Exponential Growth of Self (and Business)

Exponential growthWith a lot of talk about exponential growth (10x) vs. incremental growth (1x) I felt compelled to reiterate a way of thinking that I’ve employed personally and have preached about for several decades now. My hope is that one or more readers challenge it in attempt to prove it incorrect.

Here it is in the simplest form. Work gets done during business hours, Growth gets done outside of those hours.

At VoIP Supply we have often had “building your future” nights where we tackle growth projects either in the company or on the company. There are so many things to work on that just won’t make it to the top of the list when everyone is busy taking care of customers and operating a solid and growing business, as we do each day.

Every interviewee at VoIP Supply talks about career path and where they want to get to as their tenure grows and they become part of our family, but rarely do they highlight how and more importantly when they plan on doing what is required to climb that ladder or cut their own path.

You may grow incrementally during the day working on some projects that help grow the business, surely that is the case, but to really grow in an exponential manner you need to do so once the noise dies down and the distractions are gone. There is no other way without sacrificing in some other area where you are needed during the day.

If you have chosen a profession of some sort, it is your duty (in my opinion) to become the absolute best at that profession. No pro athlete expects to improve solely during the game and skip practice and training, why would you?

Practice, study, read, strategize, collaborate, experiment and discuss if you really truly want to get better at what you do and choose the path you say that you want to go down. You must invest in your future and that means sacrificing some (not all) of your evenings, weekends and personal time.

If you want to be a better leader, study leadership, read about other great leaders, best practices and practical application of those skills.

If you want to grow a new channel, division or team within your department or company, don’t expect it to just happen during the day. Put in the effort and investment of time required to grow for your own benefit and the benefit of those depending on you to be the professional you say that you are.

You may then and only then reap the rewards of exponential growth, personally, professionally and within your business.

Incredibly Responsive, Ridiculously Dependable.

get_responsive For anyone that ever works with or at Sayers Technology Holdings.

This is a lot more than a theme for the quarter. This is who we’ve been and who we have to be every day. The formula is simple and rewarding for all, customers inside the company (you) and customers that may or do purchase from us.

When I was 27, back in 2000, I was in the fourth year of business at my first company and had accomplished what to me was a huge milestone. I no longer owed $65,000 to credit card companies that supported me and my fledgling company. I had paid off my debt to them and was beginning to repair my personal credit. I couldn’t buy a house, but I could trade up from my 1992 Dodge Caravan.

My partner and I had decided that we were going to celebrate four years of very difficult work by purchasing a pair of nice cars.

First I went to the Audi dealer on Genesee to look at an A8. When I walked in, I had to walk around and find a sales person to talk to. When I did, he told me they didn’t have any A8s on the lot and didn’t have any brochures. I’d have to come back in a week, they should have some literature by then.

Next, I went to the Mercedes dealer on Main St. This experience was even worse. I stood in the showroom and waited for someone to come help me out. This is no joke or stretch of the truth… I stood there for 10 minutes with people walking by, looking at me, talking amongst themselves and essentially looking right through me as if I wasn’t even there.

Quite ticked at this point, I gave one more place a shot. I drove out to East Aurora to the only BMW dealer around. When I walked in I was greeted by Mike Monteith. He asked what he could do for me. I told him I wanted to test drive a 740iL. Without hesitation, Mike handed me the keys to one, put a plate on it and told me to take my time. When I got back from a test drive that could have landed me in jail, the way I was driving that thing, Mike answered every question I had and told me everything I could possibly want to know about the car.

When done, I purchased two 740s from Mike that same day.

Since 2000, I’ve purchased 8 more cars from Mike and Towne BMW and I’ve never even considered test driving Audi or Mercedes, nor will I buy from either of those dealerships. I’ve also referred at least a dozen people to Mike and Towne BMW and would gladly do so all day.

What was was the difference? It’s plain to see.

Mike was responsive and dependable, as is the entire team and staff at Towne. The others may have gotten around to me when they had time, it simply doesn’t work that way. The funniest of all came a year later when a sales rep from the Audi dealership called me to ask if I was still interested. He took a whole year to call me!

When you need information, answers to questions, data to support your ideas or just someone to go to lunch with, who is your first choice?

I know for me, the first place I go is he/she that has historically been the most responsive and the most dependable. Don’t you?

If it’s data that you need, don’t you seek out the person that provides the most accurate data that has been thoroughly reviewed before handing it over?

How frustrating is it when that person isn’t available or when the outcome isn’t as you needed and expected it to be?

Everyone wants and deserves responsiveness and dependability. You get what you give, it works no other way.

This isn’t just a sales thing either, this is support, service, shipping, purchasing, engineering, marketing and accounting – everyone! The challenge I want you to beat personally and collectively is to be as incredibly responsive and ridiculously dependable to EVERY request that comes your way. Set your bar high and try to do even better. Beat your goals, challenge your peers, compete with yourself and your team mates.

For VoIP Supply and CloudSpan customers, the dealio is pretty simple.

If a customer sends an inquiry to the company, they deserve the most immediate and dependable response that we can possibly deliver.

When a customer calls to talk to someone, they should NEVER go to voicemail. They deserve better.

Next time one of your co-workers needs something from you, the immediacy of your response is absolutely critical, even if the response is nothing more than a date/time that they can expect their answer… Then never fail to deliver on time. They deserve that or better, just as you expect to get when you need answers.

You can be as feature rich, fancy, full of knowledge, cheap or expensive, complicated or simple as pie. None of those things matter if you don’t respond immediately and deliver dependability every time.

Incredibly Responsive, Ridiculously Dependable.

VoIP Supply – Back on the List at #33

VoIP Supply named as the 33rd fastest growing company in WNY.


VoIP Supply Logo

Back in 2006 VoIP Supply was named as the #1 fastest growing company in Western New York and #6 the following year in 2007. Growing at that pace can be hard on any company, so we took a few years off to optimize what we were already doing well and ensure that we could deliver on our promises to our customers. Pushing through the same tough years of 2008 and 2009 that most businesses experienced, the resilient, determined and amazing team of people at VoIP Supply have done it again.

Coming out of the darkness that was 2008 and 2009, VoIP Supply was able to purchase a new building for its headquarters, grow the team in size and quality, expand its offerings to our customers as well as define and implement our overall purpose and vision as a company. As WNY’s first certified b-Corporation, it is our mission, very simply to; Do Well, Do Good, Suck Less.

Focusing on these six words, we have climbed back on the list of fast growth companies in our region as well as focus on giving back to our local community and environment. It is our hope that our actions will inspire and challenge other businesses in the area to step up and deliver in kind, demonstrating clearly that a company can accelerate and grow even when the focus is not solely on revenue or profits.

I am extremely proud of the team at VoIP Supply and want to thank each and every one of them for their belief in what we do, why we do it and for delivering excellence every day.

Thank you!

Jumping a ten foot hurdle?


Completing small tasks is usually easy enough, but what about those huge ones, the monstrous changes and improvements?

Is it time to get into shape with both diet and exercise daily, time to earn that promotion you want, to buy your dream home, quite smoking or cross off your greatest bucket list item?

Here is a list that may help, courtesy of one of my Entrepreneurs’ Organization friends.

  • Set one goal, one. Make it bold while keeping it simple.
  • Find inspiration. Seek out the benefits, others that have been successful, visualize the end result (with a picture)
  • Get excited. Change is a good thing, nothing can improve without it. Pump yourself up for success.
  • Build anticipation. Don’t start right away. Set your start date weeks or a month into the future and give yourself time to become mentally and emotionally invested.
  • Post it, print it, BIG. Force yourself to think about your hurdle, see it, read it, picture it everywhere. Post-its on your mirror, poster on your wall, write it on your forehead if you must.
  • Commit to it publicly. Accountability is the key to success and often easier to have others hold you accountable than to do it yourself. Make your goal known so people can help you when you’re weak.
  • Think about it daily. Habits are hard to break and easy to fall back into. Whatever has held you back til now will still be there, think about your goal and resist.
  • Get support. You can’t and don’t need to do everything yourself. It’s in people’s nature to be helpful, it makes others feel good and important. Whether a support group or your friends and family, others want to see you succeed.
  • Stick with it. Everything takes time. Be patient and persist. If you fall down, get back up and keep trying. Quitters never win and winners never quit (unless you are trying to quit something:)
  • Build on small successes. Have you ever seen an infant learn to walk? They don’t just stand up one day and start walking. One step at a time is still closer than not stepping at all.
  • Read about it regularly. Chances are probably 100% that you are not the first to be taking on this quest. Read about what others have done, what professionals recommend and successful feedback. Just don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
  • Call for help when motivation ebbs. It’s probably going to happen at some point. Lean on your supporters. Reach out and ask for words of encouragement when you just want to give in.
  • Talk about the benefits, not the difficulties. If it was easy it wouldn’t take much effort, so we know there are difficulties. Talk about the benefits, remind yourself and others why you are putting in this much effort.
  • Squash negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. With a positive attitude you can overcome just about anything. When those negative thoughts creep in, have your list of benefits present to review and remind you of your goal and small successes.
  • Don’t look back, other than to celebrate your success. You cannot change your past, don’t waste your time. You can affect today and tomorrow. When you reach your goal, then, take time to look back at all you have accomplished.

All the best!

To focus or not to focus, kind of a silly question

With dozens of simultaneous and constant distractions, how is one to focus and be effective?

You can write down your task lists, highlight your top 5 activities, schedule your day, use a day planner and any number of other forms of organization and planning. I still don’t believe you will be working (or playing) at anywhere near your full potential.

To skip to the point of this collection of words, you control most of your distractions or they control you.

Turn off your non-organic tools, toys and necessary technical devices – At lease for a few hours a day, completely off! This is primarily for the working folk, plan for it and then execute.

What do I mean?

Check your email one last time and quit the program, put your phone on do not disturb, turn off your cell phone, log out of instant messenger and turn off any other app that notifies you of facebook updates, new tweets, cool new instagram photos, important news bulletins, weather alerts and the other million possible interruptions.

All done?

Good, now go to the bathroom, grab that last cup of coffee or water and get ready to blow your own mind. If you can, shut your door or find a quiet place to work. With no interruptions, look at your list of tasks and put your collective focus on it and nothing else. For the next 2-3 hours, do just that. Whoever is calling, emailing, IM’ing, texting or in some other way trying to reach you, can either wait or seek you out personally.

Simple right?

Think of how many of these interruptions and distractions float by your eyes, ears and within your head long after the pop-up is gone. Compound these with the other huge distraction, LIFE. Kids, money, bills, taxes, family, health, temperature, noise, hunger and whatever personal relationships you happen to have going on at the time. Fortunately you can remember to breath during all of these interruptions.

For the record, I’m being a huge hypocrite writing this, but I am thinking about it and try to execute as often as I can. Even now I am ignoring my phone, email, facebook account and weatherbug telling me it’s snowing outside.

If you happen to be one of my wonderful workmates, please understand that this behavior and these activities are welcomed and encouraged. You won’t even need that get out of jail free card.