On January 17, 2024, Thunderbird hosted its first Ruebling Roundtable of the year, featuring acclaimed author, Mark Victor Hansen. Not only has his book Chicken Soup for the Soul, sold almost 500 million copies internationally, he has also authored more bestselling books, such as The One Minute millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth. Bringing in both the wisdom from his own personal journey and his books, he gave an exciting presentation for the students, staff, and guests that attended.
Hansen gave a variety of advice to those attending, focusing both on university life and decisions, as well as choices that could impact one’s entire life trajectory. For university life, Hansen emphasized auditing classes as way to find what works the best for the students, and to meet as many inspirational people as possible, emphasizing the key importance of networking. “Opportunity is infinite,” he noted, having the crowd repeat “infinite” over and over to solidify the meaning.
Sharing his own personal experiences and how certain people can make an large impact on one’s life trajectory, Hansen told stories from his life about a variety of individuals, including people in the fields of science, real estate, and faith that influenced how he lead his life. Further elaborating on how to position ourselves at this point in our lives, Hansen provided insight on the importance of writing one’s goals. He advised us to write down ten new goals every day, and considering how the world around us changes every day, it will be no surprise if many of the Thunderbirds who left that talk did indeed have ten new goals every day. Hansen also elaborated on part of what made him successful in the book business, saying that being unique, inevitable, and causing transformation were key characteristics. These lessons certainly can be applied to the current environment of many Thunderbird’s students. After Hansen shared both some of his stories and his work, he was asked several
questions. Some key questions were involved advice he would give his 22-year old self, and how to create resilience in both networking and entrepreneurship. To the first question, Hansen advised to hang out with smart and wise people, doing things you aren’t prepared to do, and realizing that your self worth is what creates your net worth. To the second, he expressed the
importance of staying in touch with people, but having a good reason as to WHY they should stay in touch with you.
To conclude his talk, Hansen ending with talking about some of the growing fields within our world, all of these being great ways to make money: AI, robotics, and trash. Hansen elaborated the most on the importance of waste management, stating that collectively, we just bury trash, and that it is a huge problem that needs to be solved. “Abundance comes out of technology,” he had stated prior to answering these questions, and certainly the future of these fields provides a tremendous amount of growth.
Overall, Hansen’s talk was filled with a diverse amount of personal anecdotes, advice, and insight on the world. Many of the attendees in the room were familiar with his books, and had been personally impacted by his work. On top of meeting a celebrated author, they now had the chance to become further impacted by his words. Truly, this was an excellent start to this
semester’s Ruebling Roundtables!