Dr. Todd Jochem Shares Habits & Strategies of Successful People

On Monday, March 17, 2014, PR-FBLA welcomed Dr. Todd Jochem to speak at March’s monthly speaker series. Dr. Jochem, known by many in the Pine-Richland district because of his work coaching the high school football team, spoke to members about entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur himself, Dr. Jochem founded the robotics company Applied Perception Inc. and co-founded the robotics company AssistWare Technology. After earning a B.S. from Indiana State University, Dr. Jochem went on to study at Carnegie Mellon University, where he would become the recipient of CMU’s Allan Newell Award for Research Excellence. He was also inducted into the Robotics Hall of Fame while at CMU, for his work on the production of the NavLab 5.




Dr. Jochem offered some examples of strong skills, habits, and strategies of entrepreneurs. The most important skill, he shared, was communication. Being able to communicate effectively with anyone and everyone who you will interact with on a daily basis is a must for any entrepreneur. Other skills he stressed included persistence, the ability to listen to what others have to say, and the ability to figure out a win-win situation for everyone.




Three habits of successful entrepreneurs are dedication, accepting the fact that you must work harder than everyone else, and you must be willing to sacrifice short term wants for long term success. Dr. Jochem stressed the importance of being dedicated and able to take no for an answer and ask why so that you can improve your product or company. Even if friends are going out or friends are getting jobs and making lots of money, if you want to earn that extra degree in grad school you have to be able to stick it out, because in the long run it will be worth it.




Three key strategies of entrepreneurs are staying goal oriented (by making a plan and sticking to it), thinking strategically (have an end or exit goal in mind), surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you, and understanding the rules of the game (dress how others in your field would, work with others similar to you). All of the above skills, habits, and strategies will help any entrepreneur on the road to success.




When asked to sum it up into the three most important aspects of being a successful entrepreneur (also being successful in life) Dr. Jochem said:



1)      The willingness to take risks

2)      Never be afraid to fail, and always take chances

3)      Believe in yourself (even if no one else does)


On the topic of failure, when asked how often he failed when starting his business and if he could remember how he rebounded from some of the most detrimental times, Dr. Jochem replied that he failed so many times he lost count. The best part is that he doesn’t remember a single one, because he just kept working harder and learning from his mistakes. Thank you to Dr. Todd Jochem for sharing his insight and advice.







Julia Palmieri