Tyler King is the CEO of Assuras, Inc. He has a background in tech startups and is passionate about creating success for companies. Tyler started off his career as a high school dropout to run his IT services firm when it hit $1M. Since then, he has created and advised multiple successful ventures. Today he runs the global consulting agency Assuras.
What made you decide you wanted to move into the consulting space from your technology background?
Well, technology is all about creating a product or service that solves a challenge. We think of technology as electronics gadgets which must be complex. However technology is really anything that helps a human succeed in performing a task better. In a way, I’ve never really moved out of the tech space – I’ve become an inventor in technology methodologies. It was an easy transition. Instead of addressing challenges with computer or hardware/software, people and processes became front and center. Really that has been what we have been serving all along, these individuals, making them better. I enjoyed solving issues and reducing complexity, so it was a natural move as I wanted to have a larger impact on organizations as a whole.
How did it feel to win the 40 under 40 award?
To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of publicly showing off my accolades. Even with all my degrees and certificates, I have never walked the stage during a graduation. It of course feels good to be recognized for your hard work, but that’s not personally why I do what I do. The sense of achievement is my own – something that I do for intrinsic reasons. I push myself to be my very best because I know I have only one life. And I want to live it to the best of my ability. I apperceive the public recognition, of course it feels great to have pride in your accomplishments, but I’d be nothing without all the incredible people I work with. A leader is doing his or her best when others don’t even notice him there. And I have to give most of the credit where it is really due and that is the fine employees and clients of Assuras.
What other major accomplishments have you had that aren’t quite public knowledge?
I enjoy doing things which overcome difficulty – I live for the challenge. Most people probably don’t realize that I have my pilots license to fly helicopters and I do so on the regular. I enjoy flying. Well helicopters that is – airplane are too easy, they are designed to want to fly. But a helicopter is different, they are dynamically unstable machines that require a constant input to keep airborne. It’s like standing on a basketball. You have to keep making slight changes to stay balanced. But with a helicopter it’s even harder – you have to use both feel, both hands and arms, fingers, and operate a number of devices all at once. On top of all that is going on in the cockpit, you must also pay attention to what is happening outside. It is the one thing which keeps my focus 100% – requiring dedication as a whole person. So I use it as my form of meditation. It clears my mind. And it feels good when you can do something so challenging successfully.
What factor do you believe contributed most to your success in your opinion?
Most people in any position of authority might say experience. For me, I sat this doesn’t go deep enough. Failure is what has contributed most to my success. I consider myself an expert at failing. It’s important to fail, because that is how we learn what works and doesn’t work. It also means you are likely trying something new. Both of these concepts tie in to innovation and experimentation. And isn’t that what running a successful company is all about. When I am invited to speak for audiences, I always like to cover the idea that entrepreneurship is about stay in an experimental stage. You must always keep trying new things on a small scale, implementing what works and rejecting what doesn’t. Without this, you would become stagnate and we all know that means going backwards because the world is always moving forward. So learning how to fail good is an important aspect to success – if not the most important aspect. I’ve learned how to fail well and learned how to get back up after I have fallen. Failing also helps you overcome any fears of trying by going through it. Going through the process of failing is the most important aspect of success.
Is there any piece of advice you might share with someone who wanted follow in your professional footsteps? What might that be?
Sure. Always consider value. Business is about creating value. Look for opportunities and solve problems whenever you can. Don’t focus too much on a single idea, always keep coming up with new ones. Humanity has thought about a lot collectively, and more than likely there aren’t many original ideas. What is important is to be the one to implement it. Think though the value you are offering, create it, and then sell it. It always comes back to value. Focus on that. And just do something. Don’t just sit on an idea and never do something with it. Make it happen. The right time is now.
How do you best handle work/life balance?
I find time to do what I want to do and I spend the majority of my time doing what I have to do. The important thing is to take care of yourself and your family. There will always be needs unmet. But make time for what is important – there is never anything more important than your health. Remember to put your own oxygen mask on before helping someone else. You are no good to anyone if you pass out (or worse).
And final question, I know your time is valuable, what do you believe is the most important part of your role as a chief executive as it pertains to the success of your company?
Running a company is always going to have many moving elements. But the most important part of an organization is it’s people. And the most important part of being a leader in an organization is bring people together in a way that unites them to a common goal that is clear. Too many executives will establish ambiguous goals and leave the team members to steer itself. When is the last time you saw a car set in motion with multiple steering wheels make it anywhere? One direction. The chief executive’s role is to set the direction and bring people together on that journey. And that is the single most important role in my position.