Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program
A Visit from Dr. and Mr. Love
March 20, 2015
-Dr. Diane Love
By Quentin Sanford
This week of the Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program we started class by indulging in enchiladas from Rosalinda’s Mexican Restaurant, brought to us by Sydney Allred Locke. We then had the pleasure of having Ivana Tjheu present us her entrepreneurial journey, which started in her home country of Indonesia. She spoke of her love for her family and their support being the reason why she is able to pursue her dream of a college education in America. Her love for her two small nephews was undeniable. She smiled from ear to ear when speaking of them. Despite not having a clear vision of her career after college, she’s thankful for the people she’s met at Fresno State, and most importantly, the programs at the Lyles Center that helped her break out of her shell. No longer the extremely shy girl from Indonesia, she thanks Laval EMP for her new found confidence and people she now calls friends.
After lunch and the presentation from Ivana, we had the pleasure of having Steve Love and Diane Love visit us for a second time this semester. Their goal for this week’s session was to keep the discussion informal, which allowed an opportunity for personal engagement. We shared stories, asked questions and listened to the experiences of the two mentors. Throughout the meeting, Dr. and Mr. Love shaped the conversation around the philosophy that we control our own outcomes, and are responsible for everything we do.
When Dr. Love started her company, she admits that there were 10-12 hour days, which were tiring and depleting. However, she had to keep moving forward towards her goal, because as she puts it, "If you don't believe in yourself, why should anyone else?" Dr. Love has been in business for eighteen years, and jokingly celebrates her company anniversary on April 1st; "I opened my business on April Fool’s Day, because I wanted to give myself permission to fail. Doing so allowed me to say 'at least I tried'."
Mr. Love learned on the job, as CEO of Idaho Pacific Lumber Company. His stories are varied, colorful and sometimes gritty. Mr. Love has a demeanor of honesty and a warm laugh. He told us to, "Be responsible and have a good reputation. Make that the number one thing in your life. Always." Mr. Love speaks his actions, and believes that, "the best thing that you can do for yourself is be honest." His stories expressed the need for honest actions, and accepting personal responsibility.
Many of us are nervous about what lies ahead. Where will we be in five years? How do I start this company that I have an idea for? How does my widget make it into the marketplace? Dr. and Mr. Love agreed that there is no time like the present. We just need to start. But, as Mr. Love puts it, "Making money is the byproduct." They both advised us to not work towards wealth, instead to follow our passion. We have to take the leap - and begin. Waiting does nothing but slow you down. Dr. Love urged us to, "just jump into something you love.
Dr. and Mr. Love moved to Coarsegold in 2008, and split their time between the Central Valley and their home in Montana. They both believe in integrity, work ethic and personal responsibility, and are thrilled to share their values with the students of Laval EMP.
We asked the couple their definition of an entrepreneur, after a brief pause, Mr. Love responded on their behalf, "An entrepreneur is someone who finds a way to be successful" We couldn't agree more! Dr. and Mr. Love are true entrepreneurs and we are grateful for the knowledge they shared with us.