Editor-in-Chief at Entrepreneur magazine speaks during 10th annual ciWeek

CiWeek speaker Jason Feifer discussed entrepreneurship and his work at the magazine on March 6. Photo by Hannah Bonnett.

What is entrepreneurship and who is an entrepreneur? Jason Feifer, Editor-in-Chief of “Entrepreneur” magazine, set out to answer these questions in his presentation at DMACC’s tenth annual ciWeek event, held at the West Campus on March 6.

Feifer, who became the Editor-in-Chief of “Entrepreneur” magazine in October of 2016, has also been editor of “Men’s Health” magazine and written for outlets such as ESPN, New York Times and The Washington Post.

Anthony Paustian, provost of the West Campus, introduced Feifer as a quiet and reserved person, until he got on stage, where he was extremely loud and energetic; or in Paustian’s words, “an animal.”

His energy and excitement was contagious, and enabled him to capture the audience’s attention from the moment he jumped on stage until the end of the presentation.

Feifer began by answering his first question: What is entrepreneurship? Defined in the dictionary as “the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.” He believes there is more to it and that it should be defined as a mindset.

Feifer spent the rest of his time on stage answering the second question, who is an entrepreneur? In short, Feifer said it is “someone who makes things happen for themselves.”  

Even more, it is someone who can see a problem or a need for change, adapt to it and create a solution. The key to finding these problems, Feifer says, is to ask yourself uncomfortable questions.

As Editor-in-Chief of “Entrepreneur Magazine,” Feifer said he has had to ask himself these sorts of questions.  

One example was when creating a new cover for the magazine. He saw a need to create a memorable, recognizable cover, and had to ask himself how he could best achieve this goal.

His answer, rather than designing it within the company, was to let go of some control and consult a marketing team to find out exactly what the magazine’s audience would respond to. The team’s work is the cover in use today, which has an eye-catching white border and bold font that sets the cover apart from other magazines on the shelf.

Feifer’s second piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to “play the long game, especially when it hurts.”  

Allow your company to take the hit today to achieve greater success tomorrow, Feifer said, using Blockbuster to illustrate this point. The movie rental business, now quickly fading from our memories, failed to adapt to the new world of streaming services, was unable to compete, and forced to close its doors. Blockbuster saw the change coming, but focused on the short term and lost the long game.

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