by David Seibel, Head of School
In Project Legacy 2.0, I sit down with influencers that are seeking the truth and care about the inheritance that we are leaving our children. You can see previous Project Legacy 2.0 articles of Dave Neff, Dr. Piotrowski, Jon Laster, Doug Endicott, Scott Eckart, Micah Beckwith, Blair Dowden and Mayor Cook or check out the first two years highlights. Also, be sure to check out Mayor Cook’s video of his concerns on contemporary education (see above).
Rob Eyler is the sort of reasonable and responsible entrepreneur that makes our capitalistic society tick. In a capitalistic society, trade and commerce are controlled by private citizens rather than being centralized by the state. If the word ‘freedom’ is the defining virtue of our country, the word ‘entrepreneur’ would be the distinctive characteristic of our economy. In this Project Legacy post, I want to share three qualities that make Rob Eyler an ideal entrepreneur and why that’s critical. I focus on Eyler’s entrepreneurialism because it the fabric of what makes a strong community from an economic perspective. In the same way that freedom is not passed through the bloodstream from one generation to the next, the entrepreneurial spirit is not caught in the air but rather cultivated and grown over time.
#1. Rob Eyler is a risk-tolerant, results-oriented, and responsible entrepreneur.
Although he has business degrees from both IU and Notre Dame, Eyler caught the entrepreneurial spirit working his at his father’s business, The College Network, an educational service to colleges through its e-learning platform. For more than a decade, Rob was in charge of business development where he grew the compete to more than $100 million in revenue. Rob did not work a Monday-Friday 9-5 from the same desk where he did a well-defined set of tasks. Instead, he flew all over the country building landing contracts with the nation’s top universities.
When reflecting on this experience, Rob said,
“At this point in my career, I was motivated by profit and prestige. I was successful on one front but failing on many others. I had really let my health go and had reached 300 pounds.”
At this point, Rob had built up his business skill set and was ready for his next venture.
“I attended health conference and this is where things really began to change. I saw how central fitness was to everything I wanted to accomplish, and I’d see how destructive my lifestyle has become.”
Rob’s next three ventures all had a major component related to health and wellness: Fuzion Therapy, Carmel Wellness, and Innate Wellness Centers.
Rob never looked for a bailout and always took full responsibility during his transition away from The College Network. He turned his health around and his career; he’s now the Founder and CEO of Capturely and also plays an important role in scaling up his wife’s law firm. In Notre Dame’s profile of Rob, they describe his entrepreneurial spirit perfectly.
He also exudes a positive attitude. Here’s a guy who enjoys pushing the proverbial rock up the hill, no matter how big the rock.
The first time I met with Rob was while his business was floundering during the Covid shutdown. While he could have focused on himself and his own worries, he brought me a book called Scaling Up and shared with me his insights on growing and turning around organizations.
Capturely has completed more than 2,000 photo shoots, photographed 10,000-plus people and delivered some 200,000 images and videos
Rob does not give up easily, but instead presses on in the storm. When discussing the impact of covid-19 on capturely, he shared,
“During covid, business at Capturely literally screeched to a halt. I might has well have been running a cruise line. There have been many sleepless nights and times where I questioned myself. However, God has been growing my faith through this process.”
Rob does not let his successes or his failures define him but rather his identity in Christ.
Watch the video they made for us below!
#2. Rob is a generalist first, and specialist second.
Mortimer Adler believed that every executive should be a generalist first and a specialist second. Adler wrote,
“The cultured generalist has become a vanishing species in all walks of life:
Hence, we are witnessing the disappearance of the kind of leadership sorely needed in society today.”
Eyler has a broad range in that he’s built companies in educational services, health and wellness, and now digital marketing. He truly is a serial entrepreneur who is a generalist first and a specialist second; but he’s not just a business guy. He is incredibly passionate about the products and services he sells. He reminds me of Elon Musk’s passion for engineering and design as opposed to expanding market share; Musk spends the majority of his time with engineers doing design, not with strategic planners or accountants.
Rob is a true builder and is incredibly knowledgeable in the details of the videography and photography services that Capturely provides to companies like Netflix, etc. When he came to Coram Deo, he spoke with me at length about lighting, photo resolution, and his philosophy of a creative asset on business development. Moreover, Eyler is very involved with his kids in leading Boy Scouts. The generalist is a person of broad vision and general learning as opposed to someone who is a narrow-minded niche specialist.
I believe generalist entrepreneurs like Rob are one of the keys to overcoming the barbarism of specialization that has come to infect our economy through narrow career tracks and to erode our education through electives. I’m not against career tracks, division of labor, and educational electives in and of themselves. But I am suspicious of narrowing someone too early and reducing them down to one field of knowledge. The problem with letting electives gain such a prominent place in a school’s curriculum is that they displace the general learning and broad learning that used to be characteristic of all leaders. At Coram Deo, we’ve chosen to get students real world experience through our grit, grace and growth apprenticeships which you can find out more about through our webinar.
High School Apprenticeships Webinar
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