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Podcast: A True Process for Leading

Todd Dunsirn reflects on his journey building True Process, a medical software engineering company known for building a platform that integrates biomedical devices and captures clinical data. His most valuable lessons don’t touch on the technological aspects, but the human side of it all.

Show Highlights

In this episode, I visit with Todd Dunsirn who founded True Process, a medical software engineering company known for building a platform that integrates biomedical devices and captures clinical data. He sold the company to Baxter Healthcare in 2018.

Key Takeaways

  • Having a natural curiosity in other people opens you to new ideas and leads to life-changing opportunities. Those ideas can’t be forced and often arrive while doing something else.
  • Reflecting on your actions (what you say and do) is important as it impacts everyone in the company. 
  • Realizing everyone plays a vital role in a company. Listen to them, be humble, and empower them to do their thing (including making and learning from their mistakes).
  • Reinvesting in the company if possible. If you believe there is something bigger and better on the horizon, this helps ensure you have the resources to make it happen.
  • Understanding the financial state of your business at all times.
  • Building a company takes a toll on you, so take care of your physical and mental health.

Read the Transcript

0:00:58.0 Matthew Edwards: In today’s episode, I visit with Todd Dunsirn, an entrepreneur and founder of True Process, a medical software engineering company focused upon connected biomedical devices. Because of the growth, success, great products, services, and teams at True Process, the company eventually caught the attention of a potential buyer and Baxter Healthcare purchased True Process in 2018.

0:01:24.9 Matthew: So Todd, thank you for being here and taking the time to teach us about you and your journey. Welcome.

0:01:31.0 Todd: It’s great to be here.

0:01:32.9 Matthew: I’m interested, can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an entrepreneur business owner… Like, where have you come from, where are you right now and where do you think you’re heading? And I know some of that may be existential or philosophical but in general, where have you been and teach us.

0:01:51.8 Todd: Yes, so as far as an entrepreneurial setting and background, I grew up in that environment. My grandfather, when he came back from the war, he started his own tag and label business. And my father worked there with his brother. And they sold that, I think, in the ’90s sometime. And then my father and his uncle started another business in the materials converting space and they sold that business in 2001. So I grew up being surrounded by people who were working for themselves and working a lot, and putting in a lot of time. I remember my dad inventing machinery in his garage and just being fascinated by him building this printing press out of plywood and 2 x 4s, and metal rollers, and things like that.

0:02:42.2 Matthew: Wow.

0:02:44.0 Todd: So I was… And just having a mentor like that in your life, I was very fortunate to have that.

0:02:51.6 Matthew: That’s awesome. So were there explosions in your dad’s garage? Was it that kind of lab?

0:02:57.5 Todd: They were not… They weren’t… The only explosions were probably coming from him. [laughter]

0:03:03.7 Matthew Edwards: On to version 300.

0:03:05.5 Todd: Yes, when something didn’t go right. So that’s probably where that came from. So as far as where that brought me… So being like that. I guess I grew up thinking that I have to be an entrepreneur. It was one of those things… And I actually went to school for engineering. And when I think back about it, I really didn’t even give it much thought. I was just like, “Well, I’m gonna go to school for engineering.” ‘Cause my dad was an engineer. My grandfather was an engineer. So it was just one of those things where I just decided that’s what I was gonna do. And then after school, it was always just in my mind that I need to start a business or I need to do something, now. I segued into the IT space because growing up, I was also fortunate enough to have a father who supported my computer addiction, my video game addiction and all those things, and…

0:03:56.2 Matthew: Sure.

0:03:57.2 Todd: Playing with that stuff since the early ’80s up until today. I’m still curious and inquisitive, and always want to be learning the next new thing that’s out there. But as far as watching my dad do these things, going back to that, it also led to my… What I’m currently doing. And that’s working with my hands a lot right now. I recently… Well, in the last couple… The last year and a half, two years, I’ve set up a nice wood shop that I’ve been working on building furniture and kayaks, and… I’m restoring some old columns for my son’s house in Rochester, Minnesota, right now.

0:04:43.5 Matthew: Wow.

0:04:43.6 Todd: And it’s really… It’s just… After 15, 20 years of being in IT and working on things like that it’s… I’m finding it really enjoyable to be working with my hands and creating something that I can hold and see and other people appreciate it in a different way rather than… I mean, software’s great. I love it, but [chuckle]

0:05:03.1 Matthew: Sure.

0:05:03.2 Todd: There’s a different tangible feeling to something when you work on it for six to nine months and have it there.

0:05:11.0 Matthew: Right, agreed. That’s cool. So woodworking is currently where you’re spending your time?

0:05:17.6 Todd: Yes, so woodworking is one of them. I’m doing a lot of work… I spend a lot of time in Northern Wisconsin. So my wife and I bought some property up there that has a lot of forest and timber land, so I do a lot of work on that land. And… Whether, it’s driving a tractor and making trails or clearing trails, going foraging, hunting, gathering and all kinds of things, and just learning about the land too. And just doing some citizen science-type things about what’s on the land, what plants are on the land, what animals are on the land. Just a natural curiosity to just learn more.

0:05:58.7 Matthew: That’s awesome. So tell us then a little bit about… There’s one section of your journey here where you built this company and it took you amazing places. You learned a lot. And it’s led you to this place where… I don’t know if you may consider this a sabbatical, or if you’re in recovery, or you’ve just pivoted to new places in your life but tell us about the journey that led you to today where you’re doing woodworking and being a citizen forester and such.

0:06:38.6 Todd: Yes, so I think it’s that natural curiosity and meeting people, and talking to people, and learning their stories, like we’re doing now. I had several other smaller businesses, where it was essentially me or somebody else, up until about 2004. But prior to that, I had met somebody… My wife and I were out to dinner, and I struck up a conversation with somebody at a sushi restaurant here in Milwaukee, and we became friends. And after about a year and a half, this person called me with an opportunity. And then fast forward to 2004, that opportunity turned into what was the business that I had started, True Process. Having that desire to meet people and learn their stories and be open to new ideas led to something that changed my life incredibly.

0:07:34.9 Todd: Well, when we sold True Process in 2018, I told myself, I wasn’t gonna rush into anything or force a direction. And then when the pandemic hit, it made that urgency even less attractive, ’cause we’re all just kind of upside down and trying to figure things out. And I feel like successful business ideas and products come organically. They come through experiences. They come through meeting people. They come through dreaming. A lot of the ideas and things that I came up with at True Process and the product and just several strategies and things like that, they came to me when I was doing other things. When I was out for a run or walking or talking to somebody else about something.

0:08:24.6 Todd: It was never… It’s just something that’s never forced. So… I’ve… Starting a business to just start a business, to me, doesn’t feel right. There needs to be a spark, a passion that drives you. You wanna focus a lot of your energy into that endeavor and be enjoyable at the same time. So at this point… Believe it or not, I’m currently in the beginning stages of thinking about starting another small software product that’s gonna be very simple and focused on a niche need… At least a need that I have. Sometimes that’s how these things start. In the outdoor recreation space. And I’m kicking it around, I’m mocking it up, and I’m… I’ll put the pieces together and get something out there and see where it goes.

0:09:15.2 Matthew: So it makes sense then that there needs to be a spark, a passion, something that you discover or think of or see, or just something that gives you that motivation to say, “Hey, that may be something. Let me explore that.” And so this time that you’ve been spending since your last company True Process, which you built and eventually grew and mature and sold. And that led you to say, “Hey, that was fun. I’m gonna take a moment.” And then while you’ve been taking this moment, then I imagine if it’s similar to some of the other things you’ve talked about, you must be thinking of all kinds of amazing things, while you’re doing wood-working, or while you’re going to understand the land. You’re taking the time to think or discover, or to be encouraged or motivated…

0:10:09.4 Todd: Yes, it’s kind of… When you mentioned a sabbatical… It’s hard… I went to have an MRI on my shoulder, and the guy asked me what I do. And I didn’t really have a good answer for him, ’cause I don’t have instant feedback like, “Well, I’m a programmer.” Or I’m a this, and I’m a that. After I graduated from college… I got a job right away and started working like a lot of people, and just never took that time off. And I worked a lot. I tried to make things happen in the beginning years. And then when True Process started, it even got crazier and busier, and I ended up traveling a lot. And we had three little kids, we were just starting off. We had just bought an old house… And this was, all these crazy things going on.

0:10:57.4 Todd: And right now, I’m kind of enjoying just that downtime to kind of refresh… ‘Cause I… I feel like this… I’m about to turn 50, and I feel like this is that part. And this is that point in your life where you kinda look at where you are and what you wanna do, where you wanna go. And… Just… I know a lot of people who get to this point, and they’re like, “I just need a change. I just need to… ” ‘Cause it’s almost like a crossroads. It’s like I’m either gonna be doing this for the next 15 years or I’m gonna do something different. And it can be a scary decision. And I guess for me, thankfully, it was…

0:11:33.1 Todd: When we sold the company, that decision was kind of made. So I didn’t… It wasn’t a lot of thinking about it on my end. But right now I’m happy being home. My wife works at a great non-profit. I’m home, I’m more present. Granted, two of my kids are out of the house now, so I still have one… I still have one in high school, which I’m enjoying being around for him.

0:11:54.8 Matthew: That’s cool. So the True Process journey may be similar to other journeys, and so you can take this and dial it in to wherever you think makes the most sense. As a leader, did you find along that journey that… Well, what did you find along that journey in terms of as you were working to build the company, that meant you were working to build the people. What I have found through time is that working to build the people continues to show to me how many things I need to work on me. What types of things have you learned? How did you become a better leader because of your True Process journey?

0:12:33.3 Todd: Yes, a couple of things. So you’re exactly right, the company and True Process, and to say that… I wouldn’t even say I built True Process. I would say we built True Process. The people that were there…

0:12:49.4 Matthew: Sure.

0:12:49.8 Todd: And a lot of them were there for a long time. I think finding good people… Finding the people that you trust and empowering them and letting them do their thing. And my style is never… I’m not a yeller. I’m not a… I don’t get on people. I let people do their things and I let them make mistakes and I hope they learn from them, but I don’t lose my cool when it happens. And so I think that that is the… The biggest thing I learned along the way was to find good people and really, really listen. And not always… Not be the one talking all the time. Listen to what other people are saying.

0:13:35.3 Todd: And trying to be reflective of how your actions and the things you say and the things you do, how that impacts other people. ‘Cause another thing I learned is what you say and what you do, and even your body language when you’re working with people, it means a lot. I was always, I guess, somewhat humble, where I’ve thought, “Yes, I’m the CEO and I own the company and doing this and… ” But I didn’t feel like I was above or better, whatever you wanna say. I felt… And I always made a conscious effort too when I would talk to people. I hated the phrase, “So and so works for me.” Or these people work for me. I was always conscious to say, “I work with… ” Or “I’m on this team with these people.”

0:14:29.0 Matthew: Right on.

0:14:32.0 Todd: Just to make… ‘Cause it’s true. Everybody played a vital role in growing that company. So I guess listening and being humble and letting people do their things were some of the biggest things that I learned towards the end of that journey with True Process.

0:14:54.0 Matthew: It’s a journey. It’s just that simple. It’s a long journey.

0:15:00.6 Todd: Yes, and it’s like anything in life. I like to believe I was a better CEO towards the end of True Process than the beginning. And it’s even… I’ve been married for 25 years. I like to believe that I’m a better husband now than I was at the beginning too, just based on listening and self-recollection and acknowledging my strengths and weaknesses and faults and things like that. And that same thing applies to your professional career.

0:15:35.8 Matthew: Yes, agreed. Upon reflection then, can you think of times or moments or situations as a leader in your past where you think, “Jeez, I should have done that differently.” Or, I wish I had done that better. Or, it was a car accident. I’m sorry, I was driving the car and that just happened. Can you… Do you have some hot spots in your history where you reflect on like, “I’m putting a pin in that one because I can’t do it like that again.”

0:16:05.7 Todd: Yes, I think the biggest thing and it goes back to one of the most critical pieces… Or the most critical components of any business are the people. So I think the thing, if I could go back and when I think about some of the most challenging situations… I can’t think back. Nothing pops into my mind like, “Oh my God, if we would have just configured that differently, it would have all been better.” No, it was all based on, “Wow, if we would have had somebody else… ” Or if we wouldn’t have put with that behavior, we would have gotten further. Things would have been different. Things would have been better. I think just not tolerating certain behaviors and attitudes in certain people.

0:16:52.0 Todd: And towards the end of True Process. I have to say it was great. It was a great team and great people, and it didn’t have a lot of… But through the years, there were these challenges and those were the things that I remember where I’m like, “Wow, why are we putting up with this? This is continuously happening.” Or, “This individual is bringing this attitude or this behavior to the product or the company or the customers.”

0:17:20.9 Todd: I’m all for giving people a chance and helping to learn. But sometimes it’s just not gonna work. And I think sometimes, you know deep down right away it’s not gonna work, but I think we just… We let it go, we let it go, we let it go to a point where we have to do something because it’s not working. When looking back, I think I would do it honestly and fairly and amicably and just… This isn’t the right fit.

0:17:52.2 Matthew: So in those examples or that example you’re suggesting then you think you may have acted more quickly than you actually did at the time?

0:17:58.9 Todd: Yes. And we changed the method in which we hire over the… Over years. And it was a learning experience for us and how to assess getting the right people, getting the right people on the team. And towards the end, I think we had a really good way of doing that. And it’s hard. There was a period when we were growing really fast and it was just, “We just need to get somebody in here.” And that was not the right approach because we ended up getting a lot of people that I don’t think fit the culture or fit the mission or just the chemistry wasn’t right. And towards the end, the chemistry was really good.

0:18:43.0 Matthew: So then also you’re saying, “Hey, you’re feeling the sense of urgency, but still take a breath, take a few steps and make sure you’re making the right decision for the long run, not what looks like the right decision to stop the pain today.”

0:19:00.6 Todd: Yes, and making those… And when you need to make those decisions, the other thing, if I could go back would be to make decisions of change quicker, ’cause anybody that’s run a company, you know that takes a lot of energy out of you when you are dealing with those situations and you have to think about it. You’re generally caring about people, it is a personal thing when you have to talk to somebody about these things, but the longer you let it go, the worse it is for everybody. You’re better off to rip the band-aid off right away and get it over with and move on and focus on what you need to do.

0:19:34.9 Matthew: So then as it relates to some of the things you were doing at True Process, technology-driven, technology-oriented, I presume then, or I read into that, that data played a big role in the value proposition of the product itself. Is that accurate?

0:19:52.9 Todd: That’s exactly spot on. So the company started off, we had a consulting service side of the business where we did a lot of… We provide the strategy and execution for the roll out of these connected medical devices and systems for companies, and probably around halfway through the life of the company, we got the itch to get back into engineering and creating something. And I really believe that having a product was gonna transform the company and then provide a little bit more value to the company and satisfy even that just that engineering creativity need that we had. So the platform that we built was essentially a data collection platform that could aggregate all types of different medical devices data into a single space so that you could run analytics on it, do reporting on it, use it for research. The medical device field, it’s still very chopped up and disparate and there’s… Things just don’t communicate the way you think they do, maybe amongst a certain manufacturer, they do, but if you have five different manufacturers in a critical care setting, aside from maybe a few things, there’s very little feedback and data flying back and forth between these systems.

0:21:27.9 Todd: Some of these patient monitors that hospitals have are incredibly old. You’re generating data from serial ports, which we actually built things to collect from, and you’re basically taking it in like a… It’s like a fire hose, you just capture it all, we throw it in our database. But we also had IP-connected devices that we would connect you to, so we’d have to connect to these things and then aggregate that data.

0:21:55.5 Matthew: So large data stores?

0:21:58.8 Todd: Incredibly large and high frequency, too. This patient monitors were coming in at 500 readings a second, so we’re…

0:22:07.0 Matthew: It’s a high transaction type everything.

0:22:08.2 Todd: Yes, high transaction.

0:22:11.0 Matthew: So with that being medical too, then obviously that’s a highly regulated field in terms of privacy and security and so forth, did you have times when you were understandably and happily proactive about things, and did you find regulations changing out from under you? I mean, what role or what active participation did you guys take in saying, “Hey, data privacy, data security, this is a thing, and we’re going to go crazy making sure that it’s a thing.” What was your posture, your position? How did you manage all that? That’s a lot of data, by the way.

0:22:46.5 Todd: Yes, it’s a lot of data and fortunately for some of these devices there… The one thing you might have is a patient ID that sometimes that’s put into a device and that’s what correlates the patient with the data. We were able to anonymize that and strip that out, and we could line up the data so that they had a non-identifying tie to… If you had four devices, we could tie those together for this patient and it would essentially just be patient one or patient two. It didn’t really matter, so it wasn’t too complicated to do that but as far as the security and regulatory and those things, we did… We had a nice little certified development shop, which we invested a lot of time and money into, the product itself was filed with the FDA as a regulated medical device, and there’s different levels and things with all of that.

0:23:53.3 Todd: There’s certain classifications and we were on one of the lower ones with what we were doing. And a lot of it is how you define what the product is doing too with respect to how it needs to be classified and where that data is being used and what other systems that may be feeding. But it is a barrier entry to, I guess other startups or… ‘Cause we were essentially, I call it a bootstrapped company. We didn’t have any investors or big investors behind us and we built this platform from the ground up, so it’s quite… The time to do it, the time to put into a quality system, the time to put into regulatory filings and having the people that understand that on staff, and then the time to actually file those things and wait, it’s hard to… For a small company like we were to launch a product like that into the healthcare medical marketing.

0:24:55.3 Matthew: Did you find, through your experience, the regulations, the barrier to entry, however we categorize or characterize the idea, did you find that the extra hoops or the extra work you needed to do to conform with or be able to be attested against the regulatory compliance, the expectations, did you find that that added a definable amount of overhead or extra cost or complexity to your general operation, or was it something you just embedded and aid and it was an assumption? How did you manage that?

0:25:30.8 Todd: It was kind of built into the company, we knew what the costs were and we knew what we paid for to do that work. In our planning, you just know that this cost is going to exist and it’s going to be there.

0:25:48.6 Matthew: Yes, that makes sense. So you baked it in?

0:25:50.6 Todd: Yes.

0:25:51.8 Matthew: Part of your DNA?

0:25:54.5 Todd: Yes, and the team did a really good job too. Our quality system was pretty straightforward, pretty agile. We could get things done fast, but within… But also doing it the right way. A lot of our customers that we worked for were in these large Fortune 500 companies, and we were able to operate much quicker than them with regards to those types of things.

0:26:18.9 Matthew: So, I’ll repeat back to you, you correct me if I’ve mis-stated things or misunderstood. It sounds like what you said was the work that you did as a company, True Process, as a team of people, and the product and the output, the deliverable, if you will, boot-strapped. You had a lot of your own professional experiences that gave you the expertise to walk in, but to some extent, given the barrier to entry, the regulatory side of things, the fact that it’s medical devices and to your point, it’s a desperate ecosystem and in an emergency room or in a hospital, in terms of multiple manufacturers, classes of devices, they do or do not have interoperability, they may or may not be sharing same decade technology in some cases, those so many amazing complexities. What advice would you give to yourself, if there was another person out there is thinking, “I can do the next gen. I’m in. I wanna go do this.” How would you have coached you, but what would you say to the next version of you who then wants to walk in and make a difference?

0:27:30.3 Todd: Into going through the same… Going into the same field, same journey, what would I say? It’s a difficult one ’cause I’ve asked myself, “Would I wanna go back into that field?” And right after I was out of it, I was like, “No way, I’m not going… I’m never going back there. It’d be crazy to do that. I wanna do something fun.” That’s where you can crank out software and revisions and not have all that overhead and I guess I wouldn’t do anything differently than what we did. We were very fortunate to build the product by re-investing in the company, so if that’s one bit of advice I’d give to somebody else, I would say that was it. When the company was rolling up until we started the software and it was going well too, but we had some great, very profitable company moving forward, but a lot of the money was put back into the company, and back into developing a quality system and into getting our ISO certification, into developing the product a lot.

0:28:41.8 Todd: All that money was pumped basically back into the business now. I could have taken that out and distributed amongst everybody, but we kept it in the company for a reason and that’s ’cause I think we knew there was something bigger and better on the horizon. So that I think that was a good move and just live within your means and realize that you have a company that’s what’s providing and that’s what’s making things happen, so don’t bleed it dry, keep money in the company.

0:29:18.3 Matthew: Sure, that makes sense. In such a short conversation, I’m of course positive that you’ve glossed over so many amazing growth details that you had along the journey that may make you smile or cry dependent upon how deep you have to go to think through them and… So I know you’ve talked about the high points and some of the interesting things to me are that, it sounds like the most important thing that you did was figure out how to take care of people.

0:29:47.7 Todd: Yes, take care of people. One of the key components was having, and I guess this is along the lines of having good people, but having a good financial understanding of where you’re at in a business, and I was very, very fortunate I got to work with my brother for many years. He was our financial controller and CFO, and really kept the company organized from invoicing and tax standpoint and our interactions with the banks, just all those things, all of our healthcare. Just everything was very well done, and I’ve talked to other people. I’ve seen other people who sometimes in smaller companies, that’s kind of neglected or not paid attention to as well as it should be, but from the beginning, one of the first people that I hired was my brother. And not just ’cause he was my brother, but because I knew. I knew when he came in and helped me get organized when I started it and I saw what he could do, I was like, “I got hire him. I have to have him here,” ’cause number one I hate doing that kind of stuff, and number two, I’m bad at it, so that’s a recipe for disaster.

0:31:08.1 Todd: So being able to understand where you’re at, have somebody watching the numbers and managing the books and doing all that work, allowed me to go out and do things I like to do, facilitate the growth of the company rather than spending 15 hours a week trying to figure out how to do invoices.

0:31:28.3 Matthew: Sure. Well, that’s good. I’m assuming then that you had a great relationship with your brother, and that’s how you guys ended up working together, so that’s pretty cool you did get to work together.

0:31:39.5 Todd: Yes, we did.

0:31:41.9 Matthew: That’s awesome.

0:31:44.1 Todd: Yes, and great relationship, and he’s moved on. He’s moved on to even some great opportunities now, and it was a really nice experience ’cause he was actually my younger brother who I moved… I was the oldest, so there was about eight years separating us, so when I was in those crazy teenage older years, he was a little bit younger and I missed a little bit of his life when I went to college. So to join back up with him and work with him for so many years was really rewarding.

0:32:16.1 Matthew: That’s awesome, that’s awesome. So as an entrepreneur, that is your journey, that is, if it makes sense, that is your craft or one of your crafts, something that you pursue is… It’s not just “I am an entrepreneur, but there’s a series of things that I think about and study and do and explore and test and grow,” and that’s the act of, or the acts of that idea. What types of things do you do that… Do you believe contributes to you becoming more or you becoming a better entrepreneur, a better leader, prepares you for whatever the next chapter is. Where do you spend your time to become more, on what?

0:33:04.8 Todd: Yes, I think the one thing that kinda changed in my journey was just taking care of myself. Early on, I really didn’t. I wasn’t… I mean, I was an active kid and I was active in high school and then college and starting to work, and I didn’t prioritize that as an important part of my life. I remember when I started traveling a lot, that started to take quite a toll on my body, just being on the road five days a week, four days a week, and then five and then three and then four, and flying all over the country for years and years and years just took a toll on me. And I felt like my energy was going down, I felt I just wasn’t mentally acute as I should be, and I just made this decision one day, that I’m gonna change this and take care of myself and basically get in shape. Not physically, but even just mentally, and that was…

0:34:08.2 Todd: And that’s the one thing that has stuck with me even to this day, where it’s one of the things that I make the time for, and even when I don’t wanna do it, I do it, and I force myself to do it, just because I know, I know that’s what’s going to make me happier, give me more energy and keep me engaged. And the second thing I would say is, and this has been really hard during the pandemic, but getting out there and talking to people and meeting them, for instance, having a conversation with you, then the first time we talked was really… Was great, and I really enjoyed it, because I generally have this interest in meeting new people and hearing their stories, and no matter really who they are or what they’re doing, I find people’s individual journeys and stories interesting. And just learning from them and trying to just educate myself on the world around me, and also just to keep myself in check. I feel like that’s a big part of the journey, is to be self-aware of where I came from and the opportunities I had, and how fortunate I was to have the upbringing I did and the people around me, and being thankful of that, and just going through life now, looking for opportunities to pay that back or pay it forward, and if somebody wants to talk… I remember… When you start off in your late 20s and you’re trying to start a business, it’s amazing the amount of doors that just get shut in your face.

0:35:58.7 Matthew: Yes, maybe rightfully so, ’cause you don’t know what you’re doing. [laughter]

0:36:03.2 Todd: But I’m not that kind of person now. I’m busy and I’m in a different phase of my life, but I think it’s important to make time for people and to help people out with advice, and just give them a little bit of your time to make an introduction, whatever it is, just to… ‘Cause I was really fortunate to have that shot and to have that opportunity, and I’m hoping someday that I can continue to do that for other people.

0:36:39.2 Matthew Edwards: Right on, that’s awesome. So you’ve offered up some great lessons that you have found along your journey as an entrepreneur, as a leader in particular, that other people can learn from. Do you have any parting thoughts for us?

0:36:56.1 Todd: I think it’s kind of just pulling everything together and amplifying the… As a business owner, as an entrepreneur, as a CEO, whatever it is, and it doesn’t even apply just to those people, but to stay curious and stay kind, and just understand that everybody’s coming from a different background and people have different experiences in their day-to-day lives, and just try to be understanding and empathetic towards that. I think when you take that approach, it lowers your stress level and it lets you see the world, it lets you see your business, it lets you see the challenges a little bit more clearly, and removes those stressful things that happen every day that probably don’t need to be as stressful as you perceive them to be at that day.

0:37:52.5 Matthew: That’s good, that circles back to keeping yourself in check includes meeting new people, hearing about their stories, and that gives you context for whatever lenses you’re looking through at the time. That’s a good call out. You’ve had a fun journey, and now you’re thinking about something new, now obviously we’re not gonna ask you to share all the details and all that type of thing, but it’ll be exciting to watch and learn what sparks your interest and what’s next for you.

0:38:23.8 Todd: Yes, I actually, I’m on the board of a non-profit recreation ski area up in Northern Wisconsin, Minocqua Winter Park, and I’m on a committee and we’re working on some things and we’re trying to organize some information and data and things that relate to the park. And it’s exciting because there’s very little pressure doing it now as back when I first started. When I first went into business for myself, I’ll never forget, my wife and I were expecting our first child, and we just bought a house. We were living in an apartment in Milwaukee and we bought a house. And I had a job at some electronics company out in the west side of the city, and I came home and I said, “I think I’m gonna… I think I’m gonna quit my job and start a business.” And my wife looked at me and was like, “Yes, we’ll be fine.” Which is… And she’s always been there for me, always been the greatest supporter of any crazy idea that we’ve ever had together or I’ve ever had. So it’s different doing it now where… I’m fortunate to be able to do this and set it up and not have it be the thing we’re relying to buy diapers with, or better, buy food.

0:39:44.3 Matthew: Right, right. Well, that’s outstanding. Todd, thank you for taking the time to talk with us today, to teach us about your journey, to share some of your insights, and some of the learning things that I take away from this is, take care of the people on the team, stay humble, stay self-aware, take care of yourself. Those are some of the highlights for me, is that I know that I can directly apply to my own journey even this afternoon.

0:40:12.2 Todd: This was great, I really enjoyed it.