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Rising Stars: Meet Kyle Danner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyle Danner.

Hi Kyle, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I began working in my family’s business when I was four years old. My dad was a serial entrepreneur. When I came along, the family business was a courier service. I would sit next to my dad in his truck as we made pick-ups and deliveries.

I joined the family business full-time after college. By then, it was a small print shop my brother and sister owned. Together we grew it to be the fifth largest printing company in Kansas City, MO. We grew it from a couple of million in revenue and a dozen employees to over $18million in revenue and 70 employees. Along the way, I became an owner.

In 2010, I decided it was time for a change. I sold my interests and left the family business after 17 years. For my next chapter, I wanted to spend my day helping people, so I returned to schooled and pursued a Master’s in Counseling. However, after receiving my degree, I realized I missed working on big business problems. Changing focus, I combined my experience working, growing, owning a business with my family, my training as a counselor, and certification as an exit planning advisor (CEPA) from the Exit Planning Institute and went to work helping family businesses with succession planning.

Along the way, I discovered that family businesses and their leadership teams need more. They need a simple, practical way to run their companies. That’s why I became a Professional EOS Implementer®. EOS®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, provides a structure and process to help business owners and their leadership teams clarify, simplify, and achieve their vision for the business.

Since then, my business has grown to include non-family businesses and businesses wanting to grow rather than exit.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I started my consulting practice after graduate school as a family business advisor. No one knew what that was. And honestly, describing it was difficult. I knew from my experience and others family businesses often struggle with family dynamics, Yet they were issues families were reluctant to deal with.

Furthermore, business owners weren’t really thinking about succession planning. It was one of those things they knew they had to do, but it never felt urgent.

It was a bit of a double whammy by entering the market with a needed service, but one people wanted to avoid and didn’t feel it was important.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I have three roles as a Professional EOS Implementer: I teach, facilitate, and coach. I teach a complete, proven system of simple, tools designed to get more of the right work done.

I facilitate the various answers and insights among leadership team members into a common answer. I believe that 90% of the wisdom needed to solve the most pressing business problems sits with the team members. My job is to help them discover that.

I coach owners and their teams to be their best. As a third party, I have a perspective they may not see. It’s also my job to hold them accountable.

Of those three roles, my superpower is facilitation. I love creating an environment where a team of committed leaders discover the solution and solve their issues. They almost always have the answers. My job is to create the space for that to happen.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Create clarity around your product or service and show a clear path to success. In the beginning, prospects and clients need to see the path forward. If they can’t, they won’t buy.

Don’t go it alone. Have a community of people around you who get what you’re trying to do. And I mean professional peers, not friends or family. Your loved one’s support is essential, but they may not “get” the entrepreneurial\business owner mindset.

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Image Credits
The action shots are courtesy of the Mid America LGBT Chamber of Commerce

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