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Dave Lukas, The Misfit Entrepreneur_Breakthrough Entrepreneurship

The weekly podcast with serial entrepreneur, Dave M. Lukas, devoted to giving you incredibly useful and unique insight from the world's top entrepreneurs with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. Misfit was created to give YOU the breakthrough entrepreneurship strategies and actionable advice to accelerate your success! The show's open format and Misfit 3 concept, combined with Dave's intuitive and engaging interview style quickly uncover each guest's key tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can start using in their lives right now. Learn more about the show at www.misfitentrepreneur.com and become a member of Misfit Nation by signing up for the Misfit Minute, the FREE weekly email with specific resources from the week's "Misfit 3," and actionable tips and items from the world of Misfit Entrepreneurs. It is delivered every Friday to your inbox!
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The weekly podcast with serial entrepreneur, Dave M. Lukas, devoted to giving you incredibly useful and unique insight from the world's top entrepreneurs with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. Misfit was created to give YOU the best, actionable advice to accelerate your success!

The show's open format and Misfit 3 concept, combined with Dave's intuitive and engaging interview style quickly uncovers each guest's key tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can start using in their lives right now.

Learn more about the show at www.misfitentrepreneur.com and become a member of Misfit Nation by signing up for the Misfit Minute, the FREE weekly email with specific resources from the week's "Misfit 3," and actionable tips and items from the world of Misfit Entrepreneurs. It is delivered every Friday to your inbox!

Jan 18, 2017

In this episode, Dave is excited to welcome his long time business partner, adopted brother, and all around damn good guy, Erik Mueller. Erik is the founder of Grasp Technologies, a multi-time INC 5000 award winner that has averaged over 50% growth per year for almost a decade. In addition, he has been honored as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Executives in the Travel Industry, and is credited with creating the first graphic reporting system for the travel industry.

Erik is one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur as he is a former musician who is a self-taught programmer, turned business owner. He has had an amazing journey from being a self-taught programmer with a vision to transforming to a true CEO of a top performing company. Dave knows as he has been there along the ride for every step for the last decade.

www.grasptech.com

Connect with Erik on LinkedIn

Connect with Erik on Facebook

At early age, Erik had a natural ability for programming and bought his first computer at the age of 10 and started to build games. As Erik notes he has always been drawn to the arts, especially music and photography. In fact, he went to college for photography and cinematography. But never completed it. At this point, computers still weren’t a big thing in the business world and he didn’t know that he would ever really end up on that side of things. Instead, he was in a band and did every type of odd job. He was big in the punk rock scene.

At one point, he got bored and decided to do the exact opposite of what anyone thought he would do and he went into the US Army. He says he loved the experience. It gave him discipline. It challenged him to push himself. And it made him realize that he can overcome major barriers.

Once he got out, he got a job at the State of Ohio, but it was not for him. He went back to odd jobs and music. He had a music studio in his basement and a gentleman came in, who worked at Bank One, and saw Erik programming Asteroids on his computer. He mentioned to Erik that they were looking for a programmer to come in and automate some large reporting that they were struggling with. He interviewed and got the job. It was this endeavor that allowed him to create the first graphic reporting system for the travel industry. Of course, doing this while playing in his band at night.

As things grew and got even more corporate, Erik decided it was time to move on. He started his first company, an IT services company, which shortly thereafter spawned Grasp Technologies. He started building the initial Grasp solutions and worked on funding, but then the dot com bubble burst and 9/11 followed shortly after. So, he just continued on building and working the business from there.

At the 9:50 mark Erik talks about becoming a CEO and the transition and realizations he had to go through.

Erik talks about “aha moments” and how there isn’t just one that happens on the journey, but many. You reach a plateau and then bust through it and then on to the next one. And each new level you get, there are “aha moments” and amazing things to discover and do. Erik says he seems to see it as an every year thing in which your challenge yourself to new levels.

At the 18:20 mark, Erik talks about overcoming obstacles and how each challenge you over makes it easier to overcome the next one. He talks about how to bust through your fears and how to let go of the past that may be holding you back.

At the 21 min mark. Erik talks about staying true to yourself and how in reality the more successful you become, the more your true self and value get amplified. As he says, “People that are a$$holes become bigger a$$holes and people that are good just become that much better.”

Biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? Letting go and trusting your team. Giving up the control so that your business can truly grow.

Erik recommends the book Scaling Up as a good blueprint of how to create a great business. The other one he recommends is Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy to help with learning to prioritize correctly.

Best piece of advice for a new entrepreneur?

  • Make sure that it is something you truly want to do. You have to be good at balancing fear and faith. But, the best advice is to continuously educate and grow yourself. You won’t know it all on your own.

How do you measure personal success? What does success mean to you?

  • Happy employees, happy customers! It’s not about the money. The success is when he has happy employees and has happy customers. Everyone wins at that point.

Staying competitive in technology, are there best practices that are relevant today?

  • Keep everything, all the data you can. The more you keep and longer you keep it, the more beneficial it is to you and your clients. Data is the new oil. Storing as much information as granular as you can is the best thing you can do.

Hardest part in growing a company?

  • Personal shortcomings. Getting in your own way. But everyone will have their own. The sooner you identify your strengths and weaknesses, the easier is to either fill the gaps or compliment them in a way that leads to more success.

Do you have a coach? Who do you look to for advice?

  • Yes. Many coaches. This is a critical element to success. Having different coaches for different areas of your life and business is critical. Look for consultants and coaches for the areas you have weaknesses to help you. The money you spend here comes back to you ten-fold.

Will computers and AI take over the world and our live?

  • It’s really going to be beneficial to our lives. AI is right around the corner, but it won’t be malevolent. At the end of the day, we are programming these computer and software. They are born from us. The advancements going on in all areas from medicine to traveling to business, everywhere is going to add more value to everything we do and enrich our lives. Within 10 years, we won’t recognize the world as we see it today.

Will VR get to a point where people cannot distinguish between reality and lose themselves in it?

  • There is always be people that susceptible to things. It’s the same type of things you heard about rock and roll ruining people brains and minds in the 60’s and 70’s, but there will always be addicts and you will have that. But as a society, it is really just another tool that we will be able to use to evolve faster intellectually.

How will VR impact travel?

  • It’s going to be great, especially for people that are immobile or that could never afford to travel throughout the world. You will be able to experience things that you never could before. But the “real experience” will always be important to people and for many, once they get a taste through VR, they may want to travel to see and have the real experience that much more. People will always seek out the fully immersive experience.

 

Best Quote:  "Great ideas aren't anything, unless you have great people that execute on them and make them happen."

 

Erik's Misfit 3

  1. Start your day right. Get a good morning routine where you can plan for your success. Write your to do list down. Visualize your success for the day and plan for your success.
  2. Keep in touch with your network. The people throughout your life support you and increase your odds of having “luck” happen. It is amazing how many opportunities come from staying in touch. If there are people that you like and add value to your life. Keep in touch with them. Don’t let them get away.
  3. Listen to your inner voice. Things are going to pop in your head and you should act on them. When you inner self talks to you take notice. Listen to your gut. Not so much shiny objects, but every knows those times where our gut really is telling us something and we need to go with it and act on it. Don’t shy away from that. 
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