MicroCast

Episode 21 - The Power of Gratitude

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Being in “the channel” can be a challenge, to say the least.  We have to balance our personal lives with our careers, manage through complex relationships, get people to notice us when the field of people who want attention is crowded, and deal with the uncertainties of businesses that combine with each other, go under, or fail to perform like we think that they should.

Having said that, there is quite a lot to be grateful about when we think about the decisions we made to chart our careers, run our businesses, and form relationships with colleagues in “the channel”.  Being grateful and appreciating what is good about our industry, our careers and our relationships has a number of positive benefits.

Being grateful makes you a happier person.  Research reveals that if you just spend 5 minutes a day writing down what you are grateful for increases your feeling of long-term happiness.

People that express gratitude are generally more well-liked.  Social capital never hurts, and gratitude tends to make us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, we have more friendships and better business relationships.

Grateful people tend to progress further in their careers.  Gratitude can make you a more effective manager or team member, help you network, increase your decision-making capabilities, increase your productivity, and help you attract others to you. The result is that you move up the ladder quicker and your workplace becomes a more friendly and enjoyable place to be.

An attitude of gratitude promotes health.  Channel careers can take a toll on your health with lots of travel, eating on the road and long hours.  Research shows that grateful people are generally healthier, so it’s good to get all the help we can.

I’ve had a long career in technology, much of that involving developing and working in the channel.  At Convey, we have thousands of sales partners that use our portal services, master agents that we have automated and dozens of vendors that streamline their marketing through our services.  The bottom line is that I know the channel and here are some things that we should all be grateful for.

The Channel creates entrepreneurs. I’ve been an entrepreneur for most of my career, owning my own businesses since 1995.  Sales partners and master agents are also business owners.  Without needing significant start-up capital, thousands of you left the comfort of your jobs with carriers and vendors to start businesses and create recurring revenue streams that have afforded you very good lifestyles.  And for a lucky few, you’ve been able to sell your businesses creating generational wealth for your families.

The Channel is constantly evolving. Over the last 5 years, we’ve seen many advances in the channel that have given us more opportunities to serve our customers with a wide breadth of new technologies.  We’ve seen businesses move their phones and applications to the cloud, find better ways to connect to the Internet, cloud-based services to run every aspect of a business operation, the Internet of Things to track assets and the list goes on and on.  Evolving industries like ours grow, create opportunities for all of us, and ways to keep expanding our businesses.

The technology we offer transforms how businesses operate. I spent a good part of my career in the conferencing industry.  We made it easy and cheap to have a remote team dial in from anywhere to meet virtually instead of getting on a plane to fly into headquarters. The technology was transformative because management became collaborative, people’s opinions were solicited and valued, and the remote worker became the norm not the exception.  Think about how we are transforming businesses with cloud services, contact centers and other technology.   It’s powerful that we can tie what we do in the channel to making people’s businesses and business lives more successful.

It’s never boring. When you have rapid and on-going changes in businesses, technology services and in the marketplace, you have to stay on your toes.  We exist in an industry that requires us to be learners, strategists, become nimble, and forward thinking.   Be grateful that we have this opportunity as opposed to being in another industry that is more static, predictable and frankly boring.

We develop long-lasting business and personal relationships.  People in the channel like to get together in Vegas, at partner events, at regional meetings and in the field.  Although we might change companies, we tend to pop up in another organization but are all still in the channel.  I’ve developed lasting relationships and friendships and look forward to the next time I can reconnect with people I like and respect.  I’m sure some of your best friends come from the Channel.

The Channel takes care of its own.  My very good friend Darren Suders, who spent his entire career in the Channel died suddenly at age 37, leaving behind a wife and 3 children and virtually no insurance.  I put word out, set up a “Go-Fund Me” campaign and hundreds of people in the Channel that had worked with Darren stepped up generating tens of thousands of dollars to help his family financially. Darren was one of our own and the Channel took care of his family when he could not.

Takeaways

Many of my friends know that I lost my daughter Laura to overdose 2 years ago after a long struggle with addiction.  Gratitude has been the one thing that has helped me through what could have been an unbearable loss.  I am grateful for the time I had with her, for the lessons  her disease taught me, for having the insight to use my knowledge of technology to create a new company to take on the opioid crisis and for my friends in the channel who have reached out, stayed in touch and have been supportive.

For all of you in the channel, being grateful helps you mentally, physically and spiritually.  We have a lot to be grateful for.  We have a growing, evolving industry that creates ever-evolving opportunities, the ability to make positive and transformative impacts on other people’s companies, and the opportunity to improve the work experience for the employees of our customers.    And last but not least, we have relationships and friendships we found through the channel that will last a lifetime.  I’m grateful to be in the industry and I hope you are as well.

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