Enthusiasm, passion, energy—and a little bit of luck. That’s Alex Lawrence’s recipe for success in any business endeavor. Lawrence, who considers himself a “serial entrepreneur,” was recently named vice-provost of innovation and economic development at Weber State University, where he will direct the Technology Outreach Center.
With a background in mobile-based development, internet business and software innovation, Lawrence was the perfect choice for the job. His curiosity about business development began at an early age and was instilled by his father, who was also a successful entrepreneur.
His father, Rue Lawrence, recently passed away, but Lawrence still applies his father’s wisdom to his daily life. “He taught me not to be afraid of failing. He always encouraged me to follow my passion, take risks; and when I did succeed, he was always on the front row, cheering me on.”
His parents also made sure Lawrence experimented and explored all kinds of opportunities. “I’ve always been interested in how companies worked—how money was made and lost,” he says.
Among other projects, he founded Lawrence Capital Management in 1998, a holding company that supports a variety of business ventures. He also created “The Entrepreneur’s Blog,” where he offers tips for growing a great business. And with almost 40,000 followers, Lawrence’s Twitter account is a vastly popular resource he uses to connect, communicate, learn and share with a growing network of people.
Lawrence attributes a positive attitude to much of his achievement. He says leaders who are successful learn to bounce back quickly from mistakes. Looking on the bright side might be a cliché, but Lawrence says it works.
In his new role, Lawrence will work with the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) economic development initiative and will increase WSU’s involvement with community business owners. He’s still getting used to the slower pace of a university with lots of stakeholders, but he plans to get done what needs to be done.
“I’ve always had a great work ethic,” he says. “I put in the hours and put in the time. Nothing can replace that. No amount of enthusiasm or passion can [compensate for] being lazy.”
Next to business, Lawrence’s passion is his wife and two daughters. He also admits an “unhealthy obsession with golf.” Lawrence loves the fact that, just like in business, golf is “never perfect. There’s always something to improve.”