Tim Dreffer describes himself as “always having this sort of entrepreneurial thing” going on. When I asked him to explain what he meant by that, he took me through his career path. First to Frito Lays, establishing a new manufacturing plant, then to Toyota when the company was just starting to manufacture the Camry, and then Dreffer moved to establish a new division of JB Hunt. The thing about all these jobs, he explained, is that he was still getting a paycheck about every two weeks. The fear of not having a reliable income is scary, but it’s a risk Dreffer was willing to take based on four other measures of wealth he had taken to heart:
- Are you in control of your own time or is someone telling you where you need to be and when? Do you have the ability to attend your kids’ dance recital or coach their baseball team?
- Do you like to travel and does work allow you to? Do you want to be in one spot or establish roots and stick with them?
- Mental Health
- Where’s your head? Are you emotionally available for your loved ones or does work take you out of that head space?
- Are you able to give back to your community? To those around you?
It’s these four kinds of wealth that Dreffer felt like he was lacking when he was working for others. After establishing his own company, Dreffr Consulting, he was able to fill these four buckets more than he ever had before.
With his current company, EDGE Supply Chain, Dreffer is one of three co-founders. EDGE is a logistic and supply chain company, focusing on maximizing customer experience and efficiency for their clients. Their catch phrase? “I know a guy.” Dreffer and his partners are building a network of trusted individuals with different skill sets to be able to help their clients in any way they may need.
Dreffer first became a co-worker with the Hurt Hub@Davidson in 2020, ironically looking for a way to get out of the house after having worked from home for a little while. When he first started coming in, everyone was wearing masks and there were few people around, and Dreffer felt that lack of community. Now that we’re back to more “normal” Hurt Hub functioning, Dreffer isn’t shy about using the community resources. He attends workshops and classes, where he actually first connected with Meg Seitz with tothshop, who developed the branding and title for EDGE. EDGE’s new website was also built by Matt Cuddy with thirdcupcreative and former intern at the Hurt Hub. “You’ll get out of it what you put into it,” Dreffer says. He also is a partner with LaunchCLT.
We wrapped up our conversation with a few pieces of advice for Davidson students:
- Always have some sort of North Star to come back to. Whether that’s a career goal or a personal goal.
- If you don’t aim for the target, you won’t hit it.
- Now is the time to start developing your network. Whether it’s through LinkedIn or crossing the street and coming over to the Hurt Hub, or participating in workshops and talks; these opportunities will allow you to meet people you might need later on down the road.
- Participate don’t anticipate. Don’t tie yourself in knots and anticipate things you can’t control.