Who is Todd Westra?
I Help CEOs and Founders Remove the Hats they Shouldn't Be Wearing... anymore.
Growth Strategist | Team Builder | Keynote Speaker | Leadership Coach | Podcast Host | Dad
Growing up as the 8th child out of 9 kids, I learned early on that if I wanted to experience the finer things in life, I was going to have to earn them! When only 8 years old, my brother and I shared a paper route in the Seattle Area and learned the lessons of Sales, Fulfillment, Working with Vendors, Collections, and managing AP accounts.
Was it worth it? YES! I spent the next 5 years alternating between newspapers, and building up the largest number of clients per available houses in the region. As you can see on my timeline below, there have only been a few breaks from entrepreneurship during my entire life!
One of the most important things I learned was that with hard work and focus, you can put yourself into nearly any industry you choose and apply the same principles of management to achieve a great measure of success. Not all of the businesses on the left were winners, but all of them generated revenue!
My greatest challenge in entrepreneurship? Getting burned by savvy investors. In a couple of verticals I jumped into, it was impossible to scale without significant investment. Having been burned twice, I decided to continue building businesses I could bootstrap, and have managed to build several multi-million dollar companies in multiple cities and countries throughout the US and Asia.
I have been very involved in the startup community in Utah, and have been able to work with dozens of startups in helping to build out their revenue models and establish their business culture and personalities.
Team Building/ Culture Strategist
In 2014, a close friend of mine and I were able to create an amazing business building out activities that inspired some amazing team building with businesses of all sizes in a friendly B2B environment, The Biz Games.
What I learned was that many of the mid to large size businesses were envious of the cultures found in the smaller startup community, and would inquire as to how they could build the same environment into their companies.
This led to the last 5 years working with several of the worlds largest corporations, listed on the right, providing Team Building, Executive Team Leadership Training, and Culture Change Consulting from a very unique perspective… from a small business master!
In 2019 I decided to peel the management and consulting side of the business away from The Biz Games and combine the Executive Training and Culture Consulting with a series of Vision Strategies into a new business, Mokuteki LLC.
After working with teams in some of the largest companies in the world, I discovered that most large companies really struggle to establish a strong culture in their work environment. Lots of money is spent trying to launch initiatives through less than effective means of delivery that employees are not likely to implement.
With my experience in creating high levels of engagement through activities, I learned that experiential training among ALL levels of employees brings a much higher rate of adoption of any new messaging that leadership is trying to disseminate to their teams.
The process of determining the companies vision and delivering it to the teams is called the “Mokuteki Method“. The word Mokuteki is a Japanese word derived of 2 characters. “Moku”, meaning Vision, and “Teki” meaning the way you do things. In other words, The act of Aligning Actions With Vision is the literal meaning of Mokuteki.
Build Remote Teams
So many Leaders in Small to Mid-Size Companies have a hard time assembling the right People, Processes, and Tools to grow their businesses. After interviewing over 250 CEO's and Founders during the pandemic, I found that those 3 issues were the most common challenges holding them back from true growth.
In an effort to support these founders struggling with these challenges, I have taken the challenge off of their plates by building remote teams of amazing talent in specialized fields. Take a look at withmoku.com to see what things YOU can get done with Moku!
At the age of 8, my brother and I committed to a newspaper delivery route to earn money. During these young years, I learned most of the essential skills of Entrepreneurship while serving as a “Paperboy”. Sales, Fulfillment, Dealing with multiple vendors, Collections, and Managing AP/AR.
These skills set the stage for many more business after this.
Most of my High School years were spent working at a Country Club near my school. During my senior year I launched a Window Washing company with 2 of my brothers called “Speedy Windows”. We serviced homes all over the Seattle area, and later used those skills to support my young family during other startup periods later in my life in Utah.
Humanitarian Service Mission
After 1 year of College, I took a 2 year sabbatical and ventured out on a 2 year service mission in Tokyo Japan. Free of compensation, and under strict guidelines, I lived for 2 years serving the people of Tokyo while learning to speak Japanese fluently and became deeply familiar with the culture. I learned many valuable lessons in self motivation, overcoming trials, and the power that comes from serving others!
After returning from my 2 year service mission, I resumed my college studies and spent the next summer doing door to door sales selling Pest Control in the Southern California area.
I learned so many valuable sales skills and learned to customize my pitch to many different types of people. Adapting my pitch to hit nearly all cultures and personalities has been a great asset over the years.
Turf Pros Inc
Shortly after my summer sales experience, I partnered with 2 friends to start a business in the Golf Industry. We all had a passion for Golf and wanted to try our hand at jumping into the industry. After weeks of negotiating with the largest distributor of home putting greens, Turf Pros Inc was born.
In our first year, we used door to door selling and our high tech “pagers” to become the nations largest putting green installation company in the US. Quite possibly one of the funnest businesses to run while going to college!
After graduating from BYU, I took the putting green business to warmer climates and was exposed to my first flat screen TV while installing a green in a showcase home in that area. I impulsively jumped right into the world of High Tech Home Automation and High End Audio Video systems.
For the next 10 years, my business partner and I grew the company into multiple markets including Park City, Jackson Hole, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and even Seattle. We managed to scale the business comfortably and had our work published in industry magazines. During this time, I learned how to engineer very technical installations, and even learned to code the projects myself and establish systems.
BPO - Business Process Outsourcing
Near the end of my tenure at LAVA Corp, I was introduced to an architect who taught me the art of outsourcing professional services internationally! I was amazed at what awesome output we were able to achieve with skilled labor in other parts of the world.
My eyes were opened, and I opened my own entity, My Back Office, in Hong Kong, and began outsourcing services like Drafting, Rendering, Web Design, Coding, and Call Center work. I spent the next 10 years building out teams of different skill sets and offering up services to several companies in the United States, and Australia.
During this time, I also dabbled in Imports from China through a series of relationships I setup while in Hong Kong. My Entrepreneurial heart was unlocked and I experimented with several types of businesses trying to determine which ones I could start without requiring outside funding.
Team Building and Training
Somewhere along the way, a friend and I started to work with several mid-large size businesses doing B2B “Office Games” competitions. Thats right… we matched up the best Ping Pong, Foosball, Spikeball, and Bubble Soccer players in the state of Utah and ran 4 years of head to head competition.
Although it was a lot of fun, my passion was ignited when working within the confines of one organization, and helping them learn valuable skills while participating in unusual activities and competitions. When called upon for Team Build services, we differentiated ourselves from our competitors by asking Department Directors, and Company Owners how we could tie the activities in with the theme of their training’s, or their annual goals and objectives.
As described above, We have now been able to design an entire set of services around helping companies and teams develop a strong vision and action plan for their team. After clarity has been reached, we then bring that vision to life by training through activity based learning, and following up with accountability check-ins throughout the following months.