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Nick Timmons

Nick Timmons

Personify Inc

Sales Executive

Personal Information

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School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Major: MS in Technology Management

Career Information

Company You Work For Now: Personify Inc

Title: Sales Executive

Industry: Software

Brief Description of Duties / Responsibilities

My considerable responsibility is to drive adoption and revenue for the products that define the company. My challenge is to be just as pioneering on the customer facing side of the business, as the engineering team is with our game-changing technology.

What Has Been Your Proudest Accomplishment Post-CWP?

There is no truer indication of leadership and performance than the esteem of one's peers. Being elected to represent my Master's cohort during Graduation as Valedictorian, during a moment of massive shared accomplishment, was a great honor. I was one of two Americans in my Program. Out of 50 world class engineers with a business bent from all over the world: I was the best. Not just because of some numbers on a piece of paper, but because my classmates themselves said so. It was very humbling, but massively emboldening as well.

CWP Career Impact

In one sentence, what has CWP meant to you?

Ok, this isn't one sentence. Because the sentence requires explanation. CWP ruined me. That's exactly what Spencer Pepe told us recruits the first day of our Branch Operator training. He told us that those of us who were successful, would have the rest of their lives ruined. We would never look at business the same way other people do. Successfully undergoing our first entrepreneurial experience would irrevocably and inexorably change us as business people. Steve Jobs said, When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you're life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again. That's exactly what Spencer was getting at that day. Yes, thanks to my extremely successful experience with CWP, I have never been the same since.

How did your CWP experience impact your career? Immediately after graduation? Now?

CWP gave me the confidence to take risks, to step off the ledge, to be one of those people that doesn't talk about doing things, but rather is one of those who just DOES. I realized that I could manage a diverse set of people, customer expectations, complex projects, project costs...and manage them all profitably. I morphed my natural leadership skills to a business paradigm. And that has been massively helpful throughout every phase of my career to date.

What do you want to tell your clients about what it meant to work with them and how it has helped you get to where you are today?

Tom Johnson. It was an enormous house in the Frank Lloyd Wright district of Oak Park. It was a huge project, and took weeks. But Tom taught me something about how to manage projects: let people do their jobs. He was, more than any other clients in the area, cool with letting me and my crews get on with our business, and not micromanage. And the end result was a stunning paintjob that landed in magazines.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your CWP experience?

That I had the special skillset required to be able to run my own business.

How has the friendships and networks you built during CWP affected you?

It's been nothing but positive.

If you had to come up with an one line slogan for CWP, what would it be? :)

The perfect playground for entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow.

Advice

What advice do you have for potential CWP participants? Current CWP participants?

Be mentally tough. I've been through a lot, but perhaps nothing professionally was as hard as those first few weeks of summer production. It requires total organization, leadership, and the type of broad skill set required of successful entrepreneurs. You gotta be willing to bring it, to truly commit and overcome the obstacles that at first seem insurmountable, else your business will fail.

What's your best advice for someone interested in entering your career field?

Do it. You will never make it in early stage technology companies (and thus be a part of tech before it scales and goes mainstream) without transformative experiences like CWP.

What's your favorite memory from CWP?

In our first team meeting at our DM's frathouse, after Operator recruiting, we went around the room and announced our goals. Every single person said they wanted to do 60k, which was the threshold to get an invitation to Cancun. To me, that wasn't enough. I wanted to strive for the best. I heard that 100k in Illinois had never been done, though I think that Taylor Duncan might have hit the mark in his BO year. So that was what I said, 100k. There was some nervous laughter from the GM and VP, but damn it I didn't go out and sell 110k worth of work, producing 101k. My favorite memory is thus setting outrageous stretch goals, and hitting them.

Last words of wisdom

"Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. If you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away" -Stephen Hawking

Nick Timmons