From Spy to Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneurship Speaker Series in the SUU’s School of Business hosted Jason Hanson, a former CIA agent and current CEO of Spy Escape and Evasion in the new Dixie L. Leavitt Building on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Hanson, who is also the author of the New York Times best-seller “Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life”, spoke on how he was able to go from not wanting a stereotypical job out of college, to earning more than $2,000 a day in his multi-million dollar company.

Hanson told students that when owning a company, one focus point is to stir up good controversy with customers.

“When you stir up controversy, you will get hate mail,” Hanson said. “Embrace it. You have to have thick skin if you want to be successful in business.”

Hanson also made the point that the hate people receive is not always a bad thing.

“In entrepreneurship, the only people that hate you are people that will never buy your product,” said Hanson. “If you’re not getting hate email, you’re not selling hard enough. You’re not trying hard enough.”

Hanson also spoke on one aspect of business that people complain about: customer service. Hanson claimed he has never had a problem with his customer service.

“I want to make doing business with me as easy as possible.” Hanson said.

Hanson put a large emphasis on the aspect of being “real” with his customers.

“I know the life time value of my customer,” said Hanson. “You don’t have to be a good speaker to make a lot of money. Just be authentic.”

Hanson concluded his speech with one last piece of advice for business students.

“If you learn how to tell stories; if you learn how to be authentic and find your true self and not worry about people criticizing you, you’ll be successful,” Hanson said. “I really don’t care what people think. And that’s because I know I’m selling a good product.”

For those wishing to attend an Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, the full schedule can be found here, or stop by room 115 in the business building.

Story by Kurt Meacham
Photo Courtesy by Entrepreneurship Speaker Series and Sergiu Nista on Unsplash