Entrepreneuralism For Everyone In Ice House Program

By Stephen Hobbs
The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

Gary Schoeniger describes the genesis of entrepreneurial thinking in three words: Problems are opportunities.

While straightforward, he believes a mindset based on that thinking can have a powerful influence on a person’s life.

“Once somebody gets their arms around that simple thought, the world changes,” he said. “It’s deceptively simple, it’s just different from the way we’ve been taught to think.”

Schoeniger, co-author of the book “Who Owns the Ice House?”, will be the keynote speaker Monday at a discussion about redefining entrepreneurship. The event is free and is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive.

Schoeniger’s keynote is the first in a four-day event. He will lead a three-day Ice House training for community members to teach lessons learned from the program.

Schoeniger has trained thousands around the world, he said, and he believes the lessons from the book resonate with the average person.

“I hope people will see that an entrepreneurial mindset exposes opportunities,” he said. “Regardless of your interests, chosen path or field.”

Lawrence Wagner, founder and president of Connect Colorado Springs, is one of the people registered to take part in the training.

Wagner said he has read “Who Owns the Ice House?”, and the eight life lessons in the book have helped open doors for him.

“For me, it tells me no matter what happens in life you can progress forward,” he said. “It was one of the few times I could start thinking outside the box.”

Wagner said he is looking forward to the training and for the opportunity to empower other people in the community to follow their dreams.

“I’m a lifelong learner and the opportunity to expand my knowledge is really exciting for me,” he said.

A remedial Ice House course is also offered to Pikes Peak Community College students, which is something that professor Regina Lewis said teaches them skills that helps them in all of their classes.
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“It’s one thing to teach students the context of the material,” she said. “It’s another to make it applicable to their lives.”

Currently 578 students are enrolled in 27 sections of the Ice House program, school spokeswoman Karen Kovaly said in an email.

Over four semesters, the number of students who have taken an Ice House class is 1,727, she said.

Crystal Haynes, a second-year health major, took the class in the fall of 2014.

At first she was skeptical of how it would help her, but her mind has changed.

“Things don’t always go the way we expect them to,” she said. “And I think this course exemplifies how to roll with the punches, so to speak.”

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