Dietrich Nissen

Inherited Stories, Edina, MN

Dietrich’s grandmother was the inspiration for his business, Inherited Stories. “She had all these great stories from different chapters of her life,” he recalls. “We talked about recording them but she passed away before we got the chance.”

Today, Dietrich’s using his background in video production to capture all kinds of family stories for future generations. “I view this work as the pinnacle of what I can do with video storytelling,” Dietrich says. “This is for a family, about a family, and I don’t see any other purpose that’s greater than that.”

To take his dream to the next level, Dietrich realized he needed help. “The best thing that happened to me last year was getting connected with the Edina Innovation Lab,” he says.

The biggest challenge Dietrich faced was generating awareness of Inherited Stories. “The Lab changed the way I thought of my business,” he says. “They helped me realize I didn’t need to hire a full-time salesperson, I needed to create a role that would get me salespeople without the overhead cost.” He now has a commission-based team of eight salespeople in four states promoting Inherited Stories.

The Lab gave Dietrich opportunities to learn from successful business leaders and connect with other entrepreneurs. “It was so much deeper than a networking group,” he says. “It wasn’t about selling yourself, it was about growing and developing and gathering feedback. That’s what makes it unique and awesome. We get so focused on doing our business we don’t get time to think about building our business.”

The Lab also inspired him to expand his vision for his business. “Originally it was to help one family at a time. Now I see my mission as normalizing the making these videos. Why wouldn’t you want to capture the stories of people you care about?”

Asked if he has any advice for someone considering participating in the Edina Innovation Lab, Dietrich says, “Do it! The experience changed my entire life. I used to believe in keeping your business and personal life separate. Now I see my business as an extension of who I want to be.”

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