Throughout the year, Bellevue College’s student-run Entrepreneurship and Personal Development Club (EPDC) invites different entrepreneurs and successful business owners to talk to students about their experiences of owning a local business, and entrepreneurship overall. Tim Cruickshank is the CEO of Bonefrog Coffee Company. He is a veteran, a dedicated Seattleite, and an entrepreneur. On Wednesday, May 11, he joined the EPDC and student attendees in an online conversation about his experience creating a business in the Pacific Northwest.
Quinn Ewanchyna, who is the veteran students affinity coordinator, the Student Veterans of America chapter president, and the Entrepreneurship Club president, served as the main host of the event with the goal of immersing students in real-world entrepreneurship stories and experiences from a local business owner. “Entrepreneurship applies to nearly every field of study imaginable. If you’re studying medicine, there may be a day when you decide to open your own practice,” Ewanchyna told the Watchdog.
The EPDC has featured different local businesses in multiple events with powerful and inspiring stories behind their CEOs. Ewanchyna believes that “The opportunity to invite successful entrepreneurs to Bellevue College provides motivation and inspiration, while simultaneously telling each student that their dreams can become a reality through hard work and perseverance.”
During the online event, Cruickshank shared various personal stories about his journey as a Navy SEAL and as an entrepreneur later on in his career.
“Intrinsic desire and motivation is what allowed him to push through difficult times in the business, celebrate moments of success and continue to do what the company does best: create delicious coffee in the name of our nation’s heroes,” Ewanchyna added.
Some of the main benefits of attending this event are not just the opportunities to interact, know and be able to ask questions to a local and successful entrepreneur, but also the motivation to know that whatever our goals might be, it is possible to achieve them. “Oftentimes in life, we may feel held back by our mentality and eventually give up on our dreams. However, everyone has the potential to change their mindset from one of worry to one of determination,” Ewanchyna said.
“A main piece of advice given [by] Tim Cruickshank [is the] analogy of pushing a log uphill. As a BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) instructor, Tim stated that teams would have to push 1000-lbs logs up a steep, sandy hill while soaking wet. Just as a team would reach the top of the hill, the log would tumble down to the bottom. Teams would argue and yell in frustration as they would continuously attempt to push the log uphill without success. According to Tim, the most successful teams would remain calm and collected through pain. They realized that frustration never results in success, and instead continued to work together to achieve their goal.”
To learn more about EPDC, contact Ewanchyna at email@example.com. “Don’t walk towards your challenges. Instead, run towards them with full force,” Ewanchyna advises students.