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Meet Bobby Pappas of LunaTech in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bobby Pappas.

Bobby, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Like many stories, mine has not been linear. I came to LA in the early 90’s to be a filmmaker, having studied Film & Television in college. My first ten years or so I jumped around different entertainment jobs, some freelance or part-time, some full-time, all while I wrote screenplays trying to break-in. I came close a couple of times, in both television and film, but like a car engine trying to turn-over in the dead of winter my career just didn’t “catch.”

As I got older, I wanted experiences in my life that the “Hollywood” struggle alone could not provide. It’s not enough to always spend your life trying. There comes a point when you want to actually start doing something.

Fortunately, I’ve always had a technical drive in addition to a creative one and I sort of fell into doing freelance IT for a vendor then based at Paramount Pictures. I used to service a handful of studio and celebrity accounts and the experience revealed an ability to communicate with clients in a way that most IT people cannot.

I was equally fortunate to get laid off from that same company with nothing and nowhere to go. I say “fortunate” because as an unbelievably hard time in my life as that was it lead to personal and professional breakthroughs that I could never have known let alone imagined from the vantage point of being merely comfortable. It was by being distinctly and acutely uncomfortable that I experienced the most growth. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone, but it helped reveal the rest of myself to me.

It was then that I decided to take whatever IT knowledge I had and build my own business out of it. It was slow going as it was just me, and I was lucky to fill it in with part-time work for a software company for two years until I could quit and focus exclusively on LunaTech.

Whether we realize it or not, life is full of discoveries and pivots, and after a number of years of doing end-to-end IT for businesses all around California we decided several years ago to specialized exclusively in white glove managed communication services. We’ve been experiencing a lot of growth since doing so and have enjoyed being that trusted provider to our clients.

As for my filmmaking aspirations, at some point I’ll probably pick-up writing again, just for fun, without any career pressure or this youthful notion that my identity and future depends on it.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Well, as I mentioned, it was not smooth at all. Does anyone have a truly smooth journey? For me, there was a time many years ago that I was so broke I spent a summer living off credit cards. You want to quake where you stand? Try going to the bank to take cash advances against your cards where you know the interest will cripple you. But you deal with it because not paying rent and not eating are bigger obstacles at that very moment. You make yourself live to fight another day. And you do.

Then there were years I was riddled with self-doubt. I have no degree in what I do. I had no real apprenticeship in Business or IT or Telecom — I learned it all the hard-way. Mash that self-doubt against the questions about who I was or was supposed to be and what I wanted or felt I “should” be or do with my life and you can imagine the obstacles we can create for ourselves. I’m not the only entrepreneur to experience this — many do — and there was some comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone in that.

By the way, “should” is helluva crappy word, when you think about it. It is verbum non-grata in my house. It still slips in now and again, but my wife and I step on that sucker whenever we can. As someone very dear to me once told me years ago, never should on yourself. Easier said than done, but I try and live a should-free life.

LunaTech – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Fundamentally, our company is about relationships — creating and nurturing them for the benefit of both us and the client. The currency of those relationships centers primarily around providing top-notch Business Class VoIP and UC (Unified Communications) services to clients of all sizes, anywhere in the country. Indeed, some of our clients have multiple offices on both coasts or mobile users all over the country.

Because our background is in IT, we also provide many companies that don’t have proper or qualified IT (or even some that do but want to farm out part of the workload) with a managed network that allows us to deliver a superior Voice and Data network — optimizing Internet and wireless access being part of that. Our networks are top-notch and can handle any applications or services a client would need or want while maintaining rock-solid VoIP or UC services.

I’m most proud of the fact that my wife and I have built our company together and that we enjoy working so closely with one another. I’d say that the one thing that separates our company from everyone else is that we’re a million light-years away from the local phone company in how we view, treat, and interact with our clients. That’s made all the difference for them and for us.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Good question because success is often we accept — consciously or unconsciously — the definition fed to us by society and our culture. You or something that represents you has to be “the best” and you need a variety of “things” to denote that to others. Well, no thank you. Really? That’s success? Because if it that definition flat-out sucks.

My view of success comes through one’s personal evolution. Are you mostly happy in your own thoughts? Are you mostly happy with your feelings? How about with your life and how you spend it? To me, if you can answer yes to those questions then you’re pretty damn successful in my view. I think a successful life is always a work in progress.

That’s not to say that “things” and “events” can’t be fun. I get it. I like that stuff too — but it’s all external. At the end of the day, when you lie alone in your bed and ruminate on your life as we all are want to do from time to time, none of that crap means a whole helluva lot.

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