46: Entrepreneur and President of Brooks Stevens-Mike Roberts

Mike Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently the President at Brooks Stevens which is a product development company.

Mike has had an entrepreneurial spirit since the beginning, went to school for engineering but never planned to actually put that into practice as such, he wanted work on the sales side – but he really wanted that technical background which is why he did not go down the business degree route.

Expertise – design automation has been the general theme of his 30 year career path and has made several moves along the way, you have to be sensitive to industry changes and changes in the world to make sure you are doing the right things for yourself and family. Managing relationships and expectations are key for success.

Really fired up about new product initiatives, innovation and development and the impact of technology in products with the billions of devices connected.

At the age of around 20, he learned how to program programmable logic controllers (PLC) and became the subject matter expert for the sales organization.

High school came very easy to Mike, did not have to study very much to get very good grades, but college was not an extension of high school – was a lot more work.

For attributes – he is interested in how someone solves a problem and to have very good communication skills. If you can’t articulate a message you will not reach your peak performance.

Best piece of advice is to put the needs of others first, they get taken careo of and you get taken care of as by product. He recommends getting up and getting to work early as that is when the brain is at its freshest and you really need to have a life-long mission of learning. You never graduate from the school of hard knocks.

Linked is his favorite web site and the book he recommends is Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why. Start with why and then work backwards to the how.

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