Orion Rieden, senior, selected first overall pick at the ninth-annual Internship Draft Day at Lambeau Field, details his entrepreneurial journey
Orion Rieden is a senior baseball player at Ripon College. Some may know Orion Rieden as a Ripon College baseball player. But Rieden is more passionate about how to crack the system in entrepreneurship.
“I was 12 years old. I really wanted to get into something where I could run it myself. I really wanted to have my own career where I didn’t have to follow what someone is telling me to do. So in seventh grade, I decided, hey, I’m gonna start my own candy business. I think I made maybe a couple 100 bucks, but as a seventh grader at 12 years old, that’s huge.”
This was just the beginning for young Rieden as he explained that it was difficult to manage a business of a larger scale without a lot of money. Once Rieden was able to invest his own money into a larger business, that’s when things started picking up.
“The first [business] was a resale business where I would buy items from China. I’d have them shipped to me and then I’d ship them to my customers,” he said. “I’d buy certain things. My best seller was for $2 and it was a little stuffed animal, and I’d sell it for eight to ten bucks on Facebook marketplace. I sold a couple hundred of those, so I made a few $1,000 in profit there. So that was really good.”
Rieden remembers being very happy with the way his business ventures were going. Even so, he felt as though there was a way for him to make more money in an area he knew very well.
“And then my senior year, me and my buddies started a baseball glove breaking business, where we would really dive into social media marketing. We’d find big name baseball players on the market on social media and have them ship us their gloves. We’d break them in, send them back, get their reviews, and post them online.”
Rieden’s creative approach to business as well as his experience playing baseball enabled him to start a business in something that not many people would think about.
Additionally, for those who wish to learn how to make money and run their own business, Rieden found a solution in College Works Painting. This organization allowed him to take his managerial skills to the next level.
“So College Works Painting introduced themselves to me on LinkedIn. They introduced themselves as an internship program. On top of that what they had me do, they also had me apply to be a branch manager. So what that means is I get a certain amount of area, and in that area, I’m running my own painting business. I’m doing all aspects of marketing, accounting, hiring, firing, product developments, customer relations. I went through six stages of an interview process. They look for highly competitive individuals who want to win, want to succeed in life, and want to get ahead of their peers” Rieden said.
Rieden also gave insight into what he did to distinguish his business from others around him.
“Learning and development is really what allowed me to turn a mediocre business into a highly profitable machine. Problem-solving, communication, and ngetting ahead are the three biggest skills to manage a business. You’re going to run into little issues every single day on the job. A great leader will be able to handle those and speed through those so they don’t turn into a big problem” he said.
Rieden was chosen as the first overall draft pick amongst other top interns in the state. Rieden competed against thousands for one of the 200 possible paid internships! Rieden explained what this achievement means.
“There’s an event every year called, ‘Internship Draft Day’. It’s at Lambeau Field. It’s hosted by a lot of manufacturing organizations in the area, and they invite students from all across Wisconsin to come to it. Schools such as UW-Madison and UW-La Crosse have students representing their schools. I was one of the Ripon College representatives that went there, and I interviewed with multiple different internship organizations to see if I’d be the right fit for their program. So I had five different interviews and each of those five selected me and offered me the internship. Additionally, multiple of them did say I was their best interviewee of the day, so because of that I was ranked as the number one draft pick out of anyone there” he explained.
Rieden was proud of this achievement and gave his thoughts on what it signifies for him.
“[This award] really showed me that hard work and persistence does pay off over time. But it’s just a stepping stone. I want to keep going and building off of here. It was really cool to see the shock when I would hand people my resume saying that I ran a six-figure business with multiple employees.”
With this stepping stone that Rieden can add to his lifetime entrepreneurship resume, he detailed his ultimate goal as a leader and business visionary.
“My lifetime business goal is running my own venture where I’m successful and financially free. The end goal for me is to be financially free, and to be able to retire my parents and retire young.”
For anyone looking for motivation on how to get a business venture up and going, Rieden gave some advice.
“There’s a lot of challenges that you’re going to face in life and if you want to start your own business. The best piece of advice I can offer is: help people along the way because you’re never going to know when you need their help.”