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The Dean's Executive Speaker Series

Tim Mitrovich
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer
Ten Capital

Tim Mitrovich

Tim Mitrovich is chief executive officer and chief investment officer for Ten Capital, the second-largest RIA firm in Spokane, which manages nearly $200 million in assets. Mitrovich's primary responsibility is the construction and management of client portfolios. He began his career in the investment industry more than 15 years ago at Richards, Merrill and Peterson, in Spokane, where he found that he had a passion and an aptitude for analyzing markets and designing portfolios.

Mitrovich grew up in Washington state and attended Carroll College (Mont.) for two years. He then transferred to Whitworth and graduated in 1999. At Whitworth, he studied political science and economics, was the starting quarterback on the football team, and became a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship. In 2003, he graduated from the University of Washington's School of Law, where he served as associate editor-in-chief of the Washington Law Review.

Mitrovich shared with the class his strategies for success in business:

  • You have to have a vision: If no one understands or believes in your vision, you should probably change it.
  • Be able to execute your vision: Not all individuals have the ability to live out their vision. Do what you can to execute yours.
  • Don't focus on being better. Focus on being different: If your goal is to compare yourself against every other firm in the same field, you won't be successful. Your goal should be to include activities and opportunities that grab the client's attention and make you stand apart from other firms.
  • If your role is to be a follower, own that role: Everyone just out of college has to start low on the ladder and work his or her way up the corporate chain. It's important to remember that even though you will initially be in the position of a follower, you need to own that role and make the most of it.
  • Whether you're following a good or bad leader, there is always something to learn: Just because you don't agree with what a co-worker or boss says, there is always something you can learn from other people and from their input.
  • Men without gray hair should wear ties: Gray hair implies that you have experience in the workplace. Men, if you don't have gray hair, wear a tie. It's more professional.
  • Be on time: All business people, and employers place a high emphasis on being on time, yet individuals are still late to work on a consistent basis. Do not be late!
  • Be humble: Nobody likes a showboat. Show humility in your work.
  • Be authentic during an interview, and care for your work: Don't put on a façade or act like someone you're not. Be who you truly are at all times in your job and put your best foot forward.
  • Find a job you like: Chances are, you will spend several years in the same position or department. Make sure your job is something you enjoy and that you work with people you can stand being around.

Mitrovich also emphasizes the importance of faith in the business world and what it means to take a leap of faith in starting your own business "Not everyone will agree with you when it comes to taking a risk," he says, "so you need to be prepared to face the challenges that lie ahead. Believing in your vision and doing whatever it takes to execute your game plan will help lead you to success. It is important to have a solid group of individuals working at your firm, with everyone on the same page. Make sure your employees know what is expected of them so that there is no miscommunication."

Tim Mitrovich