I am in Orlando this week for IT Nation, the user conference for ConnectWise . . . and a lot more.
As I was traveling here yesterday, I was chattering on Facebook with a few folks. People chimed in that they'll see me soon, see me there, gotta grab a drink, etc. My good friend Nancy chimes in. She wants to know why we're all headed to the ConnectWise conference. Well let me explain.
Second, this conference might be a bit PSA-centric, but it is populated with all the major vendors who want to engage consultants in the SMB space. That means opportunities to see what's new for 2013, which programs I might want to join, and so forth.
Third, I love connecting with my HTG friends. The Heartland Technology Groups are peer groups whose members are focused on building their businesses. They help each other and support each other toward their mutual success. That means these folks are a slice of the SMB space that is willing to invest in their own business. One way to be successful is to hang out with people who are successful.
Fourth, this conference is an opportunity for me to "sharpen my saw" with regard to business skills and practices. You've heard it a million times, but you need to take time to work ON the business and not just IN the business. Whether it's advice from the front of the room or exchanging ideas with folks over lunch, I always know I'm going to learn something.
I don't want to sound completely selfish here. But I am in business to make money. So finding new products, new services, new techniques, . . . and a positive attitude of success . . . goes a long ways.
Fifth, this is a community. The ConnectWise "family" includes LabTech and some other products we're going to explore this week. This is also the annual gathering place for the HTG members. So it combines two community groups altogether at once.
I had dinner with Frank, one of my coaching clients last night. We were discussing the people who do NOT participate. There are people who do not join groups, do not attend meetings, and don't even go to Microsoft events. Some of them just don't understand why a conference like this is useful as a business owner. Some of them are afraid that everyone they meet just wants to steal their "secret sauce."
Here's the secret about secret sauce: It's not a secret. You always have more to gain my operating in a community of people who share the same challenges than you do from sitting in your office guarding the gold coins you have hidden under the floorboards.
So why am I at IT Nation?
Great company. Great people. Great opportunities. Great community.
. . . (and I'm hoping to get an interview with Arnie Bellini).
So here's my plan, in case you want to follow along. I am going to be posting podcasts over at SMB Community Podcast, blogging here, and playing around with pictures and more on Facebook.com/karlpalachuk.
Feedback always welcome.