When True Tamplin was 13 years old, his father Ken Tamplin was offered the lead singer role in Journey. The issue was, it was a 5-year touring contract where Ken would be on the road for 10 months out of the year, and ages 13 to 18 are quite the formational years. Now that’s predicament – a once in a lifetime career opportunity at the cost of your kids growing up without a father.

Would you take the gig?

True’s dad weighed the cost, prayed hard, and turned the offer down.

The result? Ken started a successful online singing program called “How to Sing Better Than Anyone Else” and True went on to have all of the early successes a father could wish for his child: giving his high school grad speech, garnering a full-ride soccer scholarship, graduating with a 4.0 GPA, creating a successful online marketing and data analytics business, and becoming a #1 Amazon Bestselling Author and public speaker all by the age of 22 years old.

Were genetics and natural aptitude at play? Of course. However, would True have been able to reach these milestones at such a young age without a firm foundation to build upon? Not a chance.

That is his message which he drives home in his book Raising An Executive and keynote speeches to executives across the United States. Chapter 1’s title “Sacrificing Your Journey” shows what happens when fathers choose to sacrifice their “Journey” instead of sacrificing their families in pursuit of a career opportunity.

Accounting Information Systems and The Power of Networking

Professors Michael Welles and Bob Mancini teach the BUSN 317 class which covers the fundamentals of AIS (Accounting Information Systems). Accounting Information Systems is “a system of collecting, storing and processing financial and accounting data that are used by decision makers.”[1] AIS and other data analytics fields of study are becoming more and more popular as Corporate America becomes more and more data-driven.

True shared with the class that although he is analytically wired, he fell into working in the data analytics space full time because that’s simply where the biggest demand was.

“I would walk into an internship, cocktail party, meetup, etc. and share all the things I was a part of – my entrepreneurial pursuits, day-trading the foreign exchange markets, and the data analytics degree/projects I was working on outside of school. Time and time again, the thing people would ask for my contact information for data analytics. That’s when I began to realize how big of a need there was for data analytics.”

By keeping his ear to the ground and observing what business managers and owners were latching onto, True realized what he should double-down on.

He shared with the class how essential networking has been for getting new clients and new opportunities. “I think just about every business opportunity has come through meeting someone or a mutual connection – and that’s coming from a guy who scraped the internet for names and addresses of executives who I sent my book to in order to try and start a conversation.”

True went on to say, “The best place to make connections is when it’s natural too. I go on walks each day and frequent coffee shops in the area, but there’s no excuse or reason to shake someone’s hand in those settings which makes it unnatural. But if you put yourself in an internship, BAM you’ve just been forced to meet the 10 people working alongside you. If you volunteer at an event, BAM you’re going to naturally meet the other volunteers because you’re doing something together. Making connections requires action, getting involved, and putting yourself out there. And when you meet someone, share what you’re passionate about and try to teach them something new – passion and showing you’re knowledgeable go a long way.”

So even in industries like AIS and data analytics, networking is king.

Call To Action for Students and Businessmen

Students: Create momentum for yourself by getting involved. Try new things that you believe you’ll like and do well in. Jump on internships while you’re in school to meet people and gain work experience. Ask mom and dad to open up their contact list to find new opportunities. Keep your antennas up for what issues business owners are struggling with to inform which skillset you should develop. Be audacious in putting yourself out there, sharing what you’re passionate about, and teaching people something you’re knowledgeable about when it’s appropriate.

Established Businessmen: If you’re an established businessman (or businesswoman), you have the opportunity to reach down and pull up students and recent graduates. Get the students excited about what they’re working on by involving them in the overarching narrative of the business, what need it fulfills, and the importance that their role plays. Loop them in on important meetings and encourage them to chime in when they feel comfortable and have something valuable to offer. Be excited about the work you’re doing, and it will transfer into your intern.

Having True Tamplin as a guest speaker is just one of the many exciting things happening at the Crowell School of Business. Be sure to subscribe to our Newsletter for updates and announcements.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_information_system