Did You Forget To Pack Anything For Sage Summit 2011?

We’re only 3 weeks away from attending the Inaugural Sage Summit 2011. Prior to leaving San Diego I think that it’s time to get out the checklist. If you’re like me, you’ll discover that if I don’t prepare a checklist I’ll always end up 1 pair of socks short, Too few business cards, forgot toothpaste, brought 2 bottles of shampoo, no conditioner. You name it, I’ve forgot it on one trip or another. That’s why I pack like I’m leaving for a year around the world. I can pack just as much for 3 days in Las Vegas as I can for a 1 week trip.

Airline Ticket √
Sage Summit Registration √
Room Reservation √
Luggage √
4 Suits √
2 Pair Slacks √
1 Pair Jeans √
8 Shirts, Dress, Casual √
3-4 Pair of Shoes, Including Flip Flops √
6-8 Pair of Socks √
6-8 Pair of Underwear √
3 Belts √
4 Tee Shirts √
Assorted Toiletries √
Laptop √
Camera √
Cell Phone √
Chargers For Laptop, Camera, Cell Phone √
Extra Batteries for Wireless Mouse √
Verizon Broad Band Card √
Extra Batteries for Any Emergency √
Necessary Travel Documents √

Just writing this list wore me out to the point that I had to go upstairs and take a nap. I get teased a lot because I just don’t know how to pack lightly. I operate under the “You Just Never Know” Theory. I enjoy wearing suits so I mostly wear suits at conferences so I need those. I have to wear different shirts so I need those.  Of course extra socks & underwear are a must, Duh. Different shoes for each suit are very important. There’s nothing worse than wearing a black suit & let’s say you forgot the black shoes, all you have are your brown ones. It doesn’t look good & I trust me when I say, you will spend the entire evening looking at the brown shoes wondering how many people are figuratively wondering why you’re wearing brown and not black shoes.  I know this to be a fact because I’ve see me do it.

Should be all set, right? Wrong. Don’t forget your wallet! I’ve done that before also. If it can be forgotten I’ve forgotten it on some trip to somewhere.

I think that someone could make a decent living hiring themselves out as professional packers. Hand them your list, they go through it with you, and voila your only job is to start your car and head to the airport. She’s already packed your luggage in your car and included your entire itinerary and any other necessary documentation.  After giving her a credit card number she pats you on the head and wishes you a safe flight and reminds you of the Power User discount. I might be willing to pay for that because when I say it takes me hours to pack, I’m not exaggerating.

Alright, I went out and purchased a new piece of luggage. One of the local luggage stores was having a killer sale on London Fog luggage. Had to have it! Retail Therapy is so rewarding & satisfying (until you get the credit card bill)

 Now if we could just someone else stand in the TSA lines for a reasonable price.


The Value of Attending Sage Summit 2011

There has been much discussion about the value of attending the Sage Summit 2011 Conference. I am one of those who have found Conferences to provide me with great value and I’ve learned a great amount of useable information. The technology industry changes daily and there’s no way to know about those changes if we don’t talk to the source. You can find the source(s) and other partners who have utilized those changes very successfully by attending events such as the new and improved Sage Summit.

Look at the business partners who consistently make the Top 10 list. Go to their website and see what they’re doing that you’re not. It’s probably a safe wager that they’ve been involved in Insights, BPAC members, etc.  It’s time to be accountable to ourselves for our failures or successes. It’s time to stop blaming others when we fail. It’s time to stop blaming the economy.

First, there is the long term value of creating lasting relationships with other BP’s or third party solutions and there are many knowledgeable partners and company representative who will gladly share that knowledge with you.

There has been a shift at Sage to offer more transparency and seeing the Management attend different social events & the Trade Show is testament to this new shift. We have a new CEO since our last Insights in Denver. Although Pascal Houillon is new to Sage North America he has been with Sage France, Belgium, Brazil, Switzerland, and Morocco since joining Sage in 1989. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him “out and about” during Sage Summit, so here’s another opportunity to meet more of the management team.

How do you put a price tag on product information you receive at Summit? What about face time with Sage executives? Truth be told, you can’t put a price tag on these items. The sessions alone that Sage is offering this year are numerous in count, while covering all Sage products, upgrades, changes etc.

Too often we get caught up on doing business as we’ve always done it, not knowing that there are better ways of streamlining and making our individual businesses more cost effective. But if we don’t go to Summit and attend sessions, talk to other BP’s, then we’re going to stay in that same spiraling vortex & will get the same results. One of my favorite quotes is:

“If you keep doing what you’re doing you’re going to keep getting what you get. If you want something new you’re going to have to try something new.”

~ Author Unknown

I have spoke to BP’s who have concerns that they have never “pulled” any new business from attending Insights and other conferences occasionally or even those who go each year. Then there’s the camp that has bought booth space, collected business cards & found that most of those cards belonged to other BP’s & not potential new deal opportunities. Is it worth the expenditure, they ask?

First, if you’re heading off to Insights with the sole intent of closing deals then you’re going to be disappointed. It’s kind of like going to a Barnum & Bailey Circus expecting Shakespeare; or going on vacation to Northern Minnesota in January wearing shorts, flip flops & sun tan lotion; you’re going to be disappointed by setting up unrealistic expectations.

Unfortunately most companies don’t look at non revenue generating items as having any value. Unless there’s a dollar amount involved most BP’s don’t “get it.” Here’s an example of one who does.

“It has always been MY rule that if I am serious about selling Sage products I need to attend Insights. I need to “breathe” the air, sense the mood of the Sage community, and get enough inspiration to see me through another year.” ~ Arlie Skory; Managing Partner at Skory Employer Solutions LLC ~

To the partners who don’t get it, there are three questions you need to ask yourself.

What value am I adding to the equation?
What Solution can I provide?
Am I participating in the success of my business?

Come to Washington D.C. & see the changes that are happening at Sage. You’re going to be surprised & more importantly you’re going to go back to your business with a new attitude & isn’t life itself about how you approach it? I think so & I hope to see each of you in D.C.

Note: Re-print of my 4/19/10 blog


Categories: Current Events Tags: BPAC, PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE, SAGE INSIGHTS, Sage Summit 2011, Pascal Houillon, Arlie Skory, TECHNOLOGY

When The Phone Doesn’t Ring It’s Me

I met my father once when I was twenty. He was an arrogant, seemingly wealthy contractor that was living in Palm Springs with some bleach blonde that was about half his age. My older brother had somehow tracked him down, called & he invited us down for the day. As we stood nervously at his front door I remember that my thoughts were all over the place. Should I be happy to finally meet the man who brought me into this world or should I be angry that he simply disappeared from our lives when we very small children?

As he opened the front door with the afore mentioned blonde at his side, the best he could come up was the following greeting and it still ring through my memory banks; “So, what do you guys want”? He made it very simple for me to determine my course of thoughts so I went to anger, and I remember thinking “What can I do to hurt this person with his look of haughty disdain”?

Even I didn’t expect what came out of my mouth next. I simply told him that I didn’t want anything from him as he hadn’t provided anything to our lives prior to the meeting. I didn’t want his money, his beautiful home, his girlfriend, nothing. All I wanted to do was face a man who could just walk out on his children & never make one attempt to see if we were okay as we grew up.

It was then & there that I made up my mind that I would never do that to any children that I might have.

Everyone is an example of what you want to be like or someone that you want nothing to do with and Larry certainly fell into category #2. I’d heard that he was a saxophonist in the Harry James orchestra (for those that have never heard of Harry James, he was part of the Big Band Era which ran in the middle 1930’s to the early 1940’s. This was never confirmed or denied, I just never found any proof either way. I’d heard that he spent most of his adult life on the road travelling with the band. In those days everyone took busses, there was very limited commercial airline service available, and most of the Big Bands had so many members that it would have been financially impossible to travel.

Out of the seemingly bad comes good. I am now the proud father of two young boys, Trent & Trevor whom I cherish and love very much. Because of the way that I was raised I know the pain of not having a Mom or Dad to raise me. It stunk plain and simple. I will never abandon my children for my own pleasures. Even though their Mom & I ended up divorced we still both consider the boys our number one priority.

For that kind of dedication I get to take them to dinner for their birthdays, I get to participate in their lives. For that I got the pleasure  just a few minutes ago of receiving a call from them wishing me Happy Father’s Day. For that we are going to spend the day watching the minor league team to the San Diego Padres the Lake Elsinore Storm which was their idea. For that I will get a hug, a card and a kiss from my sons.

I love being a father but more than that I love not being on the Dead Beat Dad’s List, I love the fact that I can call them, or they can call their Dad anytime they want.

So to all of you Fathers who tirelessly play catch, run yourself ragged playing soccer, constantly get beat playing video games, laugh at the jokes that aren’t funny, take them to the latest Kung Fu Panda movie and listen to their review of the movie, are there when they fall, and you’re there when they’re in the school play, no matter how small or big the part is………………………………….HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!

One last note to my Dad, thanks for nothing

Living As An Adult With Baby Elephant Beliefs

I’m starting to write a book after stewing the thought about it for the past couple of years. The basis of the book is an approach to sales that I’ve never seen nor read anywhere. After talking with a fellow colleague recently about his situation I told him about my idea and he said that I needed to start writing the book immediately, so with that ammunition I’ve started writing it.

After many years of observing and managing “sales” people I kept asking myself why so many of them are unsuccessful? Why do so many of them keep repeating questionable tactics that resulted in a poor outcome? Why are “sales” people afraid to ask the tough questions?

I won’t get into the real depth of it because I don’t want to give the ideas of my book away but here’s something that a friend of mine has talked about for years. Howard calls it living as an adult with baby elephant ideas. Here’s where that comes from.

In the jungle elephants are used for the heavy work. They drag tree trunks from the jungles to help the workers clear the area. While they are babies the elephants are chained by a back leg to a very large tree. Initially they keep trying to free themselves, but finally give up because they realize they are locked into that situation. The elephants after repeated failures “know” the situation is unchangeable and there is nothing that they can do about it.

As fully grown adults tethering them to a large tree is replaced by a small stake in the ground. Logic tells us that because of the elephant’s strength and size they could easily rip the stake from the ground and simply walk away. However, the elephants have long since given up trying to free themselves and fully accept the chains of life’s “reality” as it appears to them, and so even when they are chained to a small stake in the ground, they accept and believe and “know” it is immovable, so they stop trying to pull it out and be free.

Most of us live with those same Baby Elephants Ideas. Fear is our chain and “stake” because all of us are trained to be afraid of punishment and rejection whenever we try to shake loose from our indoctrinated chains of mutually agreed upon definitions. We “know” the consequences are dire and painful. But, those Baby Elephants Ideas are so ingrained in us that we simply don’t try to make our lives better event though we’re tired of the life that we have.

As adults, then, let us all remember that the fear driven stake in the ground that seems immovable is very, very tiny, and easily pulled out of the ground. The message here is that we can change old ideas if we just believe

This isn’t a new idea but one that I’m refining for purposes of writing my book

P.S. I normally insert an image into my blogs but I was so disturbed by images of the treatment of the elephants during this “breaking in” period that I just couldn’t  bring myself to put an image of them out on the internet for others to see.