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The Dean's Executive Speaker Series

Tim Mitrovich 

Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer, Ten Capital

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 has now shared wisdom and advice to students in the Dean's Executive Speaker Series on numerous occasions.

Tim Metrovich chatting with two students.

Tips for Success

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."

Class photo with Tim Metrovich.

He offered additional advice:

  • Stay in touch with people.
  • Seek out and listen to mentors.
  • Be patient and understand that it’s not all about you.
  • Don’t be blind to what motivates you, self-reflect.
  • The things you would do for free are what you should be doing for a living.
  • The same people that are your opposites may be the ones you really need to learn from.
  • Learn from everything you do. Always be advancing.
  • Do the right thing. Exodus - you need only be still, and the Lord will fight for you.
  • We don’t change a lot as adults, except in times of crisis.
  • Don’t get paralyzed by your excuses. Don’t use excuses.
  • Be patient.
  • Own it. Take responsibility.
  • People don’t have patience because they are in such a rush to have purpose.
  • Every cliché you’ve heard is true. Time goes by fast, setbacks always come, and you don’t know you are in the way when you are in the midst of trouble.
  • If you run into someone for whom everything/everyone else is the problem, run the other way.
  • Be realistic.
  • When you start a business, you are the lowest person on the totem pole.
  • Whatever you are doing has already been commoditized.
  • Have a “why” external to yourself.
  • You always have to sell, and it better be real.
  • Learn how to tell a story with emotion, pictures and feelings.
  • Be realistic about what you are truly good at.
  • Push yourself out of your shell and be bold.
  • What is right is often not what feels right and natural, but it can’t go against every instinct you have. This is when you need a third person to help and direct you.
  • Display some level of humility.
  • Be willing to pay your dues.
  • Take time for other people
  • Show gratitude
  • In general, show people you are serious and use good etiquette
  • Get outside yourself
  • Find wise counsel
  • Look at the question other people are asking you