During his time at WashU, Rick Liu has become fascinated by the process of building a successful business. Rick, who is pursuing a joint degree in business and computer science, has spent the last six months growing this longtime interest into a successful podcast called The Seed—The Startup Journey.
As Rick, BS ’22, explains in the introductory video on his YouTube channel, he realized the best way to learn entrepreneurship—short of actually starting a business—is to hear other people talk about their startups. This curiosity prompted him to find a way to bring the stories of successful entrepreneurs into the life of everyday people interested in exploring the process of starting and running a business.
So far, Rick has interviewed 21 entrepreneurs who have shared the tale of how they got where they are now. He has interviewed businesspeople from all over the world—from here in St. Louis, to Canada, to Taiwan—on his podcast.
I asked Rick about his top three takeaways since starting The Seed, and he told me that, while he’s learned a lot more than just three things, the most important lessons he’s learned revolve around three key ideas: passion, connections and persistence.
Rick told me that most entrepreneurs he’s spoken to have told him that passion is essential. As an entrepreneur, “if the problem is personal to you, you’ll be motivated to wake up even when you don’t feel like it,” Rick says.
Many founders have also told The Seed about the importance of making friends in the business world. Rick cites the particular example of Kaldi’s Coffee co-founder Suzanne Langlois, who told him that it was a connection with someone who’d been hired to bulldoze a building full of furniture who got her first Kaldi’s location its set of tables and chairs.
Finally, Rick has learned that starting small and sticking by your ideas is crucial for success in entrepreneurship and, coincidentally, the podcasting world as well.
Rick’s podcast encourages his listeners to learn with him from those who are successful in the industry, and makes the intricacies of building a business digestible and fun to learn. Anyone interested in startups and entrepreneurship can check out Liu’s podcast, The Seed—The Startup Journey, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, or Spotify. The Seed is also present on Instagram and has an independent website.