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Impact President Advises Rising Generation of Entrepreneurs

Impact President Dan Meyer served as the UW Parkside Executive in Residence this week, offering entrepreneurial wisdom to a rising generation of future professionals. Meyer attended a breakfast Q&A with a select group of Parkside students before giving two back-to-back presentations to audiences of business students.

Dan Meyer has over three decades of experience in the field of office technology and an entrepreneurial spirit that led him to help establish the largest independent office technology dealer based in Chicagoland. The presentations he offered to students were both candid and timely, and he made sure to discuss the work ethic, skills and positive attitude that is required to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Meyer offered powerful and actionable advice to students that are preparing to enter an increasingly competitive workforce. “It is important to do what you love. I fully support that,” said Meyer to his student audiences, “but it is equally important to understand that it’s hard to love something in the beginning, when you aren’t yet competent in your field. I remember the frustration I faced in my first year as a salesperson, but I refused to quit. As I worked to develop my skills and keep a positive attitude, I became competent and really started to love my job.”

His perseverance and positive attitude has resulted in incredible success for Dan and his business partners. After helping manage other startups, Meyer and his business partner were eager to establish Impact based on the knowledge they had gained from over a decade in the industry.

From the very beginning, they knew that culture needed to be the anchor of their operation: “In the field of professional services, culture is everything. If you’ve ever gotten bad service, it’s probably because the people who performed it simply didn’t like their jobs. We take care of our employees, they take care of our customers, and everyone is happy as a result.” He then advised students to carefully research and evaluate company culture before applying to any particular company.

At the core of his presentations was the theme of success and what it takes to be successful in business and in life. “Success rarely happens in a straight upward line,” said Dan. “There are a lot of bumps on the way.” Most importantly, his parting advice to this rising generation of professionals was an assurance that success is most rewarding when it is shared: “Develop leaders. Get them up the ladder. And finally, be compassionate. You cannot be effective if you are not compassionate.”