Huntsman Post

Business Owner Mark Holland Tells Students Taking Risks is Part Of Business

By Allie Jeppson

As many Jon M. Huntsman School of Business students know, entrepreneurs need to be prepared to take some strategic risks.
Mark Holland, the chairman and CEO of Intermountain Staffing, said that while at Utah State University, J. Robert Malko, professor of finance, helped him understand the role risk would play in his business decisions.

Mark Holland speaking to students at Lectures in Entrepreneurship .

Photo by: Steve Eaton

“The world is full of risk and uncertainty,” Mr. Holland said. “Entrepreneurism creates risk and we have to have a certain tolerance for it … it can be transformational.”

As the CEO of both Intermountain Staffing and Ascend HR Solutions, risk has been a constant part of Mr. Holland’s life.

By putting yourself out there great things can happen, he said. Mr. Holland also encouraged students to keep in mind, however, the “law of unintended consequences.”

Entrepreneurs must always consider the possibilities of what could happen by taking a risk, Mr. Holland said. When it comes to the bigger picture, however, there are more important things in life, he said. Doing the right thing, for example, is one of those things, Mr. Holland said.

“If we can say ‘I’m going to always do the right things,’” he said, “it makes a huge difference.”

Family and friends are two other things that he considers to be very important.

“Nothing is more important than our family,” Mr. Holland said, a statement that reflects the first line of his personal mission statement.

“Close friends are very hard to come by and if we don’t take advantage of them and don’t take the time to make sure that we stay connected, they fade,” he added.

Mr. Holland also gave students tips for effectively marketing themselves when searching for a job.

Start with your resume, he said. If it’s not custom tailored to our company, then you’re not going to get into the top five.

“It’s not down to the skill sets anymore, it’s whether you mesh with the company?” he said.

Networking is also a large factor in acquiring jobs, Mr. Holland said.

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Your network is going to have a huge impact.”

Click here to view Mark Holland's Lectures in Entrepreneurship speech.