Tim Freischmidt, vice president, Beacon Athletics

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Tim Freischmidt, vice president, Beacon Athletics.
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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

Identifying opportunities for improvement and working through them is both the most challenging and most rewarding aspect of my role. This can apply to business relationships, internal processes, and to individuals.

It is not always easy to look at something that has been done a certain way or for any period of time and say that it needs to change, but for a business or an individual to grow it is necessary to do so. Working through that process and seeing the results on the other side, in business success and personal growth, is the most rewarding thing for me as a professional.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

I have worked with many great leaders over the years, both directly and indirectly, who have molded who I am as a business person and as a leader.  Each of these leaders has had impacts in different areas of my development, from how I treat and develop others to sales and business development strategies to operational tactics and even to how to balance work and family.

A publicly known leader who I really admire is Jocko Willink. The concepts that Jocko teaches in his books, especially in “Extreme Ownership,” really resonate with me and my belief in taking control of what you can and owning the outcome no matter what variants get thrown at you along the way.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

The high point for me has been watching individuals who I have worked closely with as contributors and leaders achieve the success that they were after. Whether it be achieving a sales goal, completing a major project that really stretched them, or being promoted into a role they had been after, I have a strong sense of accomplishment when one of these milestones is achieved. I learned very early in my career that if you focus on developing those around you to achieve great things, you will do the same.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Be patient! I set financial and title goals for myself when I was young that were not necessarily realistic or aligned with my long-term goals. I was lucky to realize this early enough in my career that I could reset my goals a bit, continue to push myself to get better, and never settle for being “just good enough” while still not expecting to achieve everything I want in my career in a year.

What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

The people and the work culture. I have traveled all over the country in various roles and one of the things that I notice in Dane County and the surrounding area is a great blend of hard work with compassion and care for others. You see different mixes of this culturally in various areas of the country, but I would take the general blend of this in Dane county over anywhere else I’ve been.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I do a good amount of work on vehicles. While I am definitely not a car enthusiast, and anyone who really gets into cars would talk circles around me, I grew up in an environment in which you tried to figure out how to fix things on your own before you took it to someone else. That mindset has allowed me to figure out how to do simple things like oil and lights to slightly more challenging tasks like brakes and rotors. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out something new, whether it be around the house or on a vehicle.

What are your guilty pleasures?

Warm, fresh bread! Some may think I’m crazy but if you put a fresh loaf of bread and any sweets in front of me, I’d take the bread every time. It might be the lesser of the two evils but still one that needs to be regulated.

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