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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • Small business owners speak to YME upperclassmen

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  • What is usually a classroom devoted to Shakespeare, proper grammar and five paragraph essay writing was transformed into a realm of automotive repair, chiropractics and the art of owning a business.
    The brief transportation on Thursday was for the career day, hosted by the high school for the upperclassmen who have started pondering the age-old question “what will I do after college?” 
    Part of the morning was dedicated to community business forums. There were several sectors of businesses represented by professionals from around Granite Falls sharing about work areas like banking, healthcare, and in the 11th grade English classroom, owning a small business.
    Dan Picht, of Picht Auto, and Lundell Chiropractic’s owner Katy Lundell were the representatives for the small business forum, but very quickly proved that they were two individuals with experience but completely different paths.
    “My story is long and wiggly,” Lundell said before describing her over ten years of schooling in three different fields, including most recently chiropractic school. “If you told me as a senior that I would be a chiropractor in 20 years, I would have laughed.”
    Instead of going to school to own a business, Picht, in his 39th year of owning Picht Auto, said that he went to be a technician who just “ended up owning a shop.”
    “There are just many different ways to become a business owner,” Picht said.
    From sharing how they got to where they are, and the getting over the fear of risk, the two also provided keys to success in a small town.
    “You want to be an ethical, upstanding business owner, although that takes a lot of work,” Lundell said. “They say it takes three to five years before a small business becomes profitable.”
    But despite the struggles, the two agreed that it has been worth it.
    “I could have worked under a doctor and made more money, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” said Lundell.
    Picht noted the pleasure of not only working with the same customers, but their children as well.
    “I have been doing it long enough that I have served generations – grandkids of good customers, who are in turn good to work with,” Picht said.
    Although none of the students were quick to decide that becoming a small business owner was their new life dream after hearing Lundell and Picht speak, the berth and quality of information certainly provided clarification and understanding of one of the many options YME students have in their future. 
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