January 27, 2023

Explore, Experience, Launch: Ted Evans Oberlin College & Conservatory | Episode 27 of Twist of Fate 

Explore, Experience, Launch: Ted Evans Oberlin College & Conservatory | Episode 27 of Twist of Fate 

Ted Evans is the Director of Entrepreneurship & Instructor at Oberlin College & Conservatory, and he’s been making some serious strides with more than just the students. His attitude has little to do with business and everything to do with life. He believes that mastering certain day-to-day fundamentals leads to success in one way or another. This should be welcome advice to any entrepreneur who is gearing up for their next big move. 

Evans wants everyone to have the problem-solving skills they need to tackle the world — regardless of what the world has in store for them. Sitting down with Douglas Younger III on the Twist of Fate podcast, he talked more about what he’s up to, and how his program is helping people look at their situations in a very different light. 

He broke down his lessons into a few core components. 


This is the first part of any entrepreneur’s path. They need to know what’s out there before they can start mapping out their next move. Exploring doesn’t always mean changing your original goals, but it does mean gathering as many perspectives as you can on the problem. In the entrepreneurship program, Evans likes to walk people through the analysis of everyday problems. So instead of asking students how to end world hunger, he might ask how they can get enough money to eat if they’re flat broke. 


Trying new things can be difficult for many people, even if they’re unlikely to admit it. Younger and Evans can tell you that experiences are definitely not always good, and depending on the severity of the consequences, plenty of people decide they have enough evidence to stick with what they know. As logical as this sounds, it’s a mistake for anyone who wants to move up in life. The more you do the same thing, the more likely you are to end up right where you started. 


Launching your initiative can mean entering a pitch competition, hiring a developer for your website, or knocking on doors for 8 hours a day. Whatever it is you want to do, you have to go out there and make it happen. When Evans first made his way to Cleveland, coming from Atlanta and Chicago, he immediately decided to get involved with the community. To do that, he had to look for ways he could help, which is why he called the Lymphoma Society so he could offer to be of service.  Whatever it is: Take. The. Lead. 

The Trick to Life: Building Relationships 

Evans first asked what he could for others, not what they could do for him, and it didn’t take him long before he had a network in Cleveland. Not only is he directly improving opportunities for underprivileged kids in the inner cities, but he’s indirectly funding conservation efforts in countries like Rwanda by being a part of the Cleveland Metroparks. In addition to education, it’s one of the single biggest indicators of your success. 

Annoying habits, hurt feelings, conflicting personalities, huge egos: we all come up against them in our life. Whether you work in a relatively isolated lab or you’re a cold caller, the reality is relationships can be exceptionally difficult to build. But Younger and Evans emphasize how important it is to have people in your life that you can reach out to. The caveat here is that whoever you have in your life should be equally comfortable reaching out to you if they’re in a bind. 


Become a guest

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Are you seeking to reinvent yourself? Listen to our episodes, read our blogs, join our Patreon, or consider becoming a guest on our show to share your inspiration for others.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.