Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Migraine Or Migrate

80% of IT managers spend their time on break/fix activities. Not only is it time consuming. They hate it. Loading patches, installing and managing Microsoft Exchange which is becoming more and more specialized, it’s enough to make them want to stick a thumb drive in their eye. The worst part is, where is the ROI on break/fix activities?

Keep looking… Can’t find it?

That’s probably because there isn’t any.

Knowing this, it’s pretty safe to say that 20% or less of the IT manager’s time is spent on planning and strategic projects. Ah! There’s where the ROI is! Yet, little time is being spent moving forward.

What if you could flip that around somehow? You smart people already know where I’m going with this. Of course, I’m talking about migrating to the cloud.

WAIT! Don’t go! 

I realize that moving data around is NOT easy. As a matter of fact, it’s messy. You’ve got countless disabled profiles of former employees along with all their files and other data that ultimately doesn’t need to be moved to the new server. Plus, you have to find all those “hidden” applications that still may or may not be prudent. That all needs to be cleaned up prior to migrating. It’s a lot of planning and perspiration.

Now I’m going to tell you why it’s worth it.

Please review the first two paragraphs of this article about the 80/20 activities. With your data in the cloud, you can outsource some (or all) of your tactical IT activities – whatever you are comfortable with. This leaves your talented IT in-house professionals to do more to bring returns on your investments.

In addition to that big elephant in the room, let’s add the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining your own hardware. With your infrastructure in the cloud, you no longer have to use CAPex to replace expensive hardware every 3-5 years or annual hardware manufacturer maintenance. You can now use OPex to handle the lower monthly payments for IaaS and ITaaS.

PAIN: Getting things cleaned up, planned and moved.

GAIN: Makes your IT organization more strategic and budget can be allocated to more important projects! It’s a win-win!

For more information: Read "Land of No and Slow - The CIO Nightmare" on LinkedIn #cloud #cio or on Twitter @wickedmktg.


Intelisys Cloud University

Neely Loring, Matrix

Monday, April 3, 2017

What Are Your Intentions

Goals. We all have them (or should). But unless you fuel them with intentions, you will find yourself at the end of the week/month/year without making the changes you needed to accomplish those goals.

Here's the difference:

Goal: Become the top producer on my team by 2018
Intention: I intend to become the top producer on my team by 2018
Instead of writing down goals, make a list of things that you intend to do/be. And at the end of the list, write this:

Nothing will keep me
from my intentions

Source: The Four Kinds of Salespeople - Chuck Mache

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Land of No and Slow - A CIO's Nightmare

The tenure of a CIO is anywhere between 2 to 5 years. It's no mystery as to why it's a short period of time. It's a position where you're most likely not viewed as an executive but as a technologist. You build a budget that is continually cut and projects move at a painfully slow rate. Being a CIO and a Visionary is a wonderful, yet deadly combination in a premise-based environment. In addition, there is a long list of challenges:

* Under-resourced
* Under deadlines you can't meet
* Requirements that don't fit your budget
* Administration issues - procurement, hiring policies
* Business is changing faster
* Management is demanding more
* Lack of expertise on your staff

Cloud Computing is changing all of that for the Information/Infrastructure Officer. It's a new game and CIO's are wise to leverage Cloud for many reasons:

1) The story of a successful Cloud migration looks good on your resume
2) Makes you more competent
3) Helps you deliver on schedule
4) Allows you to have a great vision
5) Cost effectiveness and efficiency is achievable
6) Gives you the ability to outsource moves/adds/changes and other menial tasks so your staff can focus on more strategic projects
7) Affords you scalability - only pay for what you use

There is a lot of noise surrounding Cloud solutions. Many people believe that Cloud is not secure, reliable or compliant. On the contrary, Cloud connects you to more technology than you could have possibly afforded on your CAPEX budget. You can now afford a secure network, reliable service, meet your compliancy requirements and develop a disaster recovery plan - all in the Cloud! 

Plus, with the monthly installments, you are able to move away from CAPEX and enjoy the tax benefits of using OPEX for this wonderful, new technology!

One thing that IT may not have visibility on is what we call "Shadow IT" - individual departments downloading apps, purchasing storage, etc. The biggest abusers of this are marketing departments who don't want to wait for IT to solve their resource problems. With Cloud, you can lock down your network and still be able to provide the resources that departments demand.

As you can see, I'm a big proponent of Cloud technology. Hit me up for a whiteboard session! I'll bring my team of experts and we will find the best way to make you look like a hero!

Intelisys Cloud Services University

Abhijit Phanse, United Layer

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Marketers Are Selfish

Marketing people like to put their own spin on advertising and promotion. They are creative, but marketing people are also selfish and like to be the “expert” at things. It’s impossible to be an expert in marketing because the world is always changing and things that worked yesterday don’t work today. Not to mention, there are millions of tools for the trade out there – some good, some great, some terrible. As far as being selfish, most marketers don’t like to share their ideas nor do they want you to know HOW they executed something.

It’s easy to say they knew it would be successful AFTER THE FACT. In truth, they had no idea and what started out as an experiment miraculously went viral. It’s not an exact science. It’s a bunch of A/B testing and trying new elements with old ones.

I’m constantly looking for new tools and strategies, yet the information I find out there is nebulous. Case studies are great, but when was the last time you found one that pertained to your specific industry or target market? Many of them are B2C vs. B2B.

Look, I’m not trying to put down my own kind. Yet there’s this frustration that builds in me because it seems that we are all struggling alone or in a sterile think tank team environment when we really should be working collaboratively. We should be open sourcing our ideas and I see it happening more and more.

This excites me.

Tesla Motors released their patents so other companies can leverage their technology to increase production of electric cars. This helps the environment and solves supply/demand issues, making these cars more affordable.

Former employees from Quest Nutrition started their own nutrition bar company that would be considered in direct competition. Do you think Quest is upset? NO! They are happy that bright individuals who contributed to the growth and success of the company has decided to spin off and try something different, but with the same core values. Quest isn’t delusional. They know one company can’t feed the world or fight metabolic disease on their own. What a fantastic story! And they tell it so well via interviews, videos and podcasts.

When you change your perspective to one of personal and professional growth, we are no longer in competition. We are merely challenging one another, perhaps even daring each other, to do it better. Take a great execution plan and see if you can go farther with it. I dare you.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Why the Direct Sales Model Is Not Working For You

This blog post inspired by an article in the latest Success Magazine entitled "Better Together". The actual article, while good, had nothing to do with what I am about to write about here. However, the theme of teamwork got me to thinking about my own business and why the struggle to make it successful continues.

You see, I am a serial entrepreneur in the direct sales industry. I have been an independent consultant for many companies, beginning with Melaleuca and investing in others such as Genewise, Mary Kay, Nerium, WineShop At Home and finally viaONEHOPE. These are all great companies with amazing products. So, why did I continue to hop from one opportunity to another? And why is it that success still eluded me? It's because people in direct sales have to do the work of six people.

The motto for direct sales that attracted me was "Work FOR yourself, but not BY yourself." Hey, who wouldn't want a job that only you can fire yourself from? Job security! Flexible schedule! Scaleable income! Choose the people you want to work with! Sounds really good, right?

What would it be like if you and a team of talented people could work on a direct sales business together? What if you could join a team and leverage the skills that you were gifted with and were able to contribute to a larger cause, all while making scaleable income and still have a flexible schedule? Here's what the revised direct sales model would look like:

  1. One person maintains social media and marketing efforts
  2. One person goes to networking events to collect leads and develop relationships
  3. One person follows up with leads and sets up appointments/parties
  4. One person conducts recruiting appointments and team meetings
  5. One person organizes and executes home parties
  6. One person enters all the orders and follows up with customers

Can it be done? Six people to run one direct sales business - I wonder how successful this team would be.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Superbowl Commercial Favorites

It's that time again! Superbowl Commercials! Did you know that FIVE commercials have been BANNED in past years? Were they too funny? Too racey?  You decide - CLICK HERE to view them. Do you already have a favorite for this year? I'm curious as to what made you decide on that particular commercial. Perhaps it made you laugh. Or maybe it pulled at your heart strings. Comment below to tell me which one moved you.

Here are a couple of my all-time favorites:

Google (2010)  
Tabasco (1998)

One made me smile and choke up (just a little). One just made me LOL. The interesting part is, there was no narration, no script, just... a story. I think those are the best ones. I'm looking forward to the halftime with Katy Perry and Missy Elliott also. Who are you rooting for to win Superbowl XLIX?

If you're not following me on Twitter, Facebook or this blog, I invite you to do so at the following links:


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Coffee Shop Chat - Boost Your Sales!

Someone gave me this idea on how to start conversations about your business while working at the local coffee shop. This is perfect for network marketers who want to connect with people who are looking for your services.

As much as I'd love to take credit for this, I will confess that the inspired information I share with you will most likely come from somewhere else. However, it is my pleasure to pass it on to my fellow business associates in an effort to help us all gain success this year. Hence, I have dusted off my Wicked Marketing blog in order to do so. Make sure to subscribe so you'll be updated with future brainstorm offspring.  It may benefit you!

Here's how to create conversations about your business in a coffee shop (in a non-threatening way). Go to or and create your custom laptop skin with the words "Talk to me about (insert your business here)."  For example, if you are a Real Estate Agent, your skin should say, "Talk to me about Real Estate" or "Talk to me about Selling Your Home" if you want to be more specific. The laptop is marketing space you could be using to your advantage! This could be YOU showing fellow coffee enthusiasts your products or services!

You can change up your laptop skin as often as you change your marketing campaign. Mine, for instance, might say "Talk to me about Wine Tastings". Next quarter, it could say, "Talk to me about Drinking Wine for a Living". Instead of using an online service, see if you can support one of the printers in your network to see if they can create something like this for you. Perhaps your other business partners might follow suit and want one for themselves. This means more referrals for your printer! If you are in the Orange County, CA area and don't know a local printer, feel free to contact Carey Jo and Tony at All We Print to see if they can help you!

Whatever business you are in, whether you are a Financial Planner, Mortgage Lender or an Independent Consultant with Mary Kay, Origami Owl, Jamberry Nails, Gold Canyon Candles, etc., you should be spending some time in a local coffee shop (my favorite is Monkey House Cafe in Huntington Beach) to connect with people in your area in need of your service or product.

Have I pimped enough businesses in my network yet?  Okay, you may go.