendship I will cherish forever.
By structuring the book as a series of conversations, Marc is able to combine a voice of wisdom, which he attributes to Connie, with the voice of a seeker. Each conversation highlights a different aspect of entrepreneurship and mindset that will set beginning business leaders up for success. These include: finding purpose, learning through questions, grit, simple focus, giving, timing, optimism, struggle, and reflection.
To research the book, Steren interviewed many entrepreneurs. The origin story of GetWellNetwork, founded by Bullis Trustee Mike O'Neil, is used to illustrate purpose. O'Neil founded GetWellNetworks, after experiencing a lack of control during his cancer battle. His company offers solutions to bridge the gap between patient and provider, reducing the unnecessarily slow transfer of information, long waits, and lack of patient education that make fighting a disease more challenging than it needs to be. O'Neil's compelling story of his cancer experience keeps the purpose of his company front-of-mind for everyone on the GetWellNetwork team. They sacrificed to build a successful company.
Steren distills the wisdom he gathered into the purpose discussion and eight other lessons and he frames each with imagined conversations with Connie.
In addition to the chapters on questioning, simplicity, service, timing, optimism, risk, and struggle, the book ends with a series of exercises to help a student entrepreneur or other reader to practice the attributes of entrepreneurial success.
When they read the book, students interested in entrepreneurship will learn about purpose from the example of Mike O'Neil,
Marc is the founding Director of Entrepreneurship at the Bullis School, and an alum. He founded the Entrepreneurship program, which he runs with Maria Antokas and Dr. Aimee Narcisenfeld. Steren also works with Georgetown University and other college-level entrepreneurship efforts and his Bullis students won awards in college using their products developed in his entrepreneurship program. He is the author of The Student's Guide to Entrepreneurship.