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Columbus Entrepreneurs' Podcast is primarily for members of the Columbus, Ohio chapter of Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO). Our members include business owners with a majority ownership in companies with at least $1 million in revenue. The stories are inspiring and focus on core principles of EO, including speaking from experience instead of advice giving, building peer learning experiences, and focusing on the top and bottom 5% of our lives. EO is a global organization that offers many benefits and learning opportunities. If you would like to learn more about EO, please visit www.eonetwork.org.

Jun 27, 2017

Today’s guest is actually member of the Boston Chapter of EO, and is also the host of the official EO global podcast. In today’s episode, Dave talks about how he got started with his business, and growing the culture of his employees. Culture has been a very important aspect of his entrepreneurial ventures, and today he shares how this focus has helped to develop his current business, Prop Fuel.

Key Takeaways:
[3:11] Dave shares his lifeline. He was born into a great family and had a really good childhood/upbringing. His father was someone he really admired growing up.
[7:13] Up until about age thirty, he was living a typical trajectory with getting his education and starting his family. On the last day of his internship, he got advice that would shape the way he dealt with his business ventures in the future.
[13:21] When he really began to follow the mantra he learned, he found that he could excel when he is able to completely behave like himself. Starting his own business allowed him to do this.
[16:34] Dave tells the story of how getting fired from his job was the beginning of him starting his own business. His friend had come to him with an idea to resell web conferencing. This gradually grew and he bought out his business partner and they started to find a niche. Finding this niche allowed them to tailor the product to their buyers’ needs, which led to exceptional growth.
[22:08] At this point, they turned it into a software rather than a service. This allowed them to reduce manual efforts and increase automated processes, focus on standard operating procedures, and focus on their culture. His new business is a tool for encouraging and enhancing great culture among your employees.
[26:42] For the first nine years of their business, they grew gradually, but really well. When they acquired another company in 2010, they were hit with the effects of 2008. It was a really hard year for the business, but the culture rallied and they were able to make it through, despite compensation cuts. It was after this they turned it back around and got things kicking again.
[32:30] The culture piece was always something Dave was really passionate about. Throughout the rebuilding year of 2010, his focus was building a bonded, driven team by providing a clear vision, the right motivators, and the cadence to make sure they were always on track and moving toward that vision. Culture was huge driver in their success.
[36:29] EO became a part of Dave’s life for the first time when the two companies came together in 2010. He left for a little while and they came and found a forum that was a good fit for him.
[38:25] Dave talks about his driving force and what keeps him going today. His philosophy is to enjoy what surrounds you, rather than focusing solely on the destination. He also strives to do things that are going to make him smile, rather than provide frustrations. He tries to instill this in other people at work; this includes helping entrepreneurs create jobs that allow people to walk slow and smile more.
[42:26] Though he started out on a very traditional path, as a kid he grew up with a desire to make money himself. He tries to foster this in his children as well. Taking time to think about starting some sort of business, maybe during the summer — and you might even be able to evolve it. It’s the thought process of ‘figure it out’ that he’s trying to instill in them.
[47:30] EO is the perfect kind of company that would get some value out of Prop Fuel. If you’re listening, check it out!

Mentioned in This Episode:
Columbus Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization
Prop Fuel
EO Global Podcast