Never get too comfortable!
Graduating: May 2018
Business: Settje Livestock Solutions with premier product PolyBunks. http://www.setjels.com
What is your story?
I've grown up in an agricultural background, and have always been interested in the business and entrepreneurship aspects of our industry. Being raised by a man who has created and expanded his business across the U.S. and into the international markets taught me every piece of business knowledge up until my involvement in the Engler Program. The Engler Program transformed my thinking process more immensely than I could have ever imagined. I broke free from the collegiate status quo of resume building and extensive campus involvement, and was able to focus on ONE thing- my future. Recently, I have been working on a business launch of Settje Livestock Solutions, with a primary product for initial sales- PolyBunks. PolyBunks combines my passion in the beef industry with the realization of the need for a portable fence-line style feed bunk. I have found a reason to work tirelessly; a reason to get out of bed early and work late into the night. This discovery of my personal entrepreneurship has made me feel more alive than ever before. I cannot describe it adequately through words. I encourage every single Engler Entrepreneur to search for a similar discovery with patience but also with a purpose. Chase your passion, and identify the opportunity that will allow you to use the Engler Program to it fullest extent.
Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?
My father, Dean Settje, is my entrepreneurial hero and inspiration. Growing up as a farm boy in the 80's, he was told to leave the farm and find success elsewhere- which is exactly what he did. He worked several jobs out of college, and then began to recognize a need in the beef feedlot industry. One month after my sister was born (when I was 2 years old), he started Settje Agri-Services and Engineering. I have grown up watching him excel in every aspect of his business, and have witnessed his failures and how he learned from them. Now, I discuss business tactics and ideas with him on a regular basis and plan to return to the family business after graduation. I value our father/son relationship, but have developed a business relationship with my father as well.
If your story were made into a movie, what actor/actress would portray you and why?
If my story were made into a movie, Matt Damon would portray me. When I think of Matt Damon, I think of the Jason Bourne movies, which are my all-time favorite movies. Not to say I am an international spy- my thought process behind this is in how Matt Damon acts throughout his role in the Bourne movies. He is somewhat quiet, and extremely strategic in how he makes decisions. He never acts on anything without a specific task and goal in mind, and is never slowed down too long by outside distractions.
What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?
You have to build exactly what you are passionate about; you also have to build what presents opportunity. If you can combine opportunity with passion, you will succeed. Do not let your passion blind your common sense, though. Often times people believe they will succeed solely because of their passion for their business, but you must also find or create opportunity to utilize that passion. Passion will enable you to work tirelessly in the face of widespread doubt, and opportunity will allow you to capitalize on that passion.