Leveraging the Hill
The James J. Hill Center is continually appreciative to the individuals that visit and discover the amazing resources we have to offer. In an ongoing effort to spread the word about what resources are available at the Hill and how they can be used, we have decided to share some of our patron’s stories on how they have leveraged the Hill for their success. Thanks to Ross Manthei for sharing his insight on our “not-so-secret” resources.
How did you hear about the Hill and when did you start coming?
About 10 years ago I was talking to my best friend about his new sales job and this “secret resource” he found that he was convinced was going to “push him over the top” with quality info on his prospects. I was doubtful at first and thought the James J. Hill Library (now the James J. Hill Center) was actually (perhaps) tucked inside the James J Hill house on Summit (by the way…it’s not). I decided to check it out because I heard it was great for entrepreneurs to help them get kick started with their events and remembered what my friend told me.
What is your business or career?
Like most, I try to be the Dos Equis man with having many different interests and sometimes needing to dial that in. I work in sales for a financial institution today consulting with middle market companies on payment products as well as payment technologies to help their businesses. It requires a large amount of inside research to have relevant & intelligent conversations to which why I’m thankful to James J. Hill. Outside of that, I have an baby care line of products that I’m launching called “Giggles and Poo,” am launching a podcast called “The Journey with Ross” and would like to also try my hand at stand-up comedy. As I said, a Renaissance millennial man – ha! Honestly, I just like laughing and helping people.
How have you leveraged the Hill center resources and how are they unique?
I have used the business reference librarians let’s say probably more than most (Jessica is awesome) to help with things like what databases to use for researching things like info on private companies (Privco), prospect lists (A-Z databases) and also have leveraged the new business start-up networking. Plus, the library is just a beautiful and quiet place to hang if you’re doing work.
How has the Hill been critical to your success?
It’s saved me thousands of dollars to get data and also a lot of frustration in the trust of data.
What recommendations do you have for other researchers and entrepreneurs?
There’s many places claiming to have “free” information when in fact they’re just trying to “sell you something.” At the end of the day, James J. Hill Center is a secret gem that is perfect for a deeper level of research than you would normally get at a community library. I’m sure those people can be helpful and are fantastic; however, I’ve never met so many people willing to help without tons of long lines!
The other piece of advice that I would share is mentoring is key. There are many events at James J Hill Center where you can meet many other people who are very generous with their knowledge.
What is the one thing that makes you keep coming back to the Hill?
The willingness to help, the amazing free access to resources and the beautiful space!
The James J. Hill Center connects business, entrepreneurs and community to research, knowledge and network. Visit us Monday through Thursday from 8:00AM to 4:00PM to find out how we can help you succeed.