Thursday, October 13, 2022

Media entrepreneur Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine, will speak at two University of Iowa classes Oct. 27 in the Iowa Memorial Union.

Feifer, who grew up in Coral Springs, Florida, and resides in Brooklyn, New York, recently published a book, Build for Tomorrow: An Action Plan for Embracing Change, Adapting Fast, and Future-Proofing Your Career, that was released Sept. 6.

A 2002 graduate of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, Feifer began his professional career working for newspapers in that area. His first magazine job was at Boston Magazine, and since then, he has worked for several others, including Men’s Health, Maxim, and Fast Company. He became executive editor of Entrepreneur in 2015 and editor in chief a year later.

The crazy thing about this journey is that I don’t have a history of founding companies,” Feifer said. “I was a media guy, but getting to Entrepreneur and being exposed to entrepreneurs all day, every day totally changed the way I think.”

Feifer also realized that he was an entrepreneurial guy, even though he didn’t know it at the time. Feifer always seemed to have a side gig — freelancing, teaching, or building websites.

“I was creating and always mindful of building a larger thing for myself,” he said.

Now he has his own media company that includes the podcast, Build For Tomorrow, where Feifer takes something concerning or confusing today, uncovers its surprising history, what important things we’re missing, and how to take advantage of tomorrow.

Feifer will speak Oct. 27 at 9:30 and 11 a.m. to David Hensley’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation classes.

“The greatest thing any entrepreneur, young or old, can do is recognize that they are part of a continuum in which whatever came before set up what we have now, and informed what is coming next,” Feifer said. “There will always be new needs and a demand to do things differently. We will be constantly challenged in our comfort and ability to change, adapt, and navigate. The greatest opportunities come out of the willingness to recognize what tomorrow needs more than what we have built yesterday.”

It is also important, Feifer says, for the way entrepreneurs respond to change. Instead of seeing change as loss, view it in terms of gain.

“Even if the gain is harder to see, it is there, and the more we can anticipate it and try to move toward it, the more we have a competitive advantage,” Feifer said.

In his book, Feifer explains how to accelerate the process of reaching and thriving in a new normal as a result of change. People experience change in four phases: panic, adapting, finding a new normal, and the moment when you wouldn’t go back to way things were before the shift in your life.

The pandemic forced a moment of collective change, and we are still being forced to make new plans and adjustments to our lives, families, and careers,” Feifer said. “Many of us will never go back, continuing to work from home, demanding higher wages, or starting new businesses.”

Feifer returns to the state of Iowa for the first time since February, when he presented at ciLive! at Des Moines Area Community College.