It was early June 2012 and I just hung up the phone with a customer who kept delaying a direct email campaign I was producing for him because he and his managers couldn’t decide on their core product offering. Having just completed my sixth year of consulting after running companies for the previous 22 years, I clearly was frustrated. Needing a break, I left my office, grabbed a Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper from the fridge and sat down across from my wife. I said something like:
“I’m tired of consulting! I see major issues that need addressed with my customers and I’m not in the position to do anything about them. I don’t know how, I don’t know where, but I’m itching to run a company again. I really, really miss being able to affect the entire operation.”
In the Great Recession we’d lost almost everything. Let’s just say I was disproportionately invested in real estate in 2008 and leave it at that (having already come to grips with our massive loss, I can actually write this with a smile.).
Kim responded “Let’s agree to pray about it and see where that leads us.” (What an awesome response to my rantings!, I thought.) We agreed.
And so began my journey to get back in the saddle again.
On June 30th I received an email from my friend from high school. He’d just read my blog entry “Why Do Small Businesses Stay… small“. His final sentence was this:
When you get a chance, check out XXXXX.com. Yet another company I’m invested in that perhaps has problems like you experienced with Mentor.
I wish you lived closer. :-))
I responded to him the following night:
From: Dan Gallo <DanGallo@allassogroup.com>
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2012 10:43 PM
Subject: Re: Part II: How to Ramp-Up to Serve a Fortune 1000 Company | The SBE Lifer
I’m doing okay… Hey, I’m not that far, ~an hour away!
One week later I’m sitting in a deli across the street from Madison Square Garden meeting with the CEO of this company. It wasn’t long after we sat down that he cut to the chase. [I paraphrase] “Look, Scott says you know how to scale software companies, that you did it with your Mentor product and you’re available to do it again.” Yes, I said… “I’ve got a great product in a great market and I need a guy with your skills.” Rather than get together multiple times and go through multiple interviews he proposed a novel approach: “Why don’t we hire you as a consultant for 3 days each week for 3 months to see how we get along. And if it all goes well you’ll be running the company’s operation by January 1st.”
I called my wife on the train ride back to Connecticut… “Kim! Talk about the power of prayer!… You’ll never guess what just happened!”
Six weeks later it was apparent to me the product was great, the market opportunity huge and my experience and skills dovetailed well with company’s needs.
True story. Honest to God!
Once again I can say with certainty, running an SBE is a long distance journey… PLEASE! don’t run the race alone,
SBE Advocate, Supplier Connection
Managing Director, The Allasso Group