Dan Paulson

Dan Paulson found his niche in business in a roundabout way. But the journey has paid off, as the Madison native used the path to compile knowledge for his own firm that helps companies gain results.

Growing up on a dairy farm near Barneveld, Wis., Paulson (39) attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville pursuing a degree in engineering. But it was business that ultimately captured his attention "because I enjoyed the
concepts of business and working with people." Eventually, he earned a degree in Business Administration.

After college, he worked at Menards for several years developing the hardware department at the Madison West store, and then became operations manager at Michael's Frozen Custard. When he joined Lands' End in 2001 as a supervisor in the Business Outfitters group, he realized he had a talent for "solving problems and growing companies."

"While I was there, I began to figure that I had a knack for developing strong leadership teams," he said. "And throughout my career, I also saw the breakdowns that occurred in business. The challenges often included companies developing a strategic plan but failing to implement or communicate it to the staff, (and) leadership that struggled with getting the best out of their people."

In 2005, Paulson launched InVision Business Development in Dodgeville. The firm helps clients identify the traits successful firms use to achieve continued growth. He believes that some of his clients achieved double-digit growth.

Paulson earned his certification as a business coach in 2007. In addition, he's collaborating on two business books due out this spring. He's also writing a book of his own on business strategy, branding, and execution with a working title of Apples to Apples.