Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Friends, Associates, and Hangers-On

Side note: I know I owe some posts on SMB Nation. I just got back. Need to catch up. Stay tuned.

So my friend Vlad posts this little ditty on his new Vlog:


and I start to think about that quote.

One of the amazing advantages of the SMB Community -- and any professional associate to some degree -- is that you widen your circle of friends and associates. People I just met last year were associates. In the last twelve months a few have become friends. Not "best buds," but people I genuinely enjoy spending time with and look forward to see.

And as the net filled with friends and associates grows, some other cool stuff happens, too.

These people pound on head with ideas about how they run their businesses. I hear these silly things like HaaS until I'm ready to scream. Or adopt a new strategy for my company's future success.

It is often difficult to tell the difference between really great business opportunities and crazy schemes. But the more you expose yourself to new ideas, the better you get at filtering.

I have made some major, important decisions about how to run my business in the last week. In each case, the following was true:

1. I had been exposed to the idea more than a year ago (and dismissed it).

2. One other person and I had talked about the details over dinner/lunch/etc. That person implemented and I did not. Now, a year later, that person gives me the wisdom experience.

3. With a community spirit in which I can sit down for two hours and openly discuss everything from profit margins to the people coming out of the elevators, I was able to put this idea into the context of my own business and figure out how to make it work.

Last year's crazy scheme is this year's great idea.

There IS a lot of distraction in the community, at conferences, online, in the groups, and it your personal life. There just is.

But you have two options: Stay at home doing what you've always done, or get out and get involved.

I say: Participate. Give. Jump in. The rewards are awesome.

In the short run, your head will be full to overflowing. But you'll learn to filter.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your comment of how long can it possibly take to train a first-level tech support engineer for SBS.

    I have a 23 year old who is indicitive of the kids coming out of technical college on staff as a mid-level engineer. He has pretty much learned everything that there is to know about SBS (course, that's all he works on) and is REALLY good at working the product. Exchange, Sharepoint, SQL, integrated WSUS (which breaks a LOT, btw)... very little throws him for a loop.

    He'd never seen the product before November 2006, so he's been on it for 6 months. With only myself doing formal training and him learning from hands-on experience.

    6 months. PSS - 3 years. That's pathetic.


Feedback Welcome

Please note, however, that spam will be deleted, as will abusive posts.

Disagreements welcome!