BizTech Next Level BizTech Podcast

100. Business Blueprints: Lessons Learned from Leaders with Richard Murray Pt. 3/3

December 20, 2023

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Can you believe we’ve made it to episode 100 already? Jump in with us as we wrap our series on Business Blueprints: Lessons from Leaders with Telarus Chief Commercial Officer, Richard Murray. We take some jumps back into Richard’s career and history, along with where our paths first intersect. Richard gives some great advice about successes, struggles, hiring, dedication, and more. He covers all the great things anyone out there building a business will inevitably go through. Don’t miss Episode 100 as we wrap up Season 2!

Lupresto Telarus

Hey, everybody. Welcome back. We are wrapping up our very special episodes here. This is actually episode 100. We’ve made it this far and we’re still chugging along. Thanks for listening. Today on we’ve got Mr. Richard Murray, Chief Commercial Officer at Telarus Richard, welcome on, man. Thank you. I’m honored to be number 100. I feel special.

Well, you better make it good then. No pressure. Okay. We always kick this off. We talk about backgrounds. So tell us, I’ve known you a long time, so I’m going to pretend that I don’t know this, but for anybody that doesn’t know your background, tell us where it all started. What’s this? Is it a windy path? Is it a straight path? How did you get here? Pretty windy. Multiple different areas of ins and outs. I’ve been in the channel 21 years though, so I mean, I would say any introduction of my background needs to start with I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together 27 years and most of what I’ve been able to accomplish has been because she’s been patient and believed in a lot of the weird things that we’ll probably talk about today.

From a career development and you know, just that path, I always thought I’d be an attorney like in high school. I did debate and you know, I just was always geared towards being an attorney. I worked for a law office to get through college and somewhere in there, I was, I ended up being their bookkeeper and office manager and I had to make the decision for their internet service and back then it was DSL, but that was my first exposure to this world. And so then when I saw a job posting for then US West to be a sales and marketing intern, it was my senior year of college and I applied. I mean, I was making seven and a quarter at the law office. Killing it. So just about anything would have been a raise. Got that job and so my job at US West, which became Quest while I was there, which is now Lumen, was to research, competitive research, which I didn’t obviously know then, but would set me up perfectly for the channel multiple years later. I would get anytime US West would lose a deal to XO on PRIs, we would gather the pricing on that and we ended up actually using my data, my research to change the tariff in Utah for PRIs. Like back then it was $1,800 for a PRI. But probably the funnest part of that is I actually got to use my student ID. I would go into the public utilities commission and they would just let me right into the back room, open their file cabinets for all of the companies that were filing to start providing services that would be competitive to US West. And I wrote a, I would like open the folder, I would read about electric light wave level three and then I’d write a SWOT analysis on each one of them and I used it both for work and for my senior project. I picture you like, I picture this being very covert and like. Yeah, it was my student ID, not my employee ID that got me in there. Yeah, so I don’t know that it was, you know, pushing the boundaries or anything, but it was definitely let’s be a student here, not an employee. So, you know, just doing that research and analyzing all of the different companies, I think served me very well later on is as I got into the channel. Fast forwarding real quick, they got acquired and I just felt like I was, they just kept extending my position and I didn’t really have a boss. I would go in every day, say hello to Joe Branch who still works for Telarus. She was at Carrier Sales that we’ll get into. So I’ve known Joe for, you know, gosh, 20 plus years.

Yeah, 27 years, 26. I’d say hi to Joe, check my email and go home. And I just found myself getting into bad habits. So I left, went and worked for a wireless ISP, which back then was like so unique. Line of sight internet. They had the 10 meg download hybrid modem, which was unreal. Unreal tech. They went bankrupt trying to build the DSL infrastructure. So I went to XO and was carrying a bag as a sales rep. And, you know, they were a good company for the time until they overextended and they got to where they had to declare bankruptcy. You know, for time’s sake, I will only share that it became a pivotal moment for me because they told us to go present this financial debt to all of our customers around.

This is why we’re not going bankrupt. We have Carl Icahn as our backer. We’re not going bankrupt. So I go and do that, that dog and pony show for the customers I was proposing. And then we declared bankruptcy. And I’m a 20 something year old kid, 24 or something like that, and had a CFO for a major company call me and tell me he’s never going to buy for me ever again. Didn’t matter where I went, question my integrity. I was like, all right, I am not cut up for this. I am not sales. And in the course of that bankruptcy, a ton of direct reps that I worked with that are now incredible partners in the community, you know, some of our top sales sales reps all left and became partners for, you know, in many cases for a company called Carrier Sales. And that’s where you and I met much later, a decade later than that.

And so Blake Darling, one of our top partners, he and I were the same hiring class at XO. I used to build his proposals because he was great at cold calling. I was not. And I would do the proposals and Excel work. He got me an interview. They didn’t even look at my resume, sat down with Glad Hill and he said, you’re hired. Sounds like Glido.

And, you know, so I think, you know, making 40 grand a year, losing, you know, a good commission

job, but it was steady. And then I just worked second jobs to hold it together there for a few years. So that’s the core of the background. Love it. And that’s where our path kind of came together was Glad Hill’s startup was another company that I was there. And we were all maybe 10 or 15 employees altogether, shared office space. So walk us through then, take that back, away, you know, on how did we get to kind of where we’re at now for anybody that doesn’t know the history that transpired from then to 2023? Yeah. So I had, you know, I started as general manager, but it was, it was three employees when I joined. And so pretty quickly, I was able to, to get on a profit sharing agreement, which, you know, meant that, Hey, I might make an extra two grand. It was just so small at the time, but we kept building, kept growing. One of the, fast forward a little bit, one of the partners left, we had to spin out our century link business. I think it was still quest at the time I became part owner of that company and was running that while was general manager of the other side as we continue to grow. Now it’s just the one partner. And he was investing in your company and the place you were working at and taking all the carrier sales profits to go fund that. Sorry about that. And so we were just really kind of floating. I mean, we were growing, but it was just sheer, you know, hard work, determination, 80 hour weeks kind of thing. I mean, I was doing everything from quoting to commissions.

I was writing the checks, all of it. And so we were growing in spite of ourselves while he was funding over here. At the same time, I was on a profit sharing agreement, and I just kept saving that money. Had the opportunity to acquire a couple other little smaller companies that the founders of carrier sales didn’t want to do. I took it to them first. They didn’t want it. And so I figured out a way to do it. Over time, just got to where I was able to own a little bit more of the company. And then I got to a point where

they kept telling me that, hey, you’re going to own all of carrier sales. We know that this is yours. I mean, he got to where he was just looking at tax returns, right? It wasn’t, he didn’t even know the quarterly’s. It was tax return time. He’d, oh, great. Thank you.

And I just said, look, I’ll give you a year’s notice. I’m done just kind of treading water here. I want to grow. I want to do something. I’m still very young at that time. And I said, so I’ll go take the CenturyLink business and go grow that. Honestly, in the back of my mind was maybe I’ll take it to Telarus and go grow it there. But that woke him up to the fact that, okay, it was time. And so we came up with what was a fair price. And that was when I called you. You had left the sister company and were out doing tech support for something. Yeah. The biotech company down in Salt Lake. Yeah.

And so, yeah, I gave you a call and convinced you to come over. I hope we’ll get into that story a little bit later, but so I won’t go too far into it. Let’s get into it right now. Because the next part is about kind of insights for entrepreneurs and kind of looking beyond. I remember this phone call like it was yesterday. And I’ve told the story a number of times where, to your point, yes, I’d left the startup had kind of never really started up. And so I went and got what I thought was this awesome job at this biotech company down in Salt Lake. And I got this call. I think it had been all of three weeks. And I absolutely hated where I had gone and didn’t realize I kind of loved what I did before getting into this telco and cloud and all of this stuff, all of this space. And I think you called me up and said, hey, you know, we should have talked more when you left. I got big plans. I’m going to buy the guy out, buy the old guy out, come back and, you know, be the first person I hire after this transaction. And I said, okay, and you may be an offer on the weekend. And I walked in the other place on a Monday and I think quit on the spot. And then we started Tuesday. That was 2013. That’s how I remember the story at least. Hopefully that’s Sacker, because I’ve told that story quite a few times. I have some fill ins that I thought about. You know, I remember having a number in mind, right, and going to you. I feel like it was 55K. I apologize for talking numbers, but I feel like it was 55 and you’re like, oh, I need it to be 65. And I like, I remember, because it was just a different time. I remember going home and talking to my wife about, hey, I know we had planned on upgrading the minivan, but I got to get Josh here. That’s going to take the 5K to get it done. I don’t remember. I’m probably off on the numbers, but I remember some level of, it wasn’t negotiation as much as it was just, okay, this is what I can do. And you’re like, okay, I’ve got to pay the bills. And so we figured it out. I love it. We’ll come back to that more. I want to talk about a lesson that this is about building relationships, right? The goal of this track, right, these special last three episodes as we get to episode 100 here is about helping our partners have some insight into things that they’re going to go through, things that as they go to build their business, problems, successes, I think hearing from leadership at Telarus, I think this stuff is incredibly valuable. So I want to talk about cultivating relationships. You know, you’ve cultivated, obviously, a lot of relationships in the channel, you’ve been in the channel 20 plus years with the suppliers, with the partners. Can you share with us what I would call the R Murray philosophy on building and maintaining key relationships? The R Murray. Look, I’ll start with acknowledging everybody’s different in their approach. Mine, I think, is unique. And that’s been helpful for me, for the company, I think, for, you know, extended to our advisors and partners. I think at its core is you have to care about other success. And so, you know, whether you’re dealing with a partner in my specific role now, and for the last 20 years, I really do care that the suppliers I’m working with are successful as well. Yes, I want to win. I want to negotiate and do well, but I can’t, you know, get a supplier to pay me 50%, knowing that it’s going to bankrupt them or have an unprofitable channel. I care about them growing and succeeding. No, I don’t, I don’t carry a quota. I don’t care about quotas anymore. But at the end of the day, if I’ve got a channel manager that I cared about, I’m going to do what I can to help them succeed. But you can’t fake it. You can’t fake that you care about somebody. You either do or you don’t. And there are, look, there are suppliers over the years that I’ve not cared about. And I don’t fake it either. So I do think you have to care. I think the other element of is just how you communicate with them. Because you care. And, you know, there’s a supplier, I found this out, probably it had been around for a couple of years. There’s a very prominent supplier that we do a lot with. And a lot of that, the core leadership from a decade to five years ago is all left. And they’re all other companies now. And one of them told me that that internally, as a team, they had actually started using the phrase that you’ve been married. And I’m like, okay, I hope that’s not awful. Please explain that to me. He said, no, basically, it’s just it’s a it was their shorthand for you’ve been politely told that you suck. And so my approach to build a relationship, especially with suppliers is, look, I sit on a lot of advisory councils. And I work really hard to be prepared for those. There’s a reality I get dumber every day in terms of the delivery of a service. But we have an incredible team that lives and experiences that all the time. And so gather all of that information. And then I’m not going to go to an advisory council and not tell the truth. That doesn’t help them get better. If I don’t care about them, then I’m probably either not at the advisory council, or maybe I won’t be as forthright. But if I care about the supplier, about the people there, I’m going to hammer them with details and data and go at it. But I’m going to do it in a nice polite way, because that’s how I try to do it. That has legs. That gives them something they can take to their peers, their leadership, and go do something actionable with it. Yeah, no, it’s good. All right, let’s talk about insights, some insights for the partners out there, right? Obviously, the partners, they’re entrepreneurs, they’re out there thriving and growing. But you’ve got this diverse experience. What critical advice would you offer these partners that are out there? What do they need to succeed in today’s market? A couple. I think one ties into the relationships, as well as just for our partners, is don’t burn bridges, right? There are a lot of people out there that will burn a bridge. Let’s say there’s a channel manager that does you bad at supplier X, and you don’t care about that supplier so much, so you just shout them down, or you do something that hurts the relationship. They’re going to end up with another supplier. And if you’ve burnt that bridge, they’re not going to help you there. I mean, that applies to hopefully the suppliers that are listening to this too, is my wife knows that in this world, you do not burn the bridges. Like, I’ll tell her stories of somebody doing something stupid. She’s like, they don’t know the lesson, you don’t burn bridges.

This is a family, this is a tight community. Everybody knows everybody. So you’ve got to be cautious about that. I think beyond that, though, just in terms of thinking about your business, you’ve got to know what you’re good at, what are you special at, and then bring in others to fill in the gaps. There’s a reality of why I reached out to you. I knew I wasn’t as technical as I was going to need to be for the new coming services. And so I brought in others. And I think, you know, many partners are world class at what they do. And I’ve seen many bring in teams around them, but others just stay, you know, this is what I do. And they don’t bring in others or they’re hesitant to even reach out to you and your team to help fill in their gaps. They just ignore and pretend that that side doesn’t exist. And I don’t think you can do that in this world. I think you’ve got to bring people in to help you do that. And look, sometimes that’s hard. Sometimes that means you’ve got to have honest reflection and just be brutally honest with yourself around, “Yeah, I’m not very good at that.” Or, “Hey, I’m okay with a lot of things. I’m a good generalist, but I’m not exceptional at everything. And so, you know, where can I bring in exceptional people around me to move forward faster?” Yeah, it’s a good point, too. And I think that’s one of the biggest life lessons you’ve taught me along the way is, I know you’re going to read something, I know somebody’s going to say something, and you’re going to hear something, and you’re going to want to react this way. Don’t. Just pause. It’s okay to react. It’s okay to have emotion. But to your point, this is a small community. Everybody needs everybody. That person tomorrow you might need to employ them. They might be your boss or somewhere in the middle of that. And you burn a bridge in this space. It’s not great. And I think that is such a huge lesson for everybody to take note of. Whether that’s customer impacting or supplier or whatever it is, I just huge double down on that lesson. I love that one. That’s part of the armory approach, right? I don’t think people understand. I think internally in my mind, like in here, I’m a raging lunatic sometimes. The emotion is there. I’ve just learned to shield it and harness it and bring it out in a more impactful way. Fair. Let’s talk about vision. You’ve seen this industry evolve, and to your point,

you’ve always been looking out here, right? When it might look like this right now, you’re looking out here. If you look at that right now, what would you tell the partners? Maybe I’m a partner that’s come in and maybe I’ve never sold any of this stuff before and I want to be a partner. Maybe I’m a partner that I’ve just been selling one thing and I’m listening to this podcast, kind of learning how to move into other technology areas.

What future trends would you tell our partners to be aware of and then how do you feel we’re helping them prepare for that? Well, first of all, I think as I looked at the list of all the different topics that you’ve covered, I mean, those are all the emerging technologies. First of all, just reflect on where this industry is awesome, number one. What other industry can you say started in, when I came in, it was long distance, and now we’re talking about AI

and everything in between. There’s a reality if you’re new to the market, you’re new to the agency model and even tying it into our previous conversation. You can’t do it all. You can’t know every technology. Focus on what you’re good at, which is in most cases, you’re good at relationships, which then means bring in others to help have the technical conversations. Now, obviously, that’s what Telarus is focused on doing. I think our entire conversation to partners has been, how do we help you grow your business? Over time, that has evolved on what that looks like. We’ve tried to bring in extra resources. In the early years, it was you just helping the guys that had only sold network, you would go out on appointments or jump on phone calls to, back then, it was like the early days of contact center. How do we help you have that conversation?

So, if you’re new there, we don’t know what technology is going to be here in three years. In five years, that we’re going to be able to sell. But I do know that we’re heavily focused on continually staying in front of that, just like we were when we painted towards contact center. No one had a contact center channel when you came on. We built that together with NICE and then with Five9 and Genesis, they saw what was going, they came in. I think the same thing’s happening with AI. Many of our suppliers are plugging AI into what they do. We’re signing many AI suppliers, but we don’t know what AI is going to be driving and what it’s going to be capable of in two or three years. So, we have people that are focused on that and will continue to build around it. Good. All right. So, let’s look back at your journey. What do you feel some of these pivotal moments or decisions that really shaped your path going from being an employee to a business owner and now chief commercial officer? Yeah, so many. I look back at that time or at my journey, I think back in some of the difficult times of Carousels. I can’t tell you how many times I almost left. This is frustrating. We’re not growing the way that I want. We’re not keeping up with Intellis. All of these things, I’m not making enough money. I had a second job for the first decade of this. I was doing books for the law office that I talked about in the opening forever.

And so, I chose to stay and to build something. That obviously was a pivotal

or multiple pivotal times of making that choice. And that was just because I believed in what we were doing. I didn’t like the results of where we were, but I believed in what the core was overall. And I think along the way, something that’s been helpful for me that I’ve tried to talk to others about is whether it’s your business or not, you’re a leader or not, treat it like you are. Treat it like your business. And I think because I did, it made it so eventually. Took longer than I wanted it to. But I never treated that as an eight to five. And I think now as a larger employer, you have to be kind of careful. And I can’t go tell my employees, “Hey, you need to put in 80 hours a week to do your job.” I can’t do that. But in a podcast and with partners, I can say, “Look, if you’re working for a partner, you’re working for a company, your job is eight to five.” And I know you and I have talked about this. Your career is everything you do after. And most of anything good that I’ve ever accomplished for Carousel’s, Telarus, has been after hours off to the site, whether it’s me staying up all night, working weekends, building a new process, building a spreadsheet, building something that allowed us to move it forward. Those weren’t done during the core times. And it was that extra sweat equity that helped propel me and others forward. I love it. Act like an owner. All right, let’s talk about mentorship. One of the things that I think I’ve learned along the way has been how critical it’s arguably one of the most rewarding, but it’s arguably at the same token, one of the hardest things you ever do, which is I think the hiring process. So my question is a little bit about mentorship. I want to get into what do you find rewarding into that process, because I think our partners are going to go through this. We talk about some of them are solo preneuers that don’t have a desire to hire, and they lean on us for a ton of resources, which we absolutely love. And then some say, “You know what? I want to bring one or two of those resources in-house.” So if we flash back, you and I had worked together in this in the beginning, but I was a recovering car mechanic that had stumbled into technology. You clearly saw something that maybe I didn’t think that I didn’t know I was capable of. So as you kind of reflect back on that, you had a vision that others maybe didn’t have. So how do you look at that mentorship, picking talent? How do you advise on that? Oh, so many pieces of this. First of all, I would say I never set out to be a mentor. I don’t view myself in that light. I don’t feel like I’m so wise or so smart or I’ve accomplished anything that I’m in a position to tell people what to do or to help. But yet I’ve been sought out to tell people what to do and to help. And so I’ve tried to embrace it. I mean, there’s an element of it where there’s a big part of it. It’s just me trying to give back. I’ve had great mentors. I’ve had people that have helped and embrace and teach me things. And I think you need multiple mentors in your life at different stages of where you are. And many of my early mentors, I would now consider more friends. It’s not that I don’t still learn from them, but the size of our company is now at the size of where they were. And so they’re probably not teaching me company stuff as much. But gosh, I look at, from a pay it back standpoint, I consider Rick Deller a mentor. He may not know this, but I remember I felt like Carousel’s was doing pretty good and Rick and I would help negotiate. We would work together to negotiate some of the contracts back then, particularly CenturyLink where Carousel’s was very, very strong. And I remember kind of doing it, hey, what’s next stage? What should I be doing? And he asked me, well, what’s your revenue at? And I felt like, hey, we’re doing good enough. I’m now confident enough. I’ll tell you what it is. And I’m not positive on the number, but I believe it was 38 million. And he kind of, he didn’t really do this, but as I reflect back, he kind of patted me on top of that. He said, that’s cute. But I remember him telling me, remember, when you get to 50 million, then things start to change. And so get ready for this. You’ve got to start thinking about scale and all of these other things that start now. I mean, we’re so many multiples past that. It’s kind of funny to reflect back to that time.

But, you know, anytime I could take the opportunity with a partner with somebody on a supplier and have future looking conversations, give them perspective that they don’t have, then I’m happy to do it. In terms of identifying talent and then, you know, being a mentor in that. I’m a big believer in books as mentors in some cases, but I am also very cautious to not over index to any one book. There are, however, a couple that I think have been super impactful for me. One is a book that I have a case in my office called Love is the Killer app. And, you know, the core principle of that is just take care of others, even if that means introducing others together in a way that doesn’t benefit you. And the universe has a way of taking care of you and all of that. And so I’ve always tried to live and follow that. First is a principle. Second is I actually never read his book. I still have it, but I remember his speech. And it’s a gentleman by the name of Harvey McKay. Now, most people don’t know who Harvey McKay is, but where he spoke was at the same place that Tony Robbins spoke. Like Tony Robbins was on stage, and then I think Harvey came on. It doesn’t matter the order, but so he was a big deal at the time. And the only thing I remember from him was, was talking about how back, you know, he was older at the time. I don’t even know if cell phones were that prominent. I mean, they were round, but not prominent. He would write hit if he saw something in somebody, a hotel clerk, a waitress, he would write his personal number on the back of his business card, hand it to him, say, if you’re ever looking for a job, please give me a call. And the core of that is he was always looking for it in people. And I think, you know, to embarrass you a little bit, if I can, I just felt like there was that there was it. And, you know, to try to specify what it looks like, I think it comes in multiple forms. I mean, yes, you have to have capacity. There has to be the capacity to do good. But for me, it’s drive. It’s, you know, what I saw in you, what I’ve always seen in you is a desire to continue to learn, to challenge yourself, to never be, you know, okay with where I am today, it’s where do I need to be in the future. And in some cases, that’s meant not always, you know, awesome conversations between the two of us over the years, to say, what lack I, right. And I remember one in particular. I hope it’s okay that I know. Oh, I know you’re going. Sure. Bring it up. Well, maybe I do it. I remember one where it was kind of like, Hey, I want to do more. I want to make more money. And I can’t remember what you asked for. I just remember you asked for something. I’m like, you’re not quite ready for that. I believe it was, I’d like to take over the company when you’re ready. And you were like, maybe not yet. I’m going to be around a little bit. But here’s what I loved. I loved the question and the desire that was in there. You were treating it as your own. You wanted it to be your own. And the reality is we’ve all grown so much that we’ve actually, we’re all, you and I are doing way more now and at a level now than what we ever thought of then, because we were a small company, right? But I do remember the question. What I more remember is thinking about my answer and what that almost challenging conversation brought us to was it helped me identify opportunities to put in your path to go help round you out. So I don’t remember the exact timing, but somewhere along the way, we had the opportunity to acquire a small VAR. And this was when VARs were, we were still trying to figure out how VARs fit into the partner community, into the, why weren’t they coming over the residual? And so we bought it and I basically handed you the business unit. And I said, okay, learn P&Ls, learn balance sheets, you deal with the drama, you get to make the overriding decisions. And we were just kind of the managing company for that bar. They were still running off on their own. But I’ve got to imagine you learned a thousand lessons. Tons. I don’t know that I could even spelt P&L before that. But yeah, I think, you know, for partners that are listening, I just think it’s, you’re right, I think you painted a good picture, identify, and then give others an opportunity to figure out where they may not even know that they have skills yet. Well, I didn’t, you know, I didn’t know, first of all, I didn’t know that I wasn’t rounded out. So being self-aware is important. But, you know, you could have spun that one of two ways. You could have said, no, sorry, go away. Or you could have gone the way that you did, which is, hey, you know what? All right, cool. Let’s help get you more rounded out on the business side. And yeah, I learned so much, so much in those years that now obviously that’s benefited me to be able to help here at a much more dramatic scale. So I think it’s made you a better boss. I mean, your team loves working for you. I think it gave you, you know, different perspectives that has benefited both of us. Love it. Awesome stuff. Let’s talk about

personal growth. Let’s talk about development. So how do you,

focuses for you of how you stay growing and innovative in your role, right? I mean, I feel like we’re in an industry that is just innovating every hour, right? And we’ve got to stay in tune, is this next thing down the road, the next greatest thing, and we’re just going to miss out if we don’t get it. So help us understand how you stay innovative, how should partners stay innovative, and any thought leaders or anything, any resources that you want to throw out. Yeah, I mean, I think we covered a big part of it with mentors. I mean, there’s a reality now that Telarus, at the size that we are, there’s not many mentors in our industry that I can now go to and go say, help me. You know, there are mentors maybe outside of the industry, people that have done other large, you know, industries that have rolled up and things like that, that can give me perspective. But in the absence of that, I think that partners should be, I’m a big lover of podcasts, yours and others. Adam and I have both kind of fallen into a podcast called the founders podcast, that he and I will, you know, I will listen to usually on a weekend, I’ll listen to three or four, like, you know, Saturday listening kind of thing. And then he and I, I’ll tell him, hey, this was a great one, go listen to it, and then we’ll compare notes. And so it’s almost learning, you know, gosh, one of them like was Mark Twain. And what can you learn from Mark Twain’s life that then and apply it and I promise you there is there’s always applicability, you know, whether it’s a Steve Jobs and all of those things. I think there are, whether it’s books, podcasts, whatever, there’s just information that if you’re continually challenging yourself from outside, then working to apply it into our realm, which is super unique, what we do is super unique. My family still doesn’t know. Nobody knows what we do. But there’s applicability and all those other. Yeah, there’s parallels, right? These guys are going to go through struggles of building things and how what what what are the nuggets that you can pull from that? So good, good stuff. All right, final couple thoughts here. I want to talk. Let’s you know, you’ve obviously been critical, and I’m forever grateful of how you’ve helped shape my life. But you know, also our, our company and the channel if you if you fast forward 10 plus years, and then you snap back and look at, you know, what, what’s the legacy that you want to say, I did that or I impacted this or I helped here? Is there anything that you want to call out? Oh, you know, my mind goes to Steve, I think is Steve Jobs quote, you can you can’t connect the can’t connect the dots forward, you know, connect the dots backwards. So it’s it’s hard to predict what I’ll see in 10 years from from where the time I am now. But what I hope my you know, what I’ve left in this channel is, you know, I close partner summit every year, Adam, Adam opens, he does the big state of the business and everything and I close it. And for me, I’m not good at seeing things I don’t believe in. I either don’t say something or I I just it’s just out there. It’s got to be genuine for me. And so I hope that, you know, that my my messages of gratitude to the community as a whole gratitude to the partners, gratitude to suppliers and my message of and trying to create a community in the channel that to me, you know, this is a three legged stool, we absolutely need partners for us to succeed. But I believe that tell us and even our competitors play a role in their success. And then we need the suppliers there. And so, you know, I, I hope that,

you know, our many of your listeners type a sales rep partners, they’re wired and I love them for it. They’re wired to think they are the reason they’re successful. And they are. But it’s all of us together that makes us more successful. I’m hyper competitive, I always want to win, but I don’t want others to lose. I just want to be that much better. And, and so I hope as a, you know, as a channel, we we all drive more towards that. Well said. All right, final thoughts here. Let’s talk about some advice for partners. So we’ve talked a lot about mentorship about business building and about hiring and, you know, strife and all of these things that happen. Take all that in consideration, as you’ve helped partners and all these different people shape their course in life, their trajectory, their business. Any final advice there for the audience for those partners that are listening or maybe even considering being partners?

You know, a lot of partners will ask, Hey, what are the others doing to be successful? And I think it’s the wrong question. I think, you know, if I look at myself and what I would tell partners to strive to do, you’re most successful when you’re 100% yourself. And, and what makes you unique and what you’re what you’re exceptional at. And I mean, I’ve already talked about bringing in others to fill in the gaps. But the more we water ourselves down by trying to do things that we’re not special at, I think it slows down our speed. And, and it’s you’re going to ebb and flow, right? Comfort is in the middle. Comfort is just kind of floating along in the middle, but success is out on the edge.

And so when we’re on the edge, we’re doing what we do uniquely. That that’s, you know, a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over in my life, because you see a little success, you float in the middle, you float comfort for a little while. And then you kick yourself and you say, Oh, I want to go drive for something. Well, what’s that next thing? And so, again, it takes being reflective on where you are, it takes being honest with yourself. Can I think there’s an element you have to be honest with your inner circle about where you are with that as well. I mentioned my wife at the beginning of that there’s times I’ve not been a great father and husband. You know, my I’ve told this story in other venues. I missed a good chunk of my son’s baby food stage. And she was patient. I didn’t even know I missed it until my third kid came along. And I kind of said to my wife, Hey, did Sam skip? I mean, he’s six, five. He’s a huge kid, right? Yeah. Did he skip straight from mushy food to solid? She’s like, No, you just weren’t here. Ouch. So balance is important, you say? Well, balance in time, right? There are times you’ve got to just roll up your sleeves and go be it. But what I learned over the years was to be more communicative with my wife around where I was at that stage. So for example, look, some of the hardest times in my career have been,

I’m going to go acquire a company. I can’t tell you how many times I put my house on the line to go get to where we are. And hey, this deal is going to take three months. It’ll take me a month to negotiate it, get it done, another couple of months to get it going. And I would just tell her, I’m going to suck for a little while. And I’m sorry, but at least she knew what the path was and what the goal was and what, you know, the timeline on it. She knew I wasn’t just purposefully being a jerk. It’s good stuff. There’s so many life lessons in here. I’m questioned out. Richard, thanks for all you’ve done, all you’ve done for me, all you’ve done for the community, the partners,Telarus and everybody, but especially thanks for coming on and helping us wrap up Episode 100. Excellent. Thank you. Happy to be here. All right, everybody, that wraps us up for today. I’m your host, Josh Lupresto SVP of Sales Engineering at Telarus Richard Murray, Chief Commercial Officer. Until next time, this has been Business Blueprints, Lessons for Leaders.