vCIO Allstars 10/1 Building Business Acumen



Chat Log 

00:07:30 Craig Anderson, PCM: bait and switch!!! ;)
00:08:04 Derek Gabriel: Didn't we do acumen last week, or am I losing my mind?
00:08:23 Craig Anderson, PCM: I cant remember 8 minutes ago let alone last week
00:09:06 Derek Gabriel: Oh, maybe last week you used acumen as a topic for the TAM call? I swear this happened recently... but maybe it's just BC Mercury is in retrograde... I also haven't had my coffee yet today
00:09:52 Craig Anderson, PCM: i was going to say it's a little late to have no had coffee yet.. forgot how many hours behind you are
00:10:22 Derek Gabriel: yeah I just finished making my breakfast and the coffee... I'm ready to sit back and pay attention now ;)
00:11:52 Derek Gabriel: trade associations have a lot of content about their industries
00:13:43 tim.daraitis: What state are you in?
00:13:45 Derek Gabriel: 👍
00:13:48 Derek Gabriel: Hawaii
00:13:58 Brooke Smith:
00:14:04 Jared Belcher: One podcast I enjoy is - CTN the CIO Talk Network
00:14:11 Justin Smock: And what costs them money
00:14:35 Craig Anderson, PCM: finally read Rich Dad, Poor Dad and I think that gave me more insight into business owner mindset in general than any industry specific knowledge
00:14:52 Chuck: excellent book
00:15:28 Derek Gabriel: National Association of Manufacturers:
00:15:30 Dan Seafoot: Thanks for the link Jared!
00:15:46 Brooke Smith:
00:16:53 Derek Gabriel: Business Model Canvas / SWOT Analysis
00:17:10 Craig Anderson, PCM: was waiting for that to come up :)
00:17:40 Derek Gabriel: 😆
00:18:00 Dan Seafoot: Rob is saying "follow the money"
00:18:20 Brooke Smith:
00:18:20 tim.daraitis: Or trace it back
00:18:21 Craig Anderson, PCM: how deo you make money, how do you lose money
00:18:55 Dan Seafoot: shibboleth?
00:19:05 Craig Anderson, PCM: i just tell them we're going to use synergies to shift the paradigm
00:19:11 Derek Gabriel: I need to type that a few times and add it to my unique words in Grammarly
00:19:21 Jason Montville: Buzz word bingo? :-)
00:19:26 Derek Gabriel: hahah @ Craig
00:19:32 Derek Gabriel: those synergies are powerful!
00:19:59 Rob Danser: Everytime i use the word Synergy in an unironic context 16 year old punk rock Rob dies just a little bit more
00:20:03 Hans De Froy: Craig gets it. We can circle back on that next meeting 😆
00:20:11 Derek Gabriel: a shibboleth is pronouncing SQL correctly
00:20:20 Craig Anderson, PCM: i have an item on my SBR prep checklist to start by spending a few minutes reviewing the clients website and refreshing myself
00:20:27 Brooke Smith:
00:20:59 Derek Gabriel: I'm still all in on my Mini-MBAs …
00:21:28 Rob Danser:
00:22:04 Brooke Smith: Those are awesome Derek!!!
00:22:23 tim.daraitis: @Scott; feel free to connect on LinkedIn; I'm in California/Nevada, but talk with a lot of funds in NY & CT
00:22:39 Jared Belcher: Derek you talked about the mini MBA here before right?
00:23:33 Derek Gabriel: yeah when I was prepping for the last one, time flies, it was in December or January I think
00:24:00 Jen Marcenaro: Is that similar to CBT Nuggets?
00:24:16 Bob Tukin: has helped get a few of our guys Apple certified and has led to many new Apple clients.
00:24:36 Rob Danser:
00:25:22 Derek Gabriel: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention vendor partnerships... I get a lot of info from Microsoft - they do a lot of general business related things, and vertical specific stuff, especially with their new industry specific clouds
00:25:35 Jared Belcher: I did EDX years ago
00:25:56 Craig Anderson, PCM: Udemy has a lot of interesting stuff. And they put their courses on sale lke every other month (don't pay full price)
00:25:59 Derek Gabriel: peer programs ;)
00:26:46 Derek Gabriel: There are great technical prep courses on udemy for certifications
00:27:04 Jared Belcher: I used pluralsight when I was more heavily involved in Microsoft System Administration
00:27:43 Derek Gabriel: I learned about my inner beauty from Rupaul on Masterclass
00:28:38 Craig Anderson, PCM: i struggle with staying interested once the novelty wears off - but again that's a Me problem i learn best by doing
00:28:59 Derek Gabriel: lol, Craig, I can relate.. I have more audible books in my queue than I have time left on earth
00:29:08 Brooke Smith: Same here Derek and Craig.... LOL
00:29:09 Craig Anderson, PCM: i'm fighting what may be a migraine this afternoon, so that's why my usual energy isn't here
00:29:30 Derek Gabriel: I need to play them on 3x
00:30:06 Jared Belcher: I can't quite listen at 3x but yeah Derek that's a great tip
00:30:20 Craig Anderson, PCM: derek i used to always be running out of credits on audible, but now with no commute, my audible backlog is building up faster than i will ever finish and yeah i have played books on 2x to catch up lol
00:30:28 Derek Gabriel: I have started booking myself with block time on my calendar, which my staff know cannot be invaded
00:31:26 Derek Gabriel: That is good advice Brooke... I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a cannabis tech magazine! It's much better than carbonated beverage monthly.
00:31:39 Derek Gabriel:
00:31:54 Dan Seafoot: do it up Ryan! Welcome
00:32:16 Craig Anderson, PCM: the more involved i was in running the MSP as a whole definitely changed my ability to relate to and talk business with clients and contacts
00:32:48 brandi: I agree Craig, same here
00:33:29 Jason Montville: someone once gave me the advice to talk to the client principal / owner whenever possible. Owner operators tend to LOVE talking about what they do and how they do it 😉
00:34:12 Dan Seafoot: I like that too Craig - the more I get included in our business chat, the more I understand and can push our value
00:34:17 Derek Gabriel: truth, Jason.. I like that a lot.
00:34:34 Jason Montville: @derek - thank Craig, it was his advice 😁
00:36:13 Brooke Smith: Find out who clients competitors are can help
00:36:32 Rob Danser:
00:36:49 Derek Gabriel: I just finished Daymond John's Founding Fubu on Audible. But I've always been a big fan of his.
00:36:51 Rob Danser:
00:37:23 Brooke Smith: Fabulous book! Follow them on FB and they sometimes schedule live meetings to "negotiate" with people!!
00:37:27 Jared Belcher: The Monster Hunter International Series or any of the Jack Reacher novels 😁
00:38:02 Derek Gabriel: Checklist Manifesto is a good one, related to what we do
00:39:05 Derek Gabriel: I also like Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
00:39:22 Derek Gabriel: Simon Sinek, Start with Why
00:39:51 brandi: Oooh yes Simon, my fave! Malcolm Gladwell has a few
00:40:10 Derek Gabriel: Any of the stuff by Verne Harnish - Scaling up, specifically is a favorite
00:40:40 Derek Gabriel: Think like Freak is good too... That's by the Feakanomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
00:40:43 Craig Anderson, PCM: The Goal
00:41:57 Roman Rodriguez: Talk to the sales executive.. his/her commission.
00:42:05 Brooke Smith: I stay away from money at all costs … LOL -- pricing/subscriptions etc. Leave that up to "that team" I am here to strategize how you do business through your technology lens
00:42:07 Bob Tukin: I don’t typically get involved with billing.
00:42:09 Derek Gabriel: And the 2 MUST read books for everyone... Chris Anderson - first is "Free" and the second is "Makers" - This will open your mind to where our industry and business in general is going.
00:44:06 Craig Anderson, PCM: i still have a deeply ingrained distrust of outside sales people I've never been able to overcome :)
00:44:47 Derek Gabriel: lol, Craig.. feels very Jekyll and Hyde
00:45:15 Craig Anderson, PCM: they never put the egg down!
00:45:34 Derek Gabriel: step away from the egg NOW!
00:46:01 Jason Montville: my goal as the vCIO is always to sit down to the table on the CLIENT's side and not on the MSP's side of the table. It helps earn trust, and keeps us out of the sales peoples' lane
00:46:16 Derek Gabriel: Brooke you forgot the Synergies …
00:46:40 Brooke Smith: hahaha
00:47:23 Brooke Smith: @jason EXACTLY -- I actually push back against MY team because I am acting on the clients behalf!
00:47:30 Derek Gabriel: companies scaling back and working hybrid need fully managed IT more now than ever
00:47:58 Derek Gabriel: if it's only about money, it's a completely different thing, and also a totally different conversation
00:48:07 Jared Belcher: @Brooke What incentive does your outside sales team have to re-sell existing clients? Do they have the bandwidth or are they commissioned again on that?
00:48:14 Jared Belcher: Or it's just a part of the job
00:48:48 Jason Montville: It's a slippery slope to start dragging vCIOs into the sales, renewal and expansion / contraction of agreements.
00:49:09 Dan Seafoot: Thanks guysw
00:49:54 Derek Gabriel: You know, that reminds me of a good book .. lol... What got you here, won't get you there.
00:51:34 Derek Gabriel: the sexiest 3 words in the English language....
00:51:53 Derek Gabriel: oh wait, it's 4 lol... what is your budget
00:52:14 Jared Belcher: I bring pricing concerns back to my team on behalf of my client as well. Our projects team will try to do Time and Materials for every project, and many decision makers want an actual price before committing, so I have to get in to that a bunch with my team.
00:53:47 Derek Gabriel: knock on wood, we've been very lucky lately to have the right clients at the right price and there are no pushbacks on pricing, it's always just "send us an invoice" when we do road mapping.
00:54:14 Jared Belcher: @Derek - #LifeGoals right there!
00:54:27 Dan Seafoot: I've been pretty lucky until last Friday ;)
00:57:30 Derek Gabriel: I also have a trick for budgeting, maybe it's not a trick, maybe I did it wrong before. But previously we weren't putting our contract as an item on the future budget, sort of like pay no attention to the people behind the curtain. But, lately I'm adding our contract including it's annual uplift on every budget as a critical item.
00:57:45 Jennifer Berry: ^ Yep
00:58:23 Jared Belcher: @Derek - that's the first thing I put on my budgets including the 3% "Estimated" increase
00:58:32 Brooke Smith: That is EXACTLY it for us too!
00:59:15 Craig Anderson, PCM: i have built a lo of trust when i actually jumped in and shutdown a quote (like service troubleshoots an issue, says they need a new <insert product>, client says "ok do what you gotta do" then I jump in and pull the erake because I'm not convinced I've seen enough evidence to justify that will actually fix the issue or be the best decision
00:59:34 Derek Gabriel: Any business worried about cost, needs to focus on sales lol
01:00:15 JD: It's not a's an investment in their company and future
01:00:52 Dan Seafoot: Thanks for the Info everyone - that was helpful for my situation. Appreciate you guys!
01:00:56 Craig Anderson, PCM: Upstream is a good one along w/ Power of Moments
01:01:13 Jared Belcher: Interesting thought on not giving an itemized bill each month - we spend so much time making that bill and reviewing it with our clients when they have questions about it... I've got to noodle that one.
01:01:33 Derek Gabriel: Happy October!


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