BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Podcaster, book author and entrepreneur. With the support of family, friends and a Conrad T. Prebys Scholarship from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Nick Lugo already has achieved all three important life goals in less than two years at IU.
In December, Lugo, a sophomore double majoring in marketing at Kelley and psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences, published his first book, “Break Your Bad Habits in 150 Pages: A Hero’s Journey (New Degree Press),” which is available in print and Kindle editions at Amazon.com. It soon will be offered by Barnes & Noble as well.
“I wrote this book because the struggle for self-control has never been greater, where companies have learned to trick our brains into wanting more even if it is bad for us. I noticed this trend and the effect that it has on my friends and family, and I had to put a stop to it,” said Lugo, age 19 and a 2019 graduate of Marlboro High School in Marlboro, N.J.
Lugo was inspired to write the book after unsuccessfully trying to help a group of friends break a tobacco habit during his freshman year at IU.
“I looked at myself and said, ‘You really cared about helping those people, but you just don’t know enough,” he said. “So, I decided why not do all the research that I can and find ways to help others and make it interesting … This book is primarily dedicated to my friends and family that struggle to control their own actions, so they can take their lives back.”
The best piece of advice that he discovered and shared in the book was something very simple. “Every habit that you create is due to some underlying problem. You must confront the underlying problem as you are trying the break the habit itself,” he said.
He used an Indiegogo campaign to sell copies of the book through a pre-sale and raised more than $5,100 to defray editing, publication and design costs.
Since last August, Lugo also has hosted a podcast, “The Hero’s Mindset,” featuring guests such as former professional soccer player and entrepreneur Michael Chabala, Wall Street executive and angel investor John Saunders and brand messaging consultant Nikki Groom.
“The reason why I started the podcast was primarily because of education,” he said. “I realized that the people that I surround myself with are paramount to myself. If I surround myself with people who don’t have high ambitions, who don’t have a ‘heroes mindset,’ then I actually found myself falling toward a lower standard than what I set myself up to meet.”
As a college freshman, spent a lot of time at the Shoemaker Innovation Center, working through an idea that he had for a consulting business to help fellow students better understand their future careers by creating simulations of what daily life would be like in various occupations. He ended up scratching the idea. “They say that ever entrepreneur has to fail multiple times for they succeed,” Lugo said. “I guess that was one of my failures.”
In 2019, Lugo was among 13 Kelley students making up the inaugural class of Prebys Scholars. Preference for the scholarships, established through a $20 million gift in 2015 to Kelley and the university, is given to students who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of business. Students receive partial funding toward standard tuition and fees and other support in the form of an advisor and a Kelley student mentor.
Prebys, a native of South Bend, Ind., earned a bachelor of science in general management from the IU School of Business (now Kelley) in 1955 and moved to San Diego a decade later and created the real estate development company, Progress Construction and Management. During his last visit to campus in 2015, many Kelley students thanked him for his generosity, but unfortunately, he died before being able to meet the first Prebys Scholars.
Lugo, a resident of Manalapan, N.J., said he would have loved to interview Prebys for his podcast.
“He’s a person I’ve never met, yet he has changed my life,” Lugo said “Without this scholarship, I would likely not be at Indiana University and I would not have this opportunity to cultivate my talents. Everything that Mr. Prebys did was to pay it forward — whatever that ‘it’ could be. He paid all of it forward — his money, time, effort, and wisdom. I plan to do the same, and feel as if I already have in a way. My goal is to create meaningful change in other people’s lives.”
The scholarships are renewable as long as recipients meet the expectations of their scholarship program. More information about the Prebys Scholars program is available from the Kelley Office of Diversity Initiatives at 812-855-4474 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to the student scholarships, Prebys provided funding for attracting and retaining four accomplished faculty members.