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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Pursuing entrepreneurship

Experienced+business+owners+will+speak+on+Tuesday+about+how+to+develop+entrepreneurial+skills.
Photo by Provided

Experienced business owners will speak on Tuesday about how to develop entrepreneurial skills.

Students, staff and community members can hear from experienced Aggie business owners about developing entrepreneurial skills during Tuesday’s ‘Art of the Side Hustle’ workshop.
The event is a part of the McFerrin Methods series organized by the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship. The workshop will be held Sept. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in MSC 2400, and will include opportunities to network with attendees.
Program coordinator Sophia Bishop said the series aims to help students think about how they can be involved in entrepreneurship even while they’re still in school.
“The McFerrin Methods series is designed to engage students in discussions about entrepreneurship, so the goal is to have a wide range of discussion topics to really reach any student who’s interested,” Bishop said.
The workshop will feature agricultural economics senior Ryan Drapela, construction science senior Taylor Laney and Odin Clack, Class of 2002. Drapela runs a woodworking business on Etsy, Laney operates a donut food trailer and Clack owns a leather goods business in the Dallas region.
“I started [Odin Leather Goods] six years ago to really just experiment,” Clack said. “It was kind of a creative outlet. I spent most of my days working in front of a computer and this was a way for me to kind of break that up a little bit. It’s now a grown business.”
According to Clack, entrepreneurship doesn’t always mean starting a large business that takes up a lot of time and money. He started Odin Leather Goods while working full-time in a marketing position.
“This side hustle wasn’t me escaping,” Clack said. “I didn’t hate my job and feel like I had to get out. I sacrificed those comfort things in the evening — sitting around talking and watching TV all night long — for something that I thought was more productive, which was running a business. That business was a side hustle that’s grown into something that provides for me and my family.”
Clack said that while college provides foundational knowledge needed for success, it does not always provide the social skills necessary to run a business.
“When I talk to the students that come out of school, I find that most of them are probably a bit underprepared for what real work is, like how to really work with people [and] how to really work in an environment where you have to collaborate,” Clack said. “I’m not going to do some sort of 60-slide presentation. This is going to be me telling my story, talking about my business and how I did it.”
Laney started her donut food trailer, Donut Darlin’, in March 2017 after she bought an old crepe truck. Since then, she has booked birthday parties, sorority and fraternity events, and now has a place in the Fan Zone before Aggie football games.
“It’s nice that you get to talk about it and inspire others to do the same thing,” Laney said. “Anyone should come, [especially] if you are looking to open a business or don’t know how to get started or maybe have an idea and want to expand it and learn how to make money off of it.”

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  • Students will have the opportunity to learn from Aggies who started their own businesses on Tuesday in MSC 2400.

    Photo by Provided

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