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July 22, 2012

Schnizzfest 2012 Experience

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Schnizzfest 2012 exceeded my expectations by far this year. If you don’t know what Schnizzfest is, please read the last several blog posts in our Schnizzfest series to catch up on this topic. On arrival post my flight from Seattle to Philadelphia, I headed straight for the registration reception which was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Penn’s Landing and we were given a goody bag with several items that were unique such as a name tag, shirt, book: Mastering the Rockefellar Habits and this really cool binder that included a notepad, bracelets, pen, and handouts, etc. [which were very useful during the event]. Everyone at the reception was fired up and ready to go.  You could feel the energy in the air and I knew this was going to be awesome.

After connecting with several members who I met from Schnizzfest 2011 during last year’s event, I headed off to perform a video testimonial guided by the one and only Andrew Morgan [Directory of Business Development] from TruMethods. The video production was performed by the Varvid.com guys and it was a neat experience.  I would have to say Andrew has to be one of the classiest men I have ever met, and I’m sure everyone else who knows Andrew feels the same way – plus he does Crossfit so that just broke the needle on the cool meter ok. After the video, I got to tag along with the TruMethod’s gang, some of the other members, and vendors and went out to dinner together.  I’m telling you, these guys treat you like family and with utmost respect.

On day two, things just blew up with excitement when Gary Pica and Bob Penland busted out on the scene to kick things off. “Let’s Go People. Do the best you can for yourself & other people!” Gary shouts out! before sharing his insight on the 4 steps to success. We also got a sneak peak of some software that TruMethods is developing to help MSP’s manage their business more efficiently. On a side note, Gary has to be one of the most inspirational people on the planet amongst many other positive qualities he possesses. I can second this statement for Bob who has laser beam focus and passion that resonates with all the members. The TruMethods team is a group of amazing people.

As time progressed, we got to see a presentation by author and renown speaker Steven Little who is the business growth expert; and another presentation by Bruce Teichman Directory of Corporate Development with AllCovered who educated us about acquisitions.  These two presentations were very valuable and got everyone thinking about their business. Ok, I’m being modest. These guys rocked their presentations. Everyone was taking notes and soaking up the knowledge and gained great insight.

During all the 15, 30, and 2 hour breaks we got free beverages and food and a chance to chop it up with the people representing Cisco, ConnetWise, Labtech, eFolder, and several other vendors educating us about the latest services in our industry. Each vendor was raffling off a prize too, which I will get to later on.  The food and drinks were delicious and always available for us at any time.

After our lunch break (I didn’t end up eating lunch, because I had so much fun talking to vendors and other members) TruMethods presented the most interesting man in our industry Peter Briden who is the President of PC Network Services out of Pittsburgh, PA.   During Peter’s presentation, he talked about a myriad of ways to demonstrate excellence in his business and to his customers by creating value, confidence, good deals, expectations, having discipline, being purely consultive as a trusted partner, and recommend things that make sense.  We also gained a ton of insight on how he delivered his service to increase overall effectiveness for his team and customers.  Overall, we loved the advice on his belief system, professional mindset, processes, time management, and good people to run the business the most.

Our second day ended off with the great idea contest. I briefly talked about the contest in one of our prior blog posts which outlines our honorable mention for our idea which we are proud of.  Long story short, 3 companies were nominated for the great idea. Each company presented their idea and the members got to vote via txt message. The top 3 ideas were great and could be easily implemented in our business (We are going to implement them for sure). Myles Keough from Spade Technologies out of Boston won for his “My Day” great idea!  As a loyal trusted member of TruMethods, I’m not going to share the ideas on my blog for confidentiality reasons. However, I can say that you should consider joining TruMethods and going to Schnizzfest next year. I’m sure that may not be the answer you’re looking for, but I think that is a fair exchange [As I stick the knife in and twist LOL!]. We loved all the great ideas and feel blessed to be in the same room as all these other geniuses.

Our last day focused on diving into our numbers and sales.  TruMethods helps members understand key metrics and smart numbers in their business by way of a quarterly business review (QBR). Performing the QBR is an essential process to understanding margins, leverage, and profits. The main topic was “Finding the hole in the bucket”. We got to learn how to increase profit margins, put post-tax dollars in our bank account, control leverage, find unrealized profitability, and tie every employee to top line revenue amongst other awesome stuff. I mean come on, what other company spends the time to do this for you? We loved this topic and honestly couldn’t run our business without this knowledge.

Last but not least, I got to experience a member sales panel and sales role-play. The member sales panel was awesome. Three existing members got on stage (a business owner, sales person, and I believe a vCIO) with Gary Pica. We got to listen to them answer questions asked by Gary and talk about their experiences on how they manage sales and perform sales.  We learned so many new concepts and cannot wait to implement them in our business.  The role-play was cool too.  Gary and a member would act as though they were a customer and MSP going through the sales process. Eventually they would switch chairs and change roles. This experience was awarding, because we got to see how the legend Gary Pica handled certain situations and questions. This gave us confidence on how to handle them on our own.   Before the end of the day, the vendors raffled off their prizes. I was extremely lucky and won the OnPlus device from Cisco which helps small and mid-market partners increase profitability. I’m a long time Cisco fan and have Cisco’s in all of our customer locations, so this prize was totally awesome and put the icing on the cake for what was already a great experience.

On the plane ride home I reflected on my Schnizzfest 2012 experience.  During the event, I had several moments when I felt emotional and had this feeling deep in my gut. It was an exciting feeling, a feeling of accomplishment and success. A feeling that I had overcome many trials and tribulations from my past to get to this current stage in my life. As for the future, thanks to TruMethods, it didn’t seem so scary anymore. I could be whatever I wanted to be. I now had the desire, knowledge, discipline, and belief to be even more successful in life and business.

Dustin & Gary Schnizzin:

Dustin with the Dot Foil guys from Albuqurque Jonathan & Jason:

 

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