Jeff Hornung

Jeff Hornung

Blue River Trucks
Jeff Hornung

Jeff Hornung

Hometown: Davey, Neb.
Major: Agribusiness
Minor: Engler Entrepreneurship
Graduation Date: May 2017

Blue River Trucks

What is your story?

No matter what any entrepreneur's story entails, we all climb ladders. Start at the bottom and climb a ladder. Then get into a "Ladder Grind". Every day take a new step, and add that experience to your knowledge. Some days you will skip a step or two, and accomplish a lot! The next thing you know, you will slide down three steps and wonder why you're even bothering to try. Sometimes, you will be in situations that will make you want to jump off the ladder and run away. Things can get tense, stressful, and downright ugly. Then sometimes, you will be in situations that will make you want to show off your ladder like a newborn baby. You will be proud of what you are building and accomplishing! The point is, no matter what type of enterprise you're in, you WILL experience rises and falls. The key is to be able to take a step back and make sure your total "ups" are greater then your total "downs". That is how you build value. Building value is how you become truly successful.

What is your business?

Blue River Trucks offers a variety of experienced commercial trucks and trailers to the Midwest region. We specialize in rust free, west coast trucks that are ready to hit the road. From the field to the highway, to the job site, there is a truck to fit everyone's needs! Our model relies on turnover of inventory and a targeted customer advertising strategy. We sell trucks all across the United States and occasionally to other countries. www.bluerivertrucks.com and on Facebook @BlueRiverTrucks

Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?

Kevin O'Leary. He came from a immigrant family who sacrificed everything they had to give Kevin a better start in life. At the same time, still teaching him the value of hard work, integrity, and vision. Kevin took that foundation and has become a billionaire by sticking to these principles. While some may view him as "the short, crude guy on Shark Tank", I see him as someone who has PROVEN the potential when you exploit and pursue opportunities.

What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?

Take out your frustrations and stress by becoming successful. Someone doesn't think you "have what it takes"? Do it anyway and prove them wrong. Don't let other people determine your level of achievement.

What has been your favorite "Engler Experience" to date?

My best "Engler Experience" is certainly our annual bus trip. More specifically, our bus trip of May 2016. There are no words to fathom all of the intellectual value that is created when 50 of the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds decide to spend 4-5 days together trapped in travel, laughter, and meaningful conversation. Some of my closest comrades have been introduced to me throughout the 3 trips I have participated in. These people are not simply fellow students; they are teammates, friends, and partners.

What has been the biggest hurdle or struggle you've dealt with in your entrepreneurial journey?

The fiercest challenge I have encountered on my entrepreneurial journey is attempting to master the "Return of Investment" equation. Whether the variable be time, energy, capital or effort - there is always some sort of return on your investment. So the question that bears great debate is just that; what action or model yields the highest return on investment. Many folks simply focus on the monetary side of this equation, i.e. how can one maximize profit? What I struggled to comprehend is this dilemma as it relates to time. How can I maximize my return on my time invested? The reason being is that additional funding is always achievable, while time is not. You can create, borrow, or leverage more capital while time can neither be created nor destroyed, but simply managed. And while these two variables (time and money) are certainly related, they need to be considered in their own, respected aspects.

Jeff Hornung
Jeff Hornung
Jeff Hornung