I’m writing this in my car while I wait for my son to finish hockey practice. I’ve got a zoom call in 15 minutes, I need to prepare for a podcast I’m guesting on, I have resumes to review, some planning to do for the next Channel Pitch event, and I really need to go over some strategy and marketing plans we’re developing with my new CMO.
I think I’ll grab some dinner at some point.
My newest project, Channel Program, has grown from just two people (me and my business partner, Matt Solomon) to 20 in four months. It’s intense!
If I wasn’t passionate about what I’m doing and why, I would be overwhelmed and potentially crack. And, honestly, this process breaks a lot of people.
The start-up grind is all-consuming. If you aren’t 100 percent committed, well, I hate to break it to you, but you probably aren’t going to make it, especially in the hyper-competitive IT channel space.
But I love it.
I’m a self-professed serial entrepreneur. I start companies because I believe in them. Sure, I see a problem and develop something to solve it. But it goes deeper than that. I want to make the world a better place, even in some small way, and the start-ups I get behind are the ones that I think can do that.
Maybe I’m a little naively passionate by believing I can make an impact. But that’s what start-ups need. They’re the ones that people will rally behind; both employees and customers. If you lack passion, everyone can sense it and your business will suffer. (Especially when we’re talking about Gen-Z. They want to both work for and buy from companies that have a cause.)
Passion = Purpose
And that’s why I’m passionate about the Channel Program. It’s purpose-built for content sharing, collaboration, and enablement, giving vendors and MSPs a place to learn from each other, support one another, and ultimately increase their bottom lines.
Knowing I have an important role to play gives me purpose, and it keeps me fired up when the grind gets extra rough.
A few other things I love about being a scrappy start-up (again):
- Solving problems. This has always been big for me. With Channel Program, the problem we’re trying to solve is there’s lots of amazing tech out there, but very few vendors will break through, unable to grab attention away from the big players. Doing something that enables equal opportunity makes the hard work worth it.
- Creative thinking. Start-ups are all about thinking differently. Thinking in new ways and going outside the box keeps things fresh and interesting. I know that vendors need a level playing field, and a place where they can share their solutions; while MSPs need a place where they can easily and efficiently find new companies that can help them reach their goals. Coming up with a cool new way to make those things happen keeps me inspired.
- Community. Start-ups thrive on a “sense of community.” Whether that’s their own team and culture, or the community of partners and clients that become an extension of the startup itself, meeting new people, making meaningful connections, and learning new things is something I personally thrive on–in business and in life. Channel Program is our community. It gives a voice to both sides of the channel. And I’m proud of that.
When I left the company that bought my cybersecurity startup, ID Agent, a few dozen CEOs reached out to me for help with scaling their companies. I knew there was a problem that had to be solved, and I am 110% passionate about solving it. And that’s why I love the start-up grind. Sure, I’m mutli-tasking, and pulling late nights and constantly thinking about our next move, but I love it. Because I know I’m making a difference.
Make it Better
I remember years ago, when I built my first software company, I had tons of channel vendors pitching me their sales, marketing and channel enablement platforms–tools that were aimed at managing the MSP/vendor relationship. Not only were they going about it wrong, focusing on symptoms rather than solving real problems, but they were totally cost-prohibitive (often priced at $50,000 or more!) for many start-ups.
I knew then that I could do better than this. I knew I could offer the channel something much better than that.
At Channel Program, we do the match-making. (And we give you tools, too, because we’re awesome like that.) We’re bringing people and companies together. We’re giving them a space to find each other. We’re helping them make meaningful connections.
And that makes the start-up grind totally worth it.
Our next free Channel Pitch event happens February 25th! Register here.