Friday, December 31, 2010

Time off

Me and the boys have been holding down the Fort here in Hays. From cleaning, grocery shopping, errands and more! I think we even did a good job.

I will be ready to go back to "Work"

One thing that really has not changed in 50 years or more is the grocery shopping. Sure the check outs are faster with computers and such. However, I think it is time for a basic change in the way it is handled.

How about I submit my order for next week via on line and they either deliver it, or I go pick it up. They could build meals ready to go. In other words have a weeks worth of meals that you select and then they get all you need for the meal. You could take it even further to automate this system with the involvement of your pantry and fridge. They could talk to your "Home network" and keep inventory. With the coming of RFID tags replacing the simple bar code, you could have the fridge check your expiration dates inside, and know what is in it!

Think of the potential change in the way the store does business. They no longer have to maintain huge stores, just smaller ones to handle those "Emergency" needs and the Riat family could pick up a couple of hours per week of productivity (Or time with the boys)

Sure, the store may lose the impulse buy, but think of the reduction in shrink.

I have several details that probably need ironed out of the plan.

Anyway, guess that is what I come up with when I have time on my hands!

Monday, December 27, 2010

And a Great Christmas was had

By all. Everything was by plan except poor Jen had to take Sunday off with illness. You know she had to be sick to miss her family Christmas. Me and the boys filled in for her.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why oh why?

I was at Radio Shack earlier in the week looking for a longer HDMI Cable and they had a 2 Meter cable for $129. Really! I am hooking up a device that reads DVD's connects to Internet, streams video, plays HD games and it only cost $200.

The cable carries a digital signal not analog so degradation is not an issue especially over the 2 Meters (IE about 6 foot)

I do not get it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Remembering Everything

I watched a show on 60 minutes last weekend on how some people (Very Few) could remember almost everything in their lives. That is ask them where they were and what they were doing on some random date 22 years ago and they could tell you down to the details. This was fascinating since I cannot remember exactly what I was doing at this time yesterday!

What a handy thing this would be for taking tests, remembering people and impressing everyone. However there may have been a few drawbacks. There were 6 people who had been identified that had this ability, 5 were single. Jenifer can remember enough, everything would be a problem.

However would it be nice to think back to every Christmas eve and recall the memories! Of course when they were speaking with this group, the compared dates to each other to determine which one was better. That would be tough.

Guess forgetting can make memories better.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

There was a Hurricane in KS?

At the Mall anyway! Here is the boys experiencing 80 MPH Winds. Really when you think about it, that isn't that much faster wind than the average tuesday in Hays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Otterbox?

I now have one for my cell phone and for my iPad.

(PS an Otterbox is a case company)

The case is extremely well built, the buttons line up perfectly and protects like nothing else I have seen. Sure, the cost is a bit higher but it comes with the fitted screen cover and more.

If you want a case and you want it right, just get an Otterbox

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lovin the S9's

Per Brian from Texas's recommendations, I finally got around to purchasing second hand some Motorola S9's. They are blue tooth stereo headphones that also work as a cell phone headset. You can even dual pair. That is music from the iPad and phone call from the cell phone.

They have a battery that lasts beyond 8 hours (That is how long they worked for me but the had battery left so not sure how long they will last beyond that) Buttons on them for volume, mic and track selection.

Best part is the sound quality. They are not my Bose units, however they are smaller, wireless and work as a headset for my cell phone for calls.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I have been doing some reading on teams (I forget the title of the book but will post later)

Anyway the study mentioned talks about pulling a rope. You know, like in tug of war. It states that one person pulling exerts 100 percent, then when there are 2 it is 95 each person and decreases from there. By the time you get to 7, adding the 8th person does nothing due to the decrease of effort by the other members of the team.

The key is that you have to believe that all other members of the team are giving 100 percent then each member of the team will give 100 percent!

That is very difficult, people (In my experience)tend to have periods that they perform extremely high and other times they have some "off" times. That is not to say that they are slacking, rather the perform when needed and take some breaks during down times.

Anyway, it is interesting to think about.

Another way I would like to use the analogy is on meetings. More than 7 people in the room and you might as well have 100. No focus, no direction and limited leadership.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Phone update

It still will not work as an AP, and I discovered a couple of flaws like
the P on the keyboard would not work. Try telling people that your P will not work. Tends to be a problem.

Anyway the GPS would also not work.

After working with the local Nex-tech Wireless store, they fixed both! A hard reset, not the most pleasant experience, and some software update and working great. Now if I could use it as an AP it would be perfect!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Just a little while ago (Credited to Fair Play)

Fair Play was commenting how you never knew how good you had it until things change. It may have been just before you got sick, or just before your sewer backed up (In Fair Play's world)

Yet it is a good thought for all of us who do have our health and are well off.

It is that time of year to be thankful.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I can't get them to move?

Recently I have heard of a couple of boards, companies and such with leaders who have made comments like "I just can't get them to move, give direction or approve what I want to do"

This to me looks like a leadership void. If you are noticing this and are in a position of power, maybe it is time for you to grab the reigns and provide direction. In some way this is how you define leadership.

Many times you will not be able to find people to lead, you have to be the leader. Enough complaining about the lack of leadership, become one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Parker turns 2

Well ok, not until the 23rd but his birthday party was Sat. We got up early and drove to KC to celebrate his day, then came home that evening. Was a quick day, however I think all involved had a good day. Our boys were very good for having to spend all that time in the car. However now with Zune's, DVD, iPad and more I should really start calling it the rolling home entertainment mobile.

It was good seeing all them play in the bounce house. (It was in the garage) only one bloody lip and little crying, yet they were all boys and a little rough necking was good.

The wind was insane for most of the trip, somewhere between 30 and 55 MPH. Nothing like sleeping in your own bed.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Continued Feedback?

David from Sydney Australia.

"Saw your presentation at ConnectWise. Especially liked your TAAS. I was tinkering with HAAS foe a while, but you motivated me to add it as an option in my quotes.

Just closed the first deal. Thanks for the motivation and the ideal to have it as an additional line underneath the price."

It amazes me how much and continued feedback I have received from the CW Presentations. One thing that has been clear is the importance of feedback on these presentations. It is hard to get people to give real and honest feedback. On one of my recent feedback forms from Dodge, all I got was lots of "Great presentations" It would help to get some really detailed information. I will work on that for others.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Congratulations to Tammy (See her blog on the side). She is now our new chamber director! She has made the most of the last several years growing herself and her skills. I am sure she will be sad to not see my face almost daily, however she will still have to deal with me every once in a while.

I will miss her on the team and her contributions. Yet one her moving on is one of the biggest compliments she could give.

Congrats again. Build the Brand!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The new Cell Phone

Like every other piece of technology in my life, good but not great. I have a HTC Desire.
First the good;
Big screen
Great capacitive touch screen
Battery is good, lasts about 2 days
Voice quality is great
it is fast on the Internet and fast on screen transitions.
GPS works great

Now the bad;
Cannot tether via wireless 802.11 without rooting
It can be complex to use.
it is big
Accessories are expensive

All in all, good but could be better!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The "American" Top Gear

So I have caught a couple of episodes of the "American" Top Gear that is on the History Channel Sundays.

It is worth watching, however I enjoy the UK version better. Maybe it is because they have done some of the same stunts and such as the UK version, so the excitement is less.

I guess we have to let England have one thing on us.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

When there is something strange in your

Neighborhood, who you gonna call?

Ghost Busters!

The boys have been into watching Ghost Busters and I have forgot some of the 80's things in the movie. One of the things that caught me odd was the computer dust cover! At first I thought "What were they protecting it from" Then I had to realize that the computer was probably worth more than the car they drove!

I was also looking at the cars that are in the movie. Wow, there were some horrible cars in the 80's

Anyway, I am sure Nana misses the dust cover. It really aligns with everything she loves. Clean, orderly and unnecessary.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Teaching class

Did a presentation at FHSU about Sales Management. As always, teaching class helps keep the presentation skills sharp.

One key thing that continues to help my presentations are stories. People tend to remember stories and therefore the point when you learn that way. It is more engaging and makes learning more fun.

If you think back to some of the most memorable learning moments in your past you will probably either have a story or remember some one's story. From the Bible to history, it is all story telling.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Another Google Adventure

This time an e-book reader. I really thought between Kindle, Noble and iPad along with other off named readers this was covered. However, Google takes reading to the cloud!

From Google's press release
Google Editions is an upcoming program that will allow consumers to easily purchase and read digital editions of books. Consumers will be able to preview a book, as they do today in Google Books, and will also have the option to purchase its Google Edition. After purchase, the book will live in the consumer's online bookshelf, available to be accessed and read on most devices with internet access and a Web browser; as well as on supported partner devices (to be announced during our public launch).

Interesting concept.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


1960 Rick Savage (From Def Leopard) was born
1946 Gianni Versache (You know the designer guy) was born
1988 the "Naked Gun" premiered!
1982 Barney Clark got a new heart (Artificial that is)
1964 Ringo Starr's tonsils are removed
1697 St. Paul's Cathedral opened

And sometime before all that...Nana was born.

Happy Birthday Nana!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Great, now three OS's

Upgraded the work phone to a Droid. The HTC Desire to be specific. It runs I believe 2.1 with a large touch screen. It is much improved over my Windows 6 phone. The screen is Capacitive which simply means it responds really well, the processor is much larger, has 8GB memory and more.

However, now I have Windows 7 on the desktop, Ipad (Apple) and the Android. Where will it end. Everything works really well, however I do not want to have 2 different app stores, different accessories for every one and of course none talk real well with each other.

Something I miss on the new phone is mobile hotspot. The ability to make a wireless Internet connection anywhere. That was nice with the iPad. AT&T does not work great in KS.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Arrested on Black Friday.

That one got your attention! Not me getting arrested, rather thousands across the nation. The statistic I saw on the news was that over 1500 people are arrested (Due to "Poor shopping behaviors" Some of the stories I heard local were people fighting over deals, throwing deals to their friends, and much more. Here are some examples that were worse.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Have quite a few books in the cue on the Kindle app along with some old school books. One of those paper books I was given at the ConnectWise conference and was a great read. Bounce (The art of turning tough times into triumph) by Keith McFarland. He spoke at the CW conference, he was a good presenter and had some great content. Interesting thing is his presentation was not the book. This was a pleasant surprise. Both the book and the presentation were great usually presenters with books simply put their book into their presentation. This was not the case, the presentation was new and extra content.

The one common theme was contrary to some popular beliefs about "getting the right people on the bus" and like Keith, I am tired of hearing this statement. Rather what his studies have lead him to was not getting the right people rather getting the people right! I could go into lots of discussions around this, rather I am suggesting you read this book. It has a great story and speaks directly to some companies that are struggling today.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It was the best of time and the worst of times.

Every year now some 12 years ago that I eagerly awaited this time of year and equally dreaded this time of year. I remember back to my Radio Shack days and recall the hurry to get home for Thanksgiving and then hurry back to work for the early am opening. Had to work late Wednesday to get ready for the early Friday. The excitement of the weekend. Every year on this upcoming weekend we would do more in one day then perhapse the average month. However it ment coming home exhausted, 65 plus hours a week and some not so happy customers.

So I remember when I am at some stores and see the tired faces of the people trying to serve. Give them a break this year and be understanding.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sure love Netflix this time of year.

When it is too cold and gets dark early, you can stream a movie or show and of course you get a movie or so a week. Having to rent and return the traditional way would sure be a pain now that I know the easy way.

PS Makes a great gift.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving and more.

One thing I have learned. There will always be more work. There will not always be time to spend with friends and family. You may want to take an audit of your time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cleaning up

Spent a little time with Rotary today cleaning up a stretch of road. It is amazing what you can find on the side of the road. From a socket wrench to enough straws to fill a trash bag. The whole experience will make me think twice about littering. (Not that I did it before anyway!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Celebrate good times Come On!

Spent this weekend celebrating the future and the past. It started with a baby shower for Josh and Lauren. Almost 30 women in the house. Really it was almost too quiet!

Then Saturday evening off to Rooftops to celebrate 50 years of marriage for Jenifers Grandparents. A good time and good meal for all.

We look forward to the future for both and celebrate the past.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The pat down?

A couple of weeks ago when I was in Florida I was hearing about the new regulations at airports having to do with pat downs. It was my luck that I was the luck recipient of being pulled out of line and having this done to me.

Since, I have been hearing the horror stories of how bad this is and how intrusive it is. Well, I have to give my take on this. It is not that bad.

First of all, the agent doing the pat down was very professional. To begin with he notified me of exactly the procedure he was using. Step by step, there were no surprises. When he came to sensitive areas, he notified me that he would be using the back of his hands and showed the exact methods he would be using. He stopped and informed me at least 3 different times. And every time he let me know I had the choice to do it in a secluded area.

The whole time for this, about 1.5 minutes. My bags had just come out of the scanners and once I was done I grabbed my bags and went on my way.

Here is the thing. I usually travel with a tube of Carmex in my pocket. It is rather small. This is the first time that an agent identified something in my pocket. (I was simply ask to show it to the agent) Before, this had never been caught even in pat downs.

End of story is, I feel more secure and I am willing to submit myself to a (Simple) pat down to ensure security (For me and others) Do I feel like my rights have been violated? No, in what way? Has these new procedures gone beyond reasonable search? No!

Now, that 45 minute wait at 6am was a bit long.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One final Florida thought

I ended the week freezing. They had a high of 62 on Sat. That broke 50 year record as the lowest high temperature. I got to go home to highs in the 70's, go figure.

One thing that I am continuouosly looking for is identifying the value of events. I can count so many for my week in Florida.
New books to read
The speakers
Products that we need to research
So many new contacts with so much good information
My Peers
Presentation skills and working on those

These are just a small sampling. However the real key is executing on these once I get home. Making the list, setting goals and time lines then getting it done. The real hard work starts now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kansas Marketplace

Have a couple of presentations this week in Dodge City about developing business. I presented last year at Kansas Marketplace and was invited back. It is a great way to meet some businesses and keep my presentation skills up to date.

Last night I had a chance to have dinner with the Dodge Staff. It is always good to connect with them. I have not been down to Dodge as much as in the past.

Today the second presentation. Should be fun!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where many do not see the light

I had to pull one statement from one of Arlin's posts titled "10 Things I accidently Learned"
That was "Sell is Not a Four Letter Word – Ok - actually it is, but for many years I missed the boat on this one. Nothing happens until someone sells something. We have to become a strong sales organization." More and more people associate sales as a bad thing. The reality is that sales done bad is a four letter word. To take that a step further, sales is usually done bad. You know, with all the tactics that are usually associated with "used car salesman"

HERE is one of my favorite all time examples.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sure is dark out there

The last week the nights seem short. Dark when you get home, the boys want to go to bed (or at least start thinking about it) around 7:30. Sure is hard to get motivated. This is my least favorite time of year. Days are short, weather is gloomy. It takes a little extra to keep focused.

So I am taking this time to really get laser beam focused on the results. Are you?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Taxi Cab ride

Had a good ride to my room next to the airport. (Get to have a little more sleep in the morning, however 5am is still early, yet time change gives me a little more sleep!)

Anyway, the Cabbie used to own 23 clothing stores in NY and was a very successful business man. However (In his words) did not keep a close eye on the bottom line and lost it all plus a significant amount.

The key he said was due to major clothing companies only selling to a select clothing stores or their outlets. They would no longer sell to him. By the time he realized the true impact of this to his business it was too late.

He as also a Real estate Agent here in FL. No sales THIS YEAR. So he needed steady income.

We also discussed how that worked. I was confused on a little, however the basic part was that he paid $200 a day to the company the the rest was his. He was explaining that he could only work certain areas and had mandatory lines that allowed other workers to get their share. Not true competition? So short trips would eat into his ability to make money. In other words a short trip to Disney would only make him $5-7 yet he would go to the end of the line.

Always interesting to get every one's story!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 5 DONE

So what a day. Saw Rudy (You know Rudy the movie) he was interesting and inspiring.
I moved from there to the HTG booth to help them out. It was a continuous stream of people wanting to know what this HTG thing is. See Here ( I was supposed to be there from 10 till 11:30. However we went until 12:30.

From there to my first presentation about HaaS. It went much better today. A little change, in the presentation along with some great help from Loren went a long way. It was interesting to see how the same basic slide deck with some small changes really changed the room. I feel quite a bit better about this presentation. I had 8 minutes between this presentation and the next.

I presented for SonicWALL (See Ted Hulsy and I have done several events now and it continues to get better. This also went really well.
Both rooms today were packed. People standing in the back, sitting on the floor and every seat filled. According to SonicWALL we had 120 plus people in the room. I have had over 50 emails today from these events and many connections on LinkedIN.
Here is one comment received today:

I really enjoyed your presentation at the ConnectWise conference on Taas. It was very informative and timely for my company.

Hi Steve,
I thought your presentation was one of the most valuable at the show. We are revamping some of our offerings now and your presentation speaks directly to some of our ideas.

Thanks for an excellent presentation, and your candor.

Thanks for the seminar

Hi Steve,
Can you please send me your TAAS presentation? It was great. Thank you for
Great presentation

So many more I could put!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 4 more hard work and found a little time for play. (On Delay)

Started the day early once again and unfortunately went to bed a little late last night. The keynote spoke about the challenges of growing a business, and some great examples of research and companies that have done just that.

I then moved on to my presentation on HaaS. We had standing room only. I am give myself a average presentation. It did not flow like I would have liked. So with Loren’s help, I spent some time tonight adding some content and rearranging information. We will see how tomorrow goes.

Tomorrow will be BUSY. Starting first thing in the morning I get to hear Rudy present. Moving from there it goes to working the booth for HTG then the HaaS presentation 10 minutes later I move to the SonicWALL Presentation. Will be interesting.

In the evening I will move to another motel that is closer to the Airport here in Orlando. I have to fly out early (But hey, I get to gain an hour! (Time change)
Oh yea!, Loren and I had a chance to visit EPCOT. We did some rides, shopping and we ate our way around the word. It involved snails, Wine, Crab, and some other interesting things. Finally, a couple of hours to enjoy Orlando.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So Day 3 is over and it was in your face.

We started the day with sales training. From Hiring, de-hiring, training expectations and measuring. I felt like it was well received. I set out to fill 3 hours and with questions and such we took up 4 hours and we had to cut it short. We had a couple of guests from the UK today and they had some unique input through out the day. We ended in some real direct feedback for the members doing their QBR’s (Quarterly Business Reviews) The group is really becoming direct and this creates a level of feedback that is honest and valuable.

I did have a comment from Raja today that was a huge compliment. He stated that I described sales in a very professional way and did the industry proud. He went on to describe sales as getting a bad rap. If done properly and in a Go-Giver way it can be very honorable and valuable.

So after getting some information (And open invite) about London I am adding it to the bucket list. Question is if Jen will go with me. I know we will have to wait till the kids will be older. However what a great experience to get the tour from a local and get a real view of another country. Raja probably did not know that he included all that in his invite. Maybe I can repay his generosity with a little sales training for his group.

In this blog I have documented (It has been a while) my ability to read people. One thing that was interesting to me is I was unable to read my new friends from overseas. We discussed some cultural differences that may be a key link to this ability to read. I am just interested in looking at this as a key to the ability to read. I also ran into my friend Fuzzy from Australia, he is less of a mystery. Per Raja, he suggested that those from the UK are more indirect and more specifically more polite. Is this the basic key? I just found it interesting.

All in all it was a great day and I am done. Put a fork in me. I ended the day with a trip to Lego Land and the boys will be very happy when I get back.
Raja challenged me to find my next challenge. Point taken.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 2 (On Delay)

Finished up facilitation today. It did not end on a up note, however getting real was the object of this meeting.


Another late night and early morning. I do not know the last time that I have felt this done at the end of the day. Great week ahead. I am sure that I will get more energy by then!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wow, Day 1 is over in Orlando (On Delay)

I thought yesterday would be a slow entry into HTG. Wow was I wrong. I had a plan to sleep in a little due to my first meeting being at 10, that didn’t happen. I was reminded by Christy to get the projector down early for some breakout sessions. So then I continued the fa├žade to think I would get back to the room till 10. Didn’t happen. The next time I saw the room was for 15 minutes to change into some tennis shoes to go to dinner.

Great restaurant at Disney. That took us until a little past 9 and of course couple of hours at the bar catching up, next thing I knew it was midnight and I still had a hour or so preparation. Made for a short night.

During the day I attended some Facilitator training that was well run and on time, training on Managed Services, then selling Managed services and Service Leadership. All capped off by meeting with SonicWALL to discuss their new Champs program. All in all a great start to the week. However, dragging a little already. I will get more energy once the day starts!

Monday, November 8, 2010

To Flordia I go (On Delay)

So today, I wake up at 36 degrees to be at almost 90 in Flordia later. I am going to see the gang at HTG (All event) and later to the ConnectWise event. I am presenting a total of 6 times. Doing somthing a bit different this time and presenting for SonicWALL (Hey Ted, I put the capitals in the right place this time)

Anyway, I am going with Loren who I have worked with in some capicity for over 15 years. Should be fun. The events go fast, the week goes fast, I HATE the travel. From the car to the plane to taxi to room etc.

Prayers to Jen being a single mother this week and being alone on her birthday once again this year. (Third year in a row I believe)

Thanks for all you do Jen.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I had someone tell me that advertising does not work!

Interesting statement coming from someone who was wearing the Nike Tennis Shoes, Nike Shirt and Nike watch! OK to be honest, I did not make that statement to them, it was not worth my time. Nike is an advertisement. Just do it "Right"

The next time you think that advertising does not work, just watch my kids ask for things they saw in school, tv or other. They are definitely easily influenced.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat Santa

I was thinking that Santa would be a good costume for Halloween!

Anyways, we took the boys trick or treating to a dozen or a little more places and they came home with enough candy to last till next October! So little Blue Power Ranger and Little Indiana Jones will be wired for a week or so!

I have noticed a LOT of Christmas targeted sales this week. Decorations started going up a couple of weeks ago. Now Santa could not trick or treat even if he wanted, he is too busy getting ready for the season.

**Cousin Parker pictured with the boys.

The big party

So we had the friend party then the family party this weekend. Caden and all had a blast!

I think he received all the Halo Lego sets. Great in theory, however, I can only put together so many sets in one weekend. Who is this challenge for? Me or Him?

Next is Jenny's birthday on Tuesday. She does not get a friend party.

Friday, October 29, 2010

8 Years ago today

Caden was born. Happy Birthday Caden.

I remember holding him, and having a nurse teaching me how to take care of a baby. Before that, I had never spent more than a few moments with a baby. Jenifer was unable to get around for a couple of days, so here I was, in the Hospital and later at home just figuring it out. Nobody seemed to know that I had no idea what I was doing.

That first night at home, I was worried that I put him to bed right, constantly checking on him, if he was quiet, making sure he was breathing.

Lots of things change in 8 years. You say what?

American Idol
My Space
Camera Phone
Demi and Ashton

Just to name a few. Just think what will change by the time he is 16!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Consistency may be a key that many miss in business.

Consistency in messaging
Consistency in employees
Consistency in the way you do things (Process)
Consistency in communication

Are you consistent?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

OK Fine I have to own up to selling my soul!

Thats right, I sold the ePad, bought an Ipad. It is better in every way and I love it. (However I hate myself for loving you Ipad (Isn't that almost a song that I could listen on the Ipad?)

It has great touch, great apps, easy to use, great battery, and on and on.

So far my favorite is the app that syncs my One Note between my laptop and Ipad. So, let the abuse begin. I deserve it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Great marketing from Robin Robins!

Her Halloween marketing piece to buy her Marketing Toolkit has been great to learn from.

It started with an email a week or so ago. Then was followed up with a orange mailer with Robin dressed up as the Candy Corn Witch (Or similar can't exactly remember) then late last week I received a trick or treat bag with some candy and more information all topped off with a phone call (After hours to my VM) that started with Halloween sounds and message.

It was well done. The key to the whole thing for me was the fact that it was coming via many media and was well followed up. Many times we only do one send and never follow up. Why would anyone ever listen, it is not unique. However the phone call, trick or treat bag and such definitely got my attention!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Did a little WHEELIN today

A HUGE thanks to Loren for taking us on a tour of the Vonlintel Estate. I really over used my welcome by bringing the Richards Family, the Cory and Landon Munsch along with Me and the boys. (Jen enjoyed some quiet time this afternoon)

We did prove that you can get 800cc's stuck down to the frame in mud. That would not have been that bad, however add a foot of water on top of that mud and we were getting abit worried. (At least Jake was) First time we really needed a winch to get us out.

Other than that, Caden had some problems getting stuck, however once we took the parking brake off it sure worked a lot better!

All in all a great time with the neighbors, friends and such.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No trips to the Emergency room,

The House did not burn down, the cops were not called and the children did not starve. Jenifer, our neighbor Fanny and friends went down to a Country and Western concert (Yuck) They saw Carrie Over the Woods and the guy who sings that song about God being Great, and beer being good. (Heard that one before, however is not quite as appropriate when sung in public by a 4 year old)

And yes, Kevin and I (Kevin being Fanny's husband)got the kids to school on time, fed, to religion and practices and even a birthday party. If I would have had any more direction you would have thought I was landing a Boeing 737 for the first time.

Everyone can now sleep easier, Jen and Fanny are back and in charge. I suppose, maybe just for a second, we all missed them.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The annual Vendor Meeting

Was last week at the Casino north of Topeka. It was another success according to the participants that I spoke to. This was our third year of having the event and we are down to one original vendor rep. Kevin from Sonicwall is now the most tenured participant. He really called me out on a couple of failure points. That is what this is all about. Celebrating the successes and bringing forward the failures.

To most, the economy is looking not quite as bad. However the telcom still is a bit down. We will see where next year takes us.

One unexpected result is by presenting where we are at and the things we did last year, it gave me a chance to stop for a second and admire the great things that were accomplished!

I do think that next year I will have to take it up a notch. Not sure what this looks like right now, just putting it down as a goal.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 3 update

Monday we went to Wamego Country Club see

What a beautiful course. The first 9 is definitely good, however the back 9 is the best course I have played. We really enjoyed that experience. I would suggest if you need a challenge, go and visit.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A little catching up to do

Yea, I have been slacking on the posts lately. However I have been busy!

Spend last weekend on a golf retreat. Had a great time. We played 36 holes on Sat at Council Grove CC.


My parents have a lake house on the City lake there and Bill Turman and myself went down to get in some golf with my Dad. Then on Sunday we met up with Jeremy Howland (My brother in-law) and we played 18 (Which I won) then we went to play a scramble in the afternoon. We got in 10 holes (Which me and my dad won over Jeremy and Bill)then was called due to Rain.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just for Mom

My tech speak about the iPad confused my mom. So mom, this one is for you. Here is what the iPad is (
Now what is it exactly. Well that is not so easy.
Most simple explination is; It is a large screen iPod/iPhone. (You know it plays music and video Think of it as a new version of the walkman mom)

What is the business purpose? Well, here is my opinion.
1. Email. It lasts all day battery wise, yet is more portable than the laptop
2. Apps. It has unique apps from education to other
3. Cool factor. Why not.

What are other purposes?
1. Mobile video player
2. MP3 player (IE Music mom)
3. Games

Hope that helps.

No, it is not a replacment for depends :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Looking forward to Connectwise Conference?

It is not often I look forward to a conference. However this time I am looking forward to this event. The location is great, just across from Disney World in Orlando, I get to catch up with the HTG 3 group and have a meeting along with all the HTG family and then I am presenting with Sonicwall, Connectwise and more. Should be a packed week.

Beyond all that I just learned that Rudy is going to be there as a speaker! You know Rudy!

Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger
Against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Indiana, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in twenty seven seconds, carved his name into history books as perhaps the most famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame. The son of an oil refinery worker and third of 14 children, Rudy Ruettiger rose from valleys of discouragement and despair to the pinnacles of success. It took years of fierce determination to overcome obstacles and criticisms, yet Rudy achieved his first dream – to attend Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish. As fans cheered RU-DY, RU-DY, he sacked the quarterback in the last 27 seconds of the only play in the only game of his college football career. Rudy Ruettiger is the only player in the school’s history to be carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Apple and my Soul

Has the most hits of all time on my blog. Over 100 views in a day. Are people interested in the pad or just in me not joining the Apple bandwagon. PS I found another person using that thing; Aaron Booker. I appreciate his tag line on all emails sent:

Sent from my Timex Sinclair ZX81 with the Cassette Tape Option (aka iPad)

Wiki link for those of you that have no clue what he is speaking about.

I did ask him his thought about the iPad and he loves it. He now lives in Mexico? It really sounds like a nice place. I will be jealous here in a couple of months when it is REALLY cold here. Maybe I can convince Jen to make a visit in January. We will know someone there it may be different?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So where is this Pad thing going

After doing some research here is my thoughts.

1. This tablet, Slate thing will continue to grow.
2. Android 3.0 may help this thing. 2.1, 1.8, 2.2 are not really built for this application. (3.0 is supposedly built for this)
3. Windows mobile 7 may be good for this also. (Yet to be seen)
4. Palm/HP is releasing thier version early next year. I would think Palm would be good at this!
5. Lenovo is building theirs. (I doubt they will take off)
6. iPad is King. (BUT REALLY expensive) I am still amazed they released this product and it has stayed ahead for almost 3/4 of the year.
7. Battery life is key. 10 to 12 plus is a must for this to work. Otherwise I would use my laptop.
8. Capacitive touch is required with multitouch. (If you do not know what this means, trust me)
9. I do not think any iPad like device will kill the Kindle. It has great screen, and does a really good job at one thing. Weight, screen, battery, market place, ease of use are all downfalls of the competition to the Kindle.
10. Windows 7 will not really compete even though this is Microsofts answer to the iPad. Once again, 7 is not great with touch, battery is an issue.
11. Early next year dual processing in these units will be standard. Apps continue to grow.
12. I found a new interesting app store for your net book from Intel. Go here|appup_us_app|rd11186|s&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_term=app_store&utm_content=appup_us_app&utm_campaign=DIV_US_AppUp_Brand_-_(S)
13. Things Apple should include in their next version. USB, Flash memory, Flash video, HDMI out, and of if I am going to dream, 1/2 the price, better processor, 2x the memory, 2x the battery and 1/2 the thickness (:))

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ePad update

So it has been almost a week that I have had the ePad. I barely have a chance to use it due to the kids really enjoying it. It has been a real educational tool. Carsen plays memory (Charlie Brown version), Puzzles, and watching videos. Caden has been using the math program to help him with his addition and subtraction. Tonight we had another fight on which one got to use it.

The good; The screen quality, touch works good, ease of use and tons of free apps.
The bad; Battery (3-4 hours with heavy use and wireless), No multitouch, Internet surfing is slow and wireless has been an issue. You cannot use WEP otherwise it shuts off the wireless after a short while. I have a couple of AP's around the house and set one up to do mac filtering and now it works good.

End of story is that it is a good educational tool, simple to use, however it is not quite baked yet.

Once again this is the Zenithink or ZT-180 or ePad.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How Windows Mobile 6.1 almost made me miss the game?

Went to the Chiefs/49ers game today. My good friend Kevin took me again. (Not sure why he would keep doing this other than he is a giver) Anyway, we leave at 5am so to get there to tailgate.

For over a decade, Jenifer has had the alarm clock on her side so on these occasions that I have to get up early, I use my mobile phone. (Windows mobile 6.1) I always worry about over sleeping, however my internal alarm clock goes off before the actual alarm clock. ALWAYS!

Not this morning. The good ol phone locked up and shut off sometime in the night. I woke 8 min till 5. Just enough time to hit the bathroom, dress and get the ribs out of the fridge. No shower for sure.

So, this week, I will pickup the new alarm clock for my side of the bed and not worry about this at home any more. However on the road, it is a different story.

PS, my niners lost badly. Still, I get to cheer on the 3-0 Chiefs!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I almost sold my soul to Apple

Thats right, I almost purchased an ipad. I wanted an ebook reader, email device and the mobility with a larger screen. (As discussed in previous posts on this blog)

What I did buy was a Zenithink. A what? A Zenithink.

Why did I do that you ask versus the iPad? Simply price (Value) I spend $250 delivered versus the entry level iPad. Have I got your attention? I recieved it yesterday night so I have not had it long. Yet long enough to say I am happy with the money I spent. Here is what I have discovered.

First of all, I had a chance to play with Joddey's iPad tuesday so I had a good chance to compare (However not side by side)

The bad first
1. The Zenithink is not multitouch. (it does not recognize two fingers at once doing picture enlargements or shrinking)
2. It is plastic (I think the iPad has metal on back)
3. Battery is 4 hours maybe a bit longer (However under heavy use)
4. You have to do some teching to get the Android marketplace.
5. No 3G built in. (IE mobile data via cellular) It does have wifi.

The good
1. Has a flash drive built in.
2. Will play flash video's (On web, many sites have this)
3. Has USB ports for external flash drives, camera's and such.
4. Uses Android.
5. Not an Apple
6. Cost
7. Screen is really pretty good. iPad may be a bit clearer. Not much.
8. Recieved in 3 days from provider ( (Not paid advertisement)
9. Pretty intuitive to use
10. Great Apps

Quote I found on line.. "Yea though I walk through the valley of Google I shall fear no Apple... "

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nana and the exploding Potato?

Jenifer ask Nana if she should poke holes in the potatoes. Guess she got the answer WRONG!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

They wouldn't do it if it didn't work?

Yes they would! Many times companies believe that they are doing things because it is the best way, the easiest way or gets results. However it becomes more and more clear that either they are not measuring results (Processes or other)or they are measuring the wrong things.

It goes back to the daughter and the ham. (I think I have told this story before)

Mom, why do we cut the ends off the ham?
(Mother) because Grandma did it.
(Daughter to Grandma) Grandma, why do we cut the ends off the ham? Because Great Grandma did it
(Daughter to Great Grandma) Great Grandma, why do we cut the ends off the ham?
(Great Grandma) Because the pan was too small!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Followup to the Games!

Yes, the baseball game was that interesting that the girls read the paper (Royals Game that is, Chiefs were much more interesting. I think I may have hearing loss!). Really, Jenifer was looking over the guy who was sitting in front of us (Looked very similar to the Caveman commercials) and our neighbors son was pictured in the KU paper. Of course she ask him for the copy when he was done and brought it home for our neighbors.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Take me out to a couple of ball games

Leaving for KC after the kids go to school today. A 2:00 Royals game followed by 9:00 KC Chiefs Monday night football. What could be better.

Going with Jen, our good friends and neighbors the Bainters.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Out fished?

So Caden, my Dad and myself all went four wheeling and left the pole with Jenifer and Grandma. (Yea, we were not thinking) Anyway, I am told there was lots of screaming and such. I would have loved to see her remove the hook?

End of story is that Jenifer caught the largest fish of Labor Day weekend!

Proves one thing, sometimes being at the right place at the right time is as important or more important than skill.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life's short you need a Treager?

What? That is the commercial running on the radio. If you do not know, Treager is a grill. So...
A Treager makes you live longer?
Makes your food taste that much better that it is ok that life is short?

Sorry, that one confuses me.

Maybe it is genius marketing since I listen carefully to the commercial every time it comes on looking for why a Treager has somthing to do with life being short.

Good thing I own one I guess?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

Yes I am!

You say, what about print!

Print? Ok, when I refer to print, I reference any print media. From email, twitter, postcards, enewsletters and such.

There are some good copyrighters. I however am not one. I can come up with some good idea's, but grammer is a HUGE challenge (as you can tell by the blog)

Anyway, recently some of the idea's I have are around getting people's attention.

We have all seen;
you can save money
you can make more money
buy from us...

Point is, it is old and worn out and does not make me want to read what they have to say. The titles like
Top 5 ways to save $250 or more a month
Learn the hidden secret that IT companies do not want you to know!
Beat the competition through these 3 new to market concepts.

Sure, you have to deliver some GREAT content. Again, unique, interesting and educational. Use statistics, build a case and present the solution. Build a process that you can repeat!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You want more good commercial examples?

Fine, try these! (PS you have to click on the words below!)

I am stuck on
How about this one with the classic line?

There are so many. I could go on forever.

The point is, these were unique. Some of these were created over 30 years ago and still many remember these like they were yesterday. And sure, you never know what is going to be this successful and if it was that easy, everyone would do it. Find one of these and you can make a HUGE impact!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good Marketing?

I was discussing good marketing versus bad (Well or average) marketing with Tammy the other day. I was looking at an insert in a newsletter and it was saying what a company does. You know, we serve this, we are great at this, customer service is wonderful and blah, blah, blah.

Really, I never got past the first line. I could have told you about what the rest of the print was going to say. Same old, Same Old.

I know that company paid a hefty sum to have this developed. And sure, the graphics were right on, the text would be right out of some English book for its accuracy and if I was classically trained in marketing, I am sure that I would appreciate the symmetry of the text, graphics and color across the page.

Well, I am not. The purpose of the marketing should be (As discussed earlier) to really help soften the market, bring brand awareness, and such. The piece that I was speaking with Tammy was a brand awareness piece. It said nothing unique, no real market distinguishing factors and did not really teach me anything.

Why not be unique, capture my interest (As we know,I have a short attention span) and give me value. At least entertain me!

Examples of some good marketing that crosses my mind.

Where's the Beef!
OK that one was old school. How about the new Kia commercial! Music alone is worth the view!
And speaking of music. What about the Bologna commercial lets face it, a whole generation learned to spell bologna from this commercial.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sales and Marketing?

Ok, that is the title of this Blog. Question is, can sales and marketing be separated? Are they different?

I suppose the answer has to be yes. I know lots of really good companies that do sales, yet have no real marketing. Sure, some of the sales reps do some marketing. And yes, the companies do some "lunch and learns", however they do not really have much beyond that.

Many ask what is marketing?. Yea, I Googled it. No real help there other than to suggest I should define Marketing as I refer to it in this Blog.

Here is my definition.
1. A process to bring market awareness to your brand, company and services.
2. The building of a brand. (External and Internal)
3. The softening of the market to make it easier to sell into (Direct Sales)
4. The development of LEADS?
5. The Positioning of a company
a. As a leader in the field
b. As a good corporate citizen
c. As a "Green" company
6. I would also suggest that Marketing and Media Creation would be in one bucket. Media creation is the development of print, online media, Logo's and such.
7. The development of online presence and social media integration.

I will have more on marketing on going.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

If the House is a ROCKIN

It is just the workers building the new street next to our house. They have some type of dirt compactor that must vibrate.

We were home for lunch the other day and I ask Jenifer if she was washing some heavy clothes. I had never felt the washing machine vibrate everything in the house before, but it was the only thing I could think of. I came to figure out that it was the new construction that was rockin the house.

The kids are going to have to learn to look both ways to cross the street and I am too when it comes to backing out of the driveway.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Putting the Labor in Labor Day


We packed up quite a bit of stuff to go to the Lake House this weekend.

3 ATV's
Guns to Hunt Dove
Life Jackets to Tube and swim
2 Sets of Golf Clubs (Carsen and Me)
2 Boys
1 wife

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

Should be a great weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Life after the e-Book Reader

So, I am looking for an e-Book reader, however I may be a bit bleeding edge. Noting that Archos is releasing several new "Slates, Tablets, iPad, Micro PC" devices and the size, and price of all of these devices are dropping faster than I could break one of these devices (PS That is fast)

Other examples include the Cruz Reader along with the others that I spoke of yesterday.

I think they are on to something. Low cost, thin, light computing. It does not replace the PC/Laptop, simply it is a in between the small PC on your phone (Too small of a screen) and the larger PC/laptop. It will be interesting to see what really happens in this space.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Going Digital

If you have been following the Blog, you may remember that I have gone all digital at the office (Home is almost there). What does that mean, simply if you check the filing cabinets, there is nothing in them. OK, I have 4 files.

1. Receipts for the company CC.
2. Marketing information. Stuff I want to see how it actually went out!
3. The "Boss" file. He is a analog guy. So I have to take some docs and print docs for him sometimes.
4. Not scanned yet docs. Not many things in there most of the time. However sometimes I get behind

Anyway, where am I going with this. I believe it is soon time to go digital with books. I have been studying e-book readers. Consumer Reports suggests the Kindle from Amazon. And of course they have several models starting in the mid $100's. Everyone I have spoken with loves their Kindle.

However, I have looked at the iPad. A multipurpose device, seems cool from what I have seen. However I am a Microsoft guy. The Slate devices are not quite their. However all their apps and such would work nicely with my existing infrastructure.

Like everything else, why can't all my devices just play nice together. Any one's input would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Watch out Dove

Going to do something it has been years since I have done it. Me and Caden are going Dove hunting tonight! Last time I fired the shotgun around Caden, he did not like the sound much.

I did find some interesting services that are really handy.

First I had no idea where my Hunters Safety Card was. Web, here I came. And thanks to the Kansas Wildlife Department, it was easy enough to re-print. Of course for a charge. I was more than willing to pay. I did not have to leave my house to get it, where in the past I would have had to go to the local office and probably had to wait while they pushed paper. That is nice.

Then again to get the hunters lic. Same thing. Web here I came and it was easy to buy from the house.

Easy revenue for Kansas Department of Wildlife and easy for me. They got it right!

All companies should make it this easy. From upgrading your cable to a bigger package (Why not on line) to changing your cell bill and even your insurance plans. I am sure some companies offer some of these services. Many times you can do some options but not all....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaching class again thanks to Tammy

Anyway, I was updating some presentations from last year and found one update particularly interesting that has changed. The statistic was last year that 1/2 of the of the information learned the Freshman year would be outdated by the end of the Senior year. (4 year senior, not the longer term college student)

The new statistic is that 1/2 of the information would be outdated by the beginning of the Junior year. So it has cut the time in 1/2.

It goes to prove even stronger that the modern skill is the ability to process vast quantities of information, remove the noise and apply the important pieces.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I was ask today if my Blog was broken

Nope, just been busy. I will try and do better this week.

Carsen has been coming home with new songs from school this week and Caden has really been challenged by 2nd grade.

Really seeing changes in the boys. However I am really puzzled out. Carsen is into puzzles right now. I cannot wait till he is a teen ager and I can puzzle him with classic car building. We will see!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Today is a big day for Carsen

First day of Preschool. He has been asking for almost a week if that day was the first day. He is excited to go. His friend Jada from across the street is in his class. One thing about Carsen is he does not have problems making friends. I will update everyone on how his day went.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back to school good for work?

I have observed that this week, every one seems more focused and process oriented. I am suggesting that this may be due to school being in session.

Vacations are over
Kids have specific schedules
Back to "Normal"?

Just a thought.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An update to the White Water Rafting

Just remember you can make money almost anywhere. Yep, I paid the $20 for one picture.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In the office? In Sales

Last I remember you cannot close sales in the office. If you have the expectation that your sales people be in the office. Expect them to perform poorly.

Infront of customers from 9-4 minimum is the best place for reps to be. I recently heard someone talking how they did not see "rep" and they must not be working. Measure by results, not by 8-5

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

There is a snake in the house?

So Carsen is looking at me and sees that I have some skin peeling (From the burn in the mountains.) He had never seen this before. He was asking about it when I told him I was turning into a snake and shedding my skin.

Carsen's response "I don't want you to turn into a snake, you are my friend."

Monday, August 16, 2010

On the boat and in the water (On delay)

Caden and I ended our mini vacation today. We slept in, had a great home cooked breakfast, then we took the pontoon boat out to the middle of the lake, cranked the tunes and simply swam and hung out. Nothing but cool water and smooth tunes.

Sure, afterwards we had to do some tubing. Caden now can max the pontoon boat out. We cannot throw him no matter how we try. Next comes the other boat. More HP, speed and faster turning. We will see how much dare devil he really has in him.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

(On Delay Again) A great day off

So got up this morning and played 18 holes of golf (Got a bit hot towards the end) Had lunch. Took Caden Kneeboarding, tubing, swimming and more. Then ate BBQ then after a quick break, let Caden swim some more.

Caden is completely wore out. "My legs wont keep up with me"

I can feel the tension coming out of my shoulders.

I look forward to another repeat of today, tomorrow!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

(Yea, more delay, we are back now)

Me and Caden took a couple of days off before school starts next week. We are going to the lake house and he is going to learn how to knee board with me, grandma and grandpa. Should be fun. I hope he learns it easy!

I was speaking to a neighbor last night and he made the statement that it must be nice to have vacation. (He owns his own business) I put it back to him that other than the wife, he has no boss. It all balances out somewhere.

Friday, August 13, 2010

(on Delay) From 49 to 100 today

Last night we ended with a simple American meal. Hamburgers and Beer. You know you choose the perfect location for a meeting when people decided to move their flights around and stay a day or two longer.

Around the table last night we were discussing our guides that did the White Water Rafting. It was a family owned business where it was Grandpa, Dad, son, daughter in law all being guides. They did not have the Cadillac equipment, but it was good however they were all EXPERTS. It showed in their actions, planning and performance. They were all very personable and really were 50% of the trip. Explaining the different features of a river, the the types of trees, rocks and such. It was really entertaining. They did not try and push buying photos, shirts or other on us. They simply wanted a referral.

Wow, what could we learn from this in the IT industry. It is not about the speeds and feeds, it is about showing our expertise in a humble way, great customer service and well planned out execution. It is about the customer, not the stuff.

So today I start the drive home. Sad to see the trip end, happy to see Jenifer and the boys. Being gone last week and this week has put me out quite a bit. I am ready to get the new ideas I have picked up in to execution stage, not ready for the heat. One more trip in the near future. Caden and I have a trip to the Lake house. I am going to teach him how to kneee board and I am sure tubing will also be on the plate. (He is now an expert in his mind) School starts in a couple of weeks and it is amazing how quick time goes by. I now am father to a 2nd grader!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

(On Delay) Exhausted!

What a great day of play with the HTG group. We went to the Arkansas River and did a little river rafting. It was a great bonding experience. The drive up was beautiful and on the way back we stopped by a lake and just admired the beauty.

This was a wonderful way to wind down from an intense couple of days of meetings.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back to the oven

It is amazing how quickly you get used to 70's and forget how uncomfortable 100 really is. It sure is great to be home and see the boys and Jenifer. We will definitely have to make the trip to the mountains in the summer as a family soon. Should be a inexpensive vacation next year when it is 100 degrees.

Finishing up HTG3 we decided where we are going next year. So our trip in first quarter will be back to Vegas. We all decided that Vegas is low cost, easy to get to and has a lot to offer. I home Jenifer can make the trip this time. We will see.

Then in August we are going to Atlanta. Yea, may not be the coolest location in August. Brad will have to carry Ice in his pockets. Brian from UTG promises he will deliver a great time there. We will get to see his office and the southern sites!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

(On Delay) Amazing Sites and Amazing friends

Met up with several friends from HTG3 last night. Had some great times catching up and even doing a little business. It is absolutely beautiful here. Mountains with streams running everywhere. Really makes you appreciate nature and keeping it clean.

During some of our business discussions last night we had to discuss the "Knock Knock" Plan (Attributed to Ron) Anyway, the real discussion came to an employee in a company that did not like what they were doing, the company did not like what they were doing yet no one would make the first move. It is my opinion that everyone would be happier if it came to an end. The company can move to a new way of doing business that is more productive and profitable and the employee will find a position somewhere they like (And if they do not, we know where the problem is)

Trying to be gentle in such situations may be more harsh than giving direction.

Monday, August 9, 2010

And it is over. (On Delay)

Day 2 of HTG 3 is over. Like always I learn so much. Today we had some great input from Webb at McLane Advanced Technologies. There is some definite knowledge he has gained over 30 years running 1/2 Billion dollar company. (Yes with a B). He shared his experience from the plastics industry to the food service industry and how it really does not matter what type of business it is. Great customer service, honesty and integrity and processes will make you successful.

Even beyond that, we had great topics;
Appraisal and metrics
Cash flow
Connectwise usage and reports
Life Plan
Group dynamics
and more

One theme that continues is the need for sales, sales management and processes. Many of the companies have been in this group for 4 years, yet little progress has been made. Why does this continue to be such an enigma?

As always, facilitating is one of the most challenging things I do. From keeping us on pace to keeping us on topic and I really play a strong role in the dynamics of everything. I continue to get better, yet feel there is a long ways to go. The group has really found its groove and we are picking up the pace and really making a difference.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day one HTG 3 (On Delay)

Day one started out slow. (Maybe a bit too much bar last night) However we really caught our groove mid morning. The group has been together long enough to really let everyone know how they feel. It is nice to get there. The QBR (Quarterly Business Reviews) are a little all over the place. Clearly the amount of time you invest into the report shows and helps you get value. We struggle on how much time to give. If you let it go, every member would take 2 hours and it is all we would do. However not enough and people cannot get to the key points. The presentation is as important as everything else.

We had a great dinner with Jan from eFolder. Great friends, great food and great time.

I had a chance to connect with several new members in a deep way. I cannot wait to get at it in the morning.

PS Mountain air is great! Views do not get any better!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

From 107 to 71 (On Delay I am home now)

So Monday in Hays it was 107 actual temperature and heat index above 110. I am traveling today to Vail Colorado to facilitate HTG3. Again, one of the most challenging things I do. From getting facilities correct to keeping agenda and more.

One thing that always happens from these events is the energy that I come back with. New ideas, execution and just the recharging of business. I look forward to the week!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A thankyou and great call.

Kevin from Sonicwall called me very excited about picking up a new account. He went on to tell me how he was able to close a big opportunity with a VAR in St. Louis due to some things that I have done with Ted from Sonicwall.

I really appreciated the thanks. It really makes you understand when it all comes together. I guarntee that I recieved more than I gave. It is true, the Go Giver really works.

Connecting and helping is a great way to be successful.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Great service from an Airline?

Last week I had great service from American Airlines. I wish I had caught the name of the guy who helped me. I was checking a bag and the rep looked at my flight and saw that it was delayed due to an earlier flight in Chicago being a problem.

Anyway, he ask me if I minded that I went through Dallas instead of Chicago. Of course not, I would rather avoid Chicago. So, I got home an hour earlier, quicker flights and all went well.

For a change I got good service from an airline. (Plus I had exit row seating!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So what did I learn (On delay)

Today was the last day of the Robin Robin's course. Sure, I learned how to close from the podium, and got a real insight into Robin herself and the business (Priceless fyi). I found I learned that much more about marketing and presenting such as;

From Marketing;
The process
About copy writing
Some GREAT Ideas and such
Key points that flow through out all of Robins marketing
Response rates and what changes effect the outcome and how much (Priceless again)
Marketing of events
How to drive attendance
How to prep

From Speaking
the flow
CLOSE (Priceless)
Response rates and what changes effect the outcome and more

So beyond all of that (And trust me I am glossing over quite a bit) I spend two days swimming with sharks. People who are on the top of their game and really make you think. Some of those sharks included venture capitalists, restaurant marketers, several authors.

I look forward to putting this new knowledge into use.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Report after day one (On delay)

Spent the day with Robin Robins and her speaker training. Learned quite a bit about not only presenting but closing sales during presentations. Most sales training that I have gone through in the past had to do with;

Cold Calling
One on One appointments
Proposal delivery
Overcoming objectives

The standard sales training. This training really turned things into a different view. I have heard others in the industry refer to Robin as the best in the business when it comes to closing from the podium. I would concure.

Sure, I will definitely improve my skills presenting and such. I also see quite a benifit to my daily sales skills. I was very impressed with her ability to tell sales stories. I have heard her tell a couple of these stories many times. She tells them almost the same way with as much or more impact every time.

Like I thought, this would really challenge me. There are many high level players in the room that has forced me to step up.

I look forward to Friday and see what comes.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

To the lowest bidder? (on delay again)

I stayed in KC last night at a Comfort Inn. There was almost an incident. I was in the bathroom in the morning and when I went to get out, I could not. The door latch and such was so poor it would not unlatch.

I did manage to use some items in my shaving bag to get the door open. I did think of what would of happened if that had not worked. How long do you think that it would have taken house keeping to come?

Anyway, this motel was newly built (In fact did not have any landscaping done yet) Anyway, they did not have alarm clocks yet (They were on back order) and the quality of the construction was very poor.

This all made me feel better about getting on the airplane today that was most likely built by the lowest bidder.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Scary? (On delay)

As noted, I am home from the trip, this is on delay....

I have read and heard the advice a couple of times that says, do something that scares you. Well, this week I am doing that (Although I am not exactly sure why)

I am traveling to KC today to fly out tomorrow to Nashville. I am taking some training offered by Robin Robins. It is to learn to sell like Robin See the link to see the exact details.

Anyway, this course is pretty pricey for two days. I have yet to meet Robin in person, however I have done a couple of events with her and listened to all her boot camp. As part of my homework for this event, I listened to her information on the trip here. It has been impressive and unique. I look forward to the class. In addition there will be 10 (Or so) other people attending that I probably have not met before.

We will see.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paranoid will be your downfall

OK as you may recall from months ago, I am a fan of Big Brother.

I enjoy watching the interaction and watching what people do under pressure. This week one of the players would have been safe if they just kept cool. However that did not happen. They exploded and let their emotions get the better of them. Once that happened it all came crumbling down.

This is where counting to 10 and holding your tongue really makes a difference.

Many times I have seen business people over react to what they thought was a threat or other. Before they think about everything or get all the facts, they go off and really hinder their career.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fatherly Advice?

It was not directed at me however I did pick up some real food for thought from my dad today.

"Some day you stop working for the money"

What does this mean? It can mean quite a few things such as

For helping people?
For the fun of it?
To make a difference?

While all of these things may be valid, the context is more in the fact that when I started working, I went to work to pay for college, car, food and such. Clearly those needs are met. Once you get to that happy point in which you have met your needs or exceeded, then you start working to get to that next level. I would also say that it goes across the board. You work on the details to get a good review or raise early on. Now you do it to do your best, make the most difference or more.

Anyway, what are you working for?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nothing to say?

Really that is about it. I have been enjoying some cooler temperatures here in KS. That is about to end. It seems that we go from the dead of winter (Too cold to go outside) then to the top of summer (Too HOT) Sure, there are good days in the middle. They are too few in between.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Getting Political

Every once in a while I am reminded of my Political Science Degree and see the political world around me. This week it has been easy. The high this week of political post cards in the mail was 6. To be honest, did not read one. They were all similar, they had bashing of the other candidate and I have already seen the TV ads bashing each other. This year they really focused on the negative.

On a side note, I have been ask more than once what Nex-tech had to do with one particular candidate? I finally saw the ad on TV. They had a picture of the Wichita newspaper about the other candidate doing somthing, but above that happened to be Nex-tech in the news. They were not related at all. Just considence.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I missed the appointment

No, not really me.

I had a vendor that has been calling weekly and really, I have very little interest in his solution. I made that clear up front. However, persistence pays off with me and finally we set a call time.

That time came and went. About 10 min late, I received an email saying they would be 15 min late. Well, at least they did not leave me hanging. Wait, it was not over yet. 45 minutes, here comes an email saying oops, could not get off a call.

Things happen, I get that. Do not over book like an airliner. Otherwise, good luck getting my attention again.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Heating it up

The actual temperature here right now is 106 with heat index above 110. The strange part is the wind. Usually when we get the hot weather we get wind to help cool it down. Not this week.

I checked Miami FL. 89 with heat index 95

Highest I could find was the Mohave Desert. Currently 109 with expected high 117. Their temperature is forecast over 110 every day for 7 days. BUT their heat index is lower than actual temperature.

I guess I live in the desert.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Jenifer Followup

So I think she enjoyed the week about Jen. She did state that it was interesting. However now that is not about her it is boring.

That's my life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Flip Flop

OK Remember my "Fun hater" neighbor Fanny? Well, Fanny has recently found herself in the court room. As much as I would love to say it was for something interesting, it was for speeding. No, not just speeding but also having illegal tint on her windows.

Here in KS you can only have tint so dark. (Which is so light why bother) anyway, it is still illegal. She had to go to court to show she had it removed. (OOPS she forgot), anyway, she went to court in flip flops. Guess what. No flip flops in the court room! The way she described it to me is the public defender had to walk in and out of the courtroom to where she was to ask questions and such.

Guess what, she paid.

I will add that she was not the only member of the "Flop" club. There were more outside the court than in.

Guess I am not the only one that pays attention to footwear.

Lesson, flip flops are for the pool and beach. Not the court room!

PS I saw her yesterday. Guess what, still wearing the $200 flip flops...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Which way is North

In business it is very important to know which way you are headed. We have some navigation tools to help us in business. Financials, surveys, employee satisfaction, sales reporting and more. However those tools are like a compass. Sure, you know what direction you are going, however you cannot program in where you want to go and have it take you to it. You know like a GPS.

BI (Business Intelligence) is what you use like a GPS. I work in the technology business. With that you would think we would have a real advanced GPS (BI) tool. Unfortunately, many of our tools are elementary when it comes to getting us where we want to go.

Then there is your career. Do you know where you want to go? Do you know what direction it is? Do you have a career GPS? Have you ask?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Too Busy?

Lately I have seen more businesses that have said they are too busy to help me. From stretching carpet to getting a car serviced and more.

What options does that leave me? Even though I am loyal to some of these companies and they have provided me good service in the past, I need service now? Most likely it will cost these companies my business for good. That means that when I am ready for a large purchase, I am not coming back to those who were too busy.

We deal with this in my industry every day. The challenge is that you cannot have resources just sitting around for every call, however we have to have them available for those who are loyal and good customers. I have yet to see a system that works.

I think the solution lies in process and fully utilizing resources.

How do you handle this problem?

I make every effort to make sure that I am never too busy for customers, vendors, employees and family.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yea, I have been quiet (I know that is unusual!)

I have had quite a few opportunities knock this week. Opportunities to learn and grow my self.

I did a Robin Robins event on Thursday that was great, I will post the link when it is up. As always I learn a lot doing these events and it stretches me. It was lots of fun.

Off for a round of golf this morning, not as early as I have been going. Hard to get a group motivated at 6:30....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

You have to appreciate some good wordsmithing

From Tammy today. See her blog on the side! About one of our reps!

When you read it, imagine a pic of Loren, tearing back his Nex-Tech polo shirt, with the emblem SSD emblazoned on the front…

Faster than a normal hard drive!

More reliable than a spinning CD!

Able to retain memory during sudden power outages!

Yes, It's Super Solid-State-Drive Man!

Disguised as a mild-mannered account specialist, Loren VonLintel came to Nex-Tech with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal technicians. Super Solid-State-Drive Man can change the course of mighty networks, and can withstand extreme shock, vibration and temperature ranges with his bare hands. Super Solid-State-Drive Man fights the never ending battle for network security, data protection, and the Nex-Tech BTG Way.

I was impressed that Tammy knew what SSD was! I guess she forgot that SSD Man is also a SUPER EDUCATOR!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pet Peeves?

We were talking about them today and it was pointed out today that I have a few.

Bad driving
Messy Car
Back Stabbers

OK there were so many more. Then I was thinking that recently my pet peeve is bad mark ting. I have seen some really bad stuff. There has been a compute company that clearly has paid for some post cards. They are "ok" at best post cards, the issue is that they must have paid every distribute to send them out. So in today's mail I received 7 post cards and 3 of them were the same.

The message was not great to begin with. However it is starting to look desperate when you get 7 in one day (Each from a different distributor/seller)

Be original, make it fun, have a specific point.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It is half over?

Does it seem possible that the year is half over? Everyone talks about how the older you get the faster time goes by and I must be getting close to that "older" part. I am not willing to admit I am old yet.

Anyway, it really makes me look at where I am at when it comes to goals. Things are really looking up this year when it comes to those goals. If you remember a while back I told you that I was going to let you know when I come up with my B.H.A.G. Well I am still working on it, however I am getting close. If you were to ask me what that would be about right now, I would have to say a small part of it would be around culture. Yet, I am not there yet.

Set your goals, keep focused and execute.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jenifer week ends with a bang.

The boys blew up lots of things last night and celebrated our freedom to do such.

With this we end the week of Jenifer. I have found that many people feel left out on the blog. So you will probably see some new names over the next couple of months. I do not leave people out on purpose, rather sometimes I do not want the abuse they may bring!

All in all, the week was a success, Jenifer said the blog was not boring last week!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Jenifer's Clock is Ticking

Nope, not that one.

Her patience clock with pretty much everyone. You know that clock where you are supposed to count to ten before you say anything. She does a great job of waiting to respond. Where in contrast (I am getting better)I would respond quickly then regret what I said.

In business this can be a great asset. Instead of reacting (Fast) you are thinking about what you say and even more importantly, how you say it!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jenifer is Driving me Crazy!

More specifically, her driving drives me crazy. Even her back seat driving is bad! A couple of weeks ago when we were on vacation she had so many words for me about driving in the city. The "Virtual" passenger brakes were worn out! The reality is in the big city you have to be aggressive or you will never get there.

Anyway, back to her driving. When turning right she goes into the far left lane. When turning left, she goes to the far right lane. Blinkers? Never hear of them! Lets not even talk about what happened to the rims on the Tahoe?

Well, I am sure after this post I will get a little back seat driving!

So what is the business link?

It is all about taking criticism. Do you learn when people try and help make you better? Or do you get defensive and attack? I will let you know what Jenifer does!

PS We have 6 hours worth of driving on Sat. (Which I will have to drive while she sleeps) I am sure to find some criticism then!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mad Skills Jenifer?

Remembering peoples names is one skill that Jenifer has that I wish I did. She remembers their name, kids names and other. Me, I cannot remember what I did this morning none the less peoples names. I do play the association game with names and that helps some.

Many times she has helped me out in public situations knowing that I have no idea what that persons name is, she will lead with their name to bail me out.

Maybe I do need her around me all day.

In sales, remembering peoples name can be a huge advantage.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jenifer is a Hoarder!

OK, that got her attention. If anything she is the opposite. She is always on me to throw (Valuable Stuff) away. Everything from paperwork and cables to stuff in the attic. I cannot keep anything. An example is the newspaper. Here in Hays, we get the paper in the evenings usually before 5. However the moment I have a chance to sit down, she is asking if I am done with the paper, she is going to throw it away!

I have two drawers that are my “Junk area” When we used to live in a smaller house, I had 2 rooms! I would suggest that Junk is relative. Jenifer has a whole room of “Decorating Goods” she stores all year for each season. We have more than four at our house!

1. Fourth of July
2. Summer
3. Fall
4. Thanksgiving
5. Winter
6. Christmas
7. Winter after Christmas
8. Easter
9. Spring

I am sure I am missing some.

Anyway, I am going to have to start storing stuff in my car just so she does not throw it away!

So, what is the business lesson here? Well at the first of the year, I went all digital at the office. At first some people thought I was clearing out my office. I had to reassure them I was not leaving. So check my drawers in my desk. Pretty much nothing. I have about 5 folders.

1. Inventory (Could be digital, that is a new goal)
2. Credit card receipts (have to keep them somewhere and they clear out monthly)
3. Old reviews. (No reason I could not scan them)
4. Marketing prints (Really want to keep them, this is how they are delivered to customers)
5. Some bound proposals that were large. I use them as training examples

That is it! Otherwise I have some give-aways that we use in sales. Flash drives and such.

I have not missed the paper at all. I find myself throwing away quite a bit of paper. Many meetings I go to they give me handouts. I ask for the digital version which most have no problem giving and then I store it in my laptop. If anything, I am more organized. I know that I have it on my laptop and I am more diligent on making sure I stick with my filing system. I have been real particular about backing up my laptop now that it holds pretty much my entire work life.

So I am now “Green Certified” at work. Jenifer, here is my thought! We will use digital signage (That is those HD TV screens you see in businesses advertising their wares) at the house. I will hang 15 to 20 screens and instead of getting out your totes of “Decorating Goods” we will just change the display season. In addition, when the games are on, I can just put them on every screen! That way we will be Green at home!