Featured Member: June // Featured Member // News // Jun 01 2015


Rebecca Ryan

What is your background? What got you to where you are now?

I got two liberal arts degrees (in Economics and International Relations) from Drake University. Both were very helpful in helping me be comfortable with markets and trends (economics) and different cultures (international.) For 12 years, I was deeply engaged in studying the patterns of young professionals: where they lived and worked. And in 2010, I went back to school and got my certificate in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston.

What business do you own/work for?

NEXT Generation Consulting, Inc.

What made you decide to start your business?   

I didn’t do well working for others. I had too many questions and ideas. Managers didn’t know what to do with me.

What is your biggest accomplishment so far in life and why?

Ugh. I have pretty well-behaved dogs who “sit” on command.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your business and why?

Helping cities learn to use Strategic Foresight to develop better cities.

What is the biggest obstacle that you have face while in business? What is the biggest fear that you have for your business?

My biggest obstacle is my own mind, getting caught up in what’s “urgent” and forgetting what’s important. I don’t have any fears about my business; we made it through the Great Recession, which was like staring into the mouth of a man-eating tiger. After facing that, any fears I had vanished.

If you could give one quote to live by, what would it be?

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” – Lily Tomlin

What does Madison need to encourage entrepreneurs to stay and grow their businesses?

Networks like Doyenne that provide a forum for ongoing inspiration and professional development, a reminder that we can do it.

What words of advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

You are weird. No one is going to care about your idea or your business more than you will. And that’s normal. So hang out with other entrepreneurs; they’re the only people who will make you feel “normal.”

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