This past Wednesday our class watched a presentation by Shelly Rosen, founder of Luxe Bloom, presented by Midland Institute. Rosen reminded me to live in the present, to always be learning something new, and she assured me that uncomfortable times are okay. I really needed her reminder to live in the present because sometimes I get so caught up on what the future will hold for me that life around me passes me by and I don’t really get to enjoy the present. She also talked about the importance of watching trends and being innovative to meet an unmet need; she gave an example of this by telling us about her McDonald’s vending machine, which also led to her telling us not to throw everything away just because it fails.

We also met with Mr. and Mrs. Underwood this Thursday at their business, Events at the U. For starters, it was super refreshing for me to see two East Saint Louis natives being successful businesspeople as I am an East Saint Louisan myself who is looking to be successful in the business world. The Underwoods gave me another example of how important it is to diversify your business and to seek a problem that needs a solution. They noticed that there were no modern, smaller-scale event centers in southern Illinois, and they changed that. I also liked how they broke down the SWOT analysis and showed why it is so crucial to a business. Their advice of separating your ideas and goals helped me to reevaluate some of the things that I am trying to do now, and they reminded me that with hard work and purpose, nothing is impossible. I was also reminded that no job is meaningless, to have an impact wherever you go, sacrifice for success, do what you say you are going to do, gain as much experience as possible in your interests, and that the right values(kindness, respectfulness, courtesy, manners, etc.) will take you a long way. I look forward to using all these words of advice to continue to lead our class to a successful business and to be successful in my personal endeavors.

Written by Belleville CEO Student Nariah Parks

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