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Rock climbing is as much about the climb itself as it is about reaching the top. That same perspective has guided Kathy David on her 7,000- mile journey from U.S. immigrant to successful technology entrepreneur. David, an indoor rock-climbing enthusiast, and her husband, Jeff , founded Escondido, Calif.-based IT TechPros 10 years ago to provide computing, networking and application support to smaller businesses – Some of them multimillion-dollar enterprises – In the manufacturing, construction and engineering industries. The firm serves mostly Southern California companies as well as clients in Nevada, Oregon and Tennessee.
But as entrepreneurs and rock climbers both know, the ascent to the top is rarely as straightforward as it appears.
David, who immigrated to San Francisco from the Philippines when she was 11, found the transition to a new country difficult.
A year after arriving, she was working in a local flower shop. By then, she had taught herself computer commands using an Apple computer gifted by her aunt and uncle, both successful entrepreneurs. At 14, David was busing tables at a Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant when she wasn’t studying in computer labs or taking vocational computer classes.
Ultimately, challenges at home proved too much. She left San Francisco at 16 with only $60 in her pocket and a one-way plane ticket to San Diego.
David settled in northern San Diego County where she attended Palomar College and waited tables part-time. Two regular restaurant patrons – Both Wells Fargo branch managers – Saw in her a future banker. Armed only with unbridled confidence and an appetite for something better, she embarked on what would become a career in banking lasting 9 1/2 years.
“I’ve been fortunate in that people have given me opportunities,” said David, who had the first of two daughters at age 19. “I think they sense that I believe in my own convictions.”
After climbing her way from personal banking officer to branch manager, David left Wells Fargo in 2006 to venture out on her own. An off -hand suggestion by her husband sparked the perfect solution: Combine his expertise in network management and engineering, computing hardware and information security with David’s management, business development, customer service, financial and marketing experience.
At the couple’s home, IT TechPros quickly outgrew a spare room then the garage. In 2007, they hired their first employee and leased office space. Just as David completed a management development program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the Great Recession hit.
“We lost half of our client base, mostly mortgage and real estate companies,” David said. “When we, like other small businesses, lost our bank lines of credit, it was creative funding sources, such as the SBA, and our contract-based business model that kept us afloat.”
TO THE SUMMIT
“Our vision is to remain focused on small businesses while expanding into IT project management,” she said. “Eighty percent of smaller companies haven’t migrated to the cloud and other hosted services, which is why they’re an important segment. Larger companies are early adopters but need outside project managers, like us, to help take new technology enterprise-wide.”
Applying lessons she learned from Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program, David has set a five-year, $10 million revenue target to establish dedicated lines of business to support small businesses and corporate clients. Her immediate objective is to move IT TechPros beyond a Tier 2 supplier and become a prime contractor.
The connection between David’s passion for business . She is a contributing author to two entrepreneurial leadership books — her affinity for rock climbing becomes clear.
“What I’ve learned about success is the importance of consistency, determination and enjoying what you do,” said David. “To be successful, you have to be consistent with being good at what you do, and then doing that one thing with 100 percent determination every single time.”
“The Ultimate Success Guide”
Success is a condition based on the outcome of your movement from your point of origin to your chosen finishing line. This obviously varies by individual and situation.
In business, success is commonly measured in goal achievement, dollars and/or recognition. As a guide, it is always useful to look at philosophies that successful leaders propose to move you towards your goal of success.
Celebrity Experts® who have achieved success discuss their accomplishments. Featured among them are Kathy David and Brian Tracy, along with nearly 50 other leading experts from around the world.