Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kickin' With the Son

Kicking back right now with Noah, my 12 year old, watching ESPN and discussing sports. I am not sure when it happened but he seemed to go from loving Barney to being a young man. On our 3 hour drive home we discussed everything from girls to football to school. This is when the teaching as a father really kicks into high gear, but I am looking forward to it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Waiting at the Airport

Waiting to pick up my son at the KC airport. The flight lands at 10:30pm and then a quick 3 hour drive home and I will be ready for Thanksgiving (and sleep). Today was an awesome day! I was as unplugged as I can get (and thanks to a discussion I had a few weeks ago with my good buddy from up north, Stuart Crawford, I am good with this fact). I had my smart phone and could look at email, but didn't have my computer on all day (until now). I had great meetings with clients in person and spoke to a lot of people on the phone. Sometimes I feel like I am a slave to my own processes. I create procedures so that I make sure I get everything done I need to, but I catch myself making them the priority and not my clients (and more importantly the people and the relationships). If I have a skill that I think that I excel at it is building great relationships - I truly care about people whether they are my clients, people who I have yet to make my clients, friends or family. I spent a good 3 hours on my phone today just talking to people and catching up with them. Between that and listening to my iPod that i loaded the awesome book "The Go-Giver" on I feel like my batteries are recharged. Hopefully they are recharged enough that it keeps me up for the next 7 hours (and Starbucks just closed!).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Project Weekend with the Family

Had a pretty good weekend. While Saturday was spent babysitting neices and nephews (my children were there too but you don't babysit your own kids). Sunday was spent doing projects around the house. I am one of those people who love to cross things off my list, it gives me satisfaction, but yesterday that wasn't my top priority. My two year old daughter loves helping me with projects. The day was spent finding things she could do to help me with my projects and it made it even more enjoyable. I am working on making sure that everything I do my family can help and enjoy with me. It takes more time and not easy, but it increases the enjoyment!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Economic Times

So what are your plans for the economic times ahead? If you listen to the media you get the feeling that everyone should close their business now. While I don't think we should do that yet, I do think you are foolish if you aren't planning. A good friend of mine (Mike Fafinski) and I were discussing this yesterday. We (I) have gotten lazy with the good times we were having. Now is the time to get back to the basics. In sales that is - cold calling, touches with current clients and seeking out new solutions to sell. Not rocket science but a winning combination. Sales is just a numberws game, even the worst salesperson will succedd if they do the work.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not Sleeping Due To Rude People

Well it is 2:00 am and I am still awake. Why? Kids not sleeping? No it is because I had to deal with rude people yesterday and they tick me off so much I can't sleep. What better way to deal with it than to blog - right?

I was on a very long (around 6 hours) conference call yesterday. It was a call with my company and our major vendors creating a strategy for 2009. Lots of great information, but a long time for a sales person to focus. As any person with ADHD would do I watched the webinar on one screen, listened to the call, and did work on the other. When I was trying to start work on some goals I have with a time frame of January (HTG3 buddies I am already working on them especially since we lose a month this time) and had to send an internal email for some help. The person who I sent the email to had to reprimand me, not only in the response to the email, but also during the meeting on the phone (with fellow management and vendors listening in) for sending email during the call. This person has a habit of doing this to me. Not sure if I did something to them in the past, if I intimidate them, or if they just are just unhappy and want to make everyone else bitter also - but to me it was rude. I know I should have been focused 100% on the call, but that isn't the way I am wired. It shouldn't bother me so much but this person has a habit of doing this to me, especially in front of peers and vendors and I am getting tired of it. I didn't respond at the time because it would have been completely emotional and confrontational, but will today (I am learning there to take some time and think). How do you deal with rude people?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Took yesterday off to spend with my wife and go Christmas shopping. Now I am not your typical guy (no comments from those that know me well) in the fact that I enjoy shopping. I enjoy looking at all the new items on the shelves. I remember back to the days when I was young (although they are getting harder to remember) and think what things we got for Christmas. There was GI Joe, Stretch Armstrong, Six Million Dollar Man, and of course we always got underwear (thanks mom!). The one thing I noticed is that shopping this early (and yes we are done) people are much friendlier and willing to work with you on special request. The stress is not there and it was actually a pretty enjoyable day. We shopped for around 8 hours and had an excellant meal at one of my wife's favorite places - The Cheescake Factory. My advise to anyone listening - go now and enjoy the time together instead of making it such a stressful situation.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back in the Office

Well back in the office to get caught up. It always seems like I have just enough time to get accomplished what is on my plate - whether that be a lot of a little. I always try to keep a lot of plates in the air so I always have things to do, but there are days when I only have a couple of things I need to do - and it seems like those things take all day.

A good friend of mine, Stuart Crawford, is having a very timely blog/radio show this Friday on the economy. I would highly suggest jumping on to hear the discussion. The information is listed below.

Navigate The Stormy Economic Seas

Shopping malls are empty, businesses are stretching out IT projects and many small business are feeling the pinch of the economic conditions in today’s world. Is the press adding fuel to the economic bonfire? How is your business planning to ride out the economic storm? Many IT Professionals are very concerned about the economy and how to navigate the stormy seas of today’s economy. Join Stuart Crawford with leading Microsoft Partners, Sean Fullerton, Mark Crall, Mike Ritsema and David Ohendalski as we discuss today’s economy and what Microsoft Partners can do to navigate the stormy seas that are in the forecast. Visit to join the conversation on Friday, November 21 at Noon Eastern/9 AM Pacific.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

HTG and Burbank

Another great start to the HTG meeting and it hasn't even started yet. The meeting is always great, but the time outside of the meetings are the time that I find even more educational. Last night some of us got together for dinner and cocktails to discuss life and lessons learned. Maybe you can't join a HTG group, but find some sort of peer group to get involved with. It will be worth the investment if you get involved and open up!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On My Way to HTG

Well up early to catch my flight to head out to Burbank. Meeting up with my HTG peer group and enjoying some warmer weather. It will be an interesting meeting, even more than usual. I think talk about the economy and politics will shape a lot of the discussion. It is always amazing how people who are in the same industry, but different parts of this great country of ours, can be affected so differently. I usually feel our brothern on the coast give us a heads up on what we in the midwest are going to experience in a few months.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prioritzies and Family

Well it got cold and wintery over the weekend. It now truly feels like November. I am glad that I get to experience all four seasons. I love the changes in the weather (until it gets really cold). Today I have to leave to go to my wife's grandfathers funeral. At occassions like this it always makes me think - what will they say at my funeral. One of my mentors, Arlin Sorensen, is always talking about your legacy that you create with the short amount of time you are here. I have yet to hear anyone say "I should have worked more". I try to spend good time (not always the amount I would want) with my kids, wife and family. It is funny, sometimes when I feel overwhelmed with what I have going on and that I don't have time to spend with my loved ones I stop and realize they are the exact reason I am working as hard as I do. It makes you feel pretty humble (and stupid sometimes).
Make sure you prioritize your life the way you want it to be and then spend the time accordingly!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Another Chapter Begins

Well another election in over. Maybe your candidate won and maybe not, but now it is time to figure out how to move forward.

Yesterday was the mananagement meeting for HTS in KC. With the economy "correcting" it makes it a little more difficult to make decisions for 2009. I have always thought that to manage when things are going well is easy - it is when things are tough when people really manage. In the past it has been hiring someone has solved problems, but now it takes more thinking outside of the box. I think this is when the truly company changing decisions are made. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Well today is finally election day! I voted early because I am on my way to management meetings in KC all day. I can't wait for all of this election coverage to be over. It seems year after year it gets worst and more disheartening. I am tired, as most people are, of the mud-slinging and called the other a liar. I wish we could go back to the day of a clean election where someone was elected on the merits and not on what their opponent can dig up on them. Oh the good old days...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Great Weekend

What a great weekend here in the heartland! We ventured down to Red Oak where I use to live and met up with some friends. The whole drive down my wife and I kept thinking that we had so much going on that we should just cancel, but out of respect we went. What a great decision that was. It was great to just sit around and talk and play with our kids together. It was refreshing and recharged my battery. Friends are what really makes life enjoyable. At the end of the day the person who wins has the most people that know them and will take their phone call. Start playing the game!