As CEO of Text Ripple, Hans Hegge is the man responsible for turning the hottest form of digital communication into an effective marketing tool for salon professionals. And he did it when he was just 27 years old! Such a feat is not out of the ordinary for Hans, though. When it comes to success, he’s been on the “fast track” since high school, and it’s been a relentless, almost never-ending ride. So, how does a young man develop such a passionate, almost single-minded drive to succeed? ist Magazine had to find out!
Because he had to grow up fast, Hans Hegge developed a relationship with success at a very early age. Ironically, he feels he’s getting more out of life now that he’s decided to slow things down a bit.
They’re called “life lessons” for two reasons – they can help people throughout their lives, and it often takes the better part of someone’s life to learn them. Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder as a young man, much of Hans Hegge’s young adult years were spent trying to reign in the symptoms of that condition. His answer was to throw himself into his work with intense focus, which allowed him to accomplish more before the age of 21 than some people do in twice the time. While being on the “fast track” was exciting, today Hans is discovering the joys that come with slowing down to savor that which truly matters. It’s been an interesting journey… and one he continues today.
Hans Hegge was born February 11, 1981 to Erv and Helga Hegge of Minneapolis, MN, though he and his brother Karl didn’t live in the “City of Lakes” very long. “Our parents divorced when we were very young, and we went to live with our mother,” said Hans. “When I was in sixth grade, my mom passed away, so we then lived with our dad. Because he did financial work for the government during the big savings and loan crash, we moved around a lot.” By his own account, Hans attended a different school each year from sixth to tenth grade. He finally settled at Warren-Mott High School in Warren, MI, where he would graduate in 1999.
By his own admission, the loss of his mother at such a formative age made Hans grow up fast. “I had to learn everything from cooking for myself and my brother to doing our laundry and communicating with people all on my own,” he said. “I didn’t have much of a social life in high school, either. While most of my classmates were having fun doing all the things that high school kids do, I was working in the restaurant industry.” Looking back on it, he says he might have buried himself in his work in part to avoid the pain of dealing with his mother’s death. On the up-side, he says the tragedy helped him develop an ability to adapt to the changes life throws at him.
While in high school, Hans started working in the restaurant industry as a busboy, though he wasn’t long in that position. While enrolled at Wayne State University, he was also managing restaurants at night. “To be honest, I really did not enjoy the whole college experience because it seemed to take a long time to learn anything, compared to my practical business experience,” he said. “By the time I was 18, my business partners and I established a Country Club in one part of the state, and turned a failing restaurant around in another. I don’t think there’s any substitute for that kind of real world experience.”
Not many people know this, but Hans nearly quit college just one credit shy of earning a degree! “During my senior year, I needed one credit to graduate, and there was nothing for me to take except for Salsa dancing,” he said. “Needless to say, I really had no interest in that, so I asked the college if I could take a work-study program and write a paper, but they said ‘no.” I was so upset that I told them their degree was nothing but a piece of paper and almost quit!” Fortunately, Hans eventually realized that his education wasn’t worth throwing away over just one class, and became a scintillating Salsa sensation… if only for a semester. He graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate and Personal Finance, and went on to launch mobile marketing provider, Text Ripple, with business partner Keith Gloster in the spring of 2008.
The life Hans Hegge leads today is much different from that of his younger years. Where he was once possessed of an almost single-minded passion to work and succeed, he now finds himself enjoying the things in life that truly matter – spending time with his wife, Jessica, and their children, Avery (4), Ivan (2) and Hendrik (three months). “While I still go into work on Saturdays and Sundays, it’s nowhere near like it used to be,” he said. “I’ve also begun to enjoy an occasional ride on my bike, and my wife and I have revived our monthly ‘date night’, which has done wonders for our relationship.” While Hans is taking things easier these days, he still has some big plans for Text Ripple, including an app for salon owners to reward customer loyalty, and the creation of a mobile website builder. “We’re always doing something to keep up with the changes in technology!” he added.
While travelling in the fast lane provides a speedy route to success, fellow racer Hans Hegge also shows us the importance of taking the time to “smell the roses.” As we watch him discover the value of this life lesson, we, too, are reminded of its importance. So thank you, Hans… for showing us that’s it’s good to make time for the ones we love. Like you, we’ll all be better for it in the long run!
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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