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Forbes Draws Crowd of 800 for UI Event

Steve Forbes gave business advice and spoke about the importance of free economic markets to a crowd of around 800 at the University of Iowa Wednesday.

Forbes, the chairman of and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, joined John Schlifske, the CEO and chairman of life insurance company Northwest Mutual, in a panel discussion at the IMU’s Main Lounge on “The Power of a Game Plan.” The event was co-sponsored by Northwestern Mutual and University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.

UI students, professors, and local business professionals clamored to hear the duo’s take on post-graduation success, running a business, government regulations, as well as the current state of the American and international economies.

“If you’re not comfortable outside your comfort zone, this life is not for you,” Forbes said of success in business. “Don’t expect to get lollipops along the way.”

Schlifske and Forbes both stressed the significance of free markets in America’s success.

“If you allow people to be free, amazing things will happen,” Forbes said.

And in finance, “emotions are your enemy,” both men said, noting the importance of saving over investing. Forbes likened that idea to tennis.

“Most of us have to realize we can’t be at Wimbledon,” he said. “We just have concentrate on getting the ball over the bloody net.”

But near the end of the discussion, both Schlifske and Forbes acknowledged the country’s economic struggles.

“It’s amazing we did this to ourselves,” Forbes said, shaking his head.

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