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December EOSA Member Spotlight: Iris Schimke- Express Information Systems

irisschimke

Tell us a little bit about your business. 

We help businesses find more time in their day and do more with less by upgrading their accounting and business software systems. By automating processes and streamlining procedures we create workflow that produces reliable and meaning data. Then, to help you reap the benefits even more we create meaningful reporting with digital dashboards from metrics that matter to drive your business forward and free you to grow or sell the business.

What do you love most about being an entrepreneur? 

Creating success or even failure on my own terms. Doing things that many told me were not possible, even today. I am a rule breaker from way back. Rules are guidelines for me, I know that sounds crazy but testing the boundary, while challenging the rule is what entrepreneurship is all about for me. Personally I get a huge kick from elevating our team members while on this journey and making their lives better.

What is one piece of advice you’d give from your experience of being an entrepreneur? 

Okay, I can’t do one. But I narrowed it to four. Keep trying new things, be persistent but realistic, hire people smarter than you, respect loyalty – it’s rare.

What are your favorite things to do outside of the office? 

Spending time with our family grounds me and keeps me sane.  I love to create – so cooking, baking, arts and crafts projects make me smile and take me away from Excel spreadsheets. You can catch me cheering on the Spurs, giving treats to our Australian Shephard Roxy while out with our Donkey Jenny and small heard of dorper sheep, or in Montana soaking up the summer. And if I am not doing any of that – I could be shopping…

What makes you the happiest? 

This will sound crazy – but it is spending time with my hubby, having nothing to do, total lazy days. The go, go, go of work, children and their activities, constant email and texts, learning time to prepare for what’s next and long days make me really appreciate the lazy days.

What would you consider your biggest achievement or greatest moment of euphoria in your business? 

I feel I have achieved what I originally set out to accomplish so its building on that to be self-sustaining and to lift up those around me.

What is your favorite book? 

It’s fiction – I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb.  I could not put it down … very well written.

What do you love most about EO? Why would you recommend EO to a fellow entrepreneur? 

EO gave me a place to connect and learn from peers. Some of my closest friends are either current or former forum mates. It has been fuel for driving my knowledge and the business forward. Plus it’s a great place to find resources. Someone always says, “I got a guy…”

What leader, mentor or fellow entrepreneur has been an inspiration for you? 

This will sound crazy but Doug Burgum, who is the newly elected Governor of North Dakota. He inspired me to build a business I was proud of and was a tremendous influence on how we modeled our company culture. An amazing person with huge insight. His company was the first billion dollar purchase Microsoft had made (December of 2000) in a software company. He chose Satya Nadella (now Microsoft CEO) to lead his division, an example of his insight. After retiring from Microsoft 5 years later, he focused on incubating new companies to create jobs in his home state and huge urban revitalization projects in downtown Fargo, ND. His impact will be felt for generations, yet he is a very humble fellow.

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