We had the good fortune of connecting with David Riggs and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi David, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Truthfully, my goal was to build something that allowed me to have a choice on how to go about each day. Money, status, etc., all came second to me, and still do. I’m happiest and most energized when I can wake up each morning with the option to pivot or change my plans on how to go about the day, how to scale the business, etc.

Right out of college, I went to work for a large healthcare company as a Management Consultant. The work was quite fun, but the strict structure and lack of freedom on projects, etc., really stifled my energy day to day. The more and more I came to realize this, the closer and closer I came to starting my own business.

As I started the business, and rolled off of my 9-5, I was very intentional about building something that didn’t entirely rely on me, and improved the lives of others. Something that gave everyone the option to feel secure in their roles, but the freedom to be creative, test new ideas, fail fast, and improve faster.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? – Not in the slightest! We got to where we are today by staying open minded, and simply working harder than anyone else in the space. About 9% of businesses ever gross $1,000,000 in a single year, and Pneuma was able to pass this bar in our first full year in business.

If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
– We overcame the challenges by viewing them not as challenges, but opportunities. There’s a saying at Pneuma… “L’s aren’t losses, they’re learning lessons”. Anytime we experienced a “loss”, whether that be a mis-communication with a client, a lost deal that we should’ve won, a candidate chooses to work elsewhere, etc., we formally review the situation and look for ways to improve from it. Our mantra as a business is to find ways to get 1% better, each and every day. As other clients sprint to failure, we choose to walk to success.

What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
The problems that the business face typically stem from the personal problems that the founder faces. As Pneuma was growing, we went through growing pain after growing pain after growing pain. Those growing pains were resolved once I began to focus on myself, and how my own pros and cons left their mark on the business. The more aware I became of my own flaws, the easier it was to tailor the business to avoid them.

What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
When we started, Pneuma didn’t have the “silver bullet” for growth. We simply set up each and every day to get 1% better, and made sure our marketing and sales efforts aligned exactly with what we were offering. I’ve worked with too many agencies that pitch you on the Lamborghini, and end up giving you the Prius. A secret to our growth, although it shouldn’t be on, is that you get more than what you paid for, not less. It’s almost impossible to not grow a business whenever the value perceived by the client is more than what the engagement costs them.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a pretty simple and laid back person, so the itinerary would be pretty straight forward.

Wake up early and grab coffee from a nearby shop. I live downtown, so I love stopping by Little Owl, Pigtrain, or Kaffe Landskap.

From there, jump in a car and catch a hike. I prefer taking first time CO visitors to Rocky Mountain. If that’s not an option, I normally go to one of a few hikes in the Flatirons.

In between hikes and dinners, I usually try to introduce whoever is visiting to a client, friend, or someone in the area I know. It helps give them a reason to come back, which I can’t ever complain about.

After that, I’m sure we’d grab a bite somewhere. Any chance I get to go to Urban Farmer on 17th street, I take the opportunity. I also stop by The Rotary quite a bit.

Whether someone is staying for a week, a month, or a day, experience shows that the itinerary would look pretty close to the above each and every day.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, my faith and my family. Neither my mom or dad are entrepreneurs, or really have any desire to become one. However, as my path started to drift towards entrepreneurship, they continually supported my journey and were helpful however they could be, especially as they helped me build a business with a faith-based, Christian approach.

Outside of my family, I could share a list that is likely miles long. Tony and Lacey Abbacchi are still to this day, two people who mentor and guide me through the ups and downs of business. Ned Arick and Scott Leese are two others who helped me specifically when it came to growing my business, learning the art of sales, and managing myself and my personal development. The team at Pneuma, especially those who were there at the start, deserve all the love and recognition I can give them.

Outside of close friends and team members, the support of our clients has been worthy of recognition as well. Our clients have given support, advice, guidance, etc., as we were growing our business which has helped Pneuma turn into a multi-million dollar business within a pretty short time-frame.

Website: https://www.pneumallc.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dwilliamriggs/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dwilliamriggs/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dwilliamriggs

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.