Life is funny. The plans you have plotted out in your mind very rarely match up with what actually transpires. Change is one of the few constants in life, and the way you embrace change can dramatically impact your direction. Leadership sage John Maxwell says: “Losers focus on what they are going through; winners focus on what they are going to.” Put another way, success will be achieved by having the wisdom to evaluate your current state and consciously choosing to use your circumstances to propel forward.
I’m thrilled to share a major change in my life that I have looked forward to for decades: in November, I founded Looped-in, a company focused on strategic growth. In just over a month, we’ve already signed several clients! While this is obviously a major step in my career, it has been a personal goal since my formative years and I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to pursue this path.
How I got here
About this time last year, I decided to leave a sales and business development leadership position at an industry-leading company for a position at a startup. My role was to build out a channel partnership program, a challenge I had tackled - and thoroughly enjoyed - at a previous company. While I have worked with countless startups over the last decade, this was my first time being on the inside of an organization attempting to navigate the pivotal first few years. What I discovered very quickly is that startups face a neverending set of challenges and none are greater than the need for identifying, securing and retaining the right people.
Over the last few years, I have spent a great deal of time with startup founders across the country, and have found the startup community to be very tight knit and collaborative. The countless meetings and discussions have only solidified my original notion: companies in or approaching a growth stage need direction, particularly as it pertains to sales/partnership strategy and building the team leading these initiatives.
In September, I found myself on a different page than the startup I had joined and we decided to move in separate directions. It was the best thing for both parties, however, I quickly realized I was in the midst of one of the situations Maxwell was referencing. I had to make a decision: am I going to stew on where I am today or will I dig deep to figure out where this change is leading me? I chose the latter, realizing that my experiences have all been pointing out the need for a company that can effectively pair top-tier sales executives with companies that need these skills … and even better if you’re able to create improved outcomes while simultaneously saving the company money.
What exactly is Looped-in?
Looped-in enables companies to realize their full growth potential by developing go-to market strategies and elite sales teams through our network. What I’ve seen in my career is that many companies have great products or services, yet they struggle to find the right sales talent to help push the business to the next level. Particularly in the early stages of a company’s life cycle, entrepreneurs find themselves making tough decisions of where to invest precious resources - product or sales? Understandably, product typically wins because without a product to sell, you’re not going to last long … but even companies with the best product in the market can fail with an incompetent sales organization.
Looped-in aims to alleviate the recurring product versus sales investment trade off. The strategy is to introduce interim sales, marketing and business development executives into the company at a fraction of their typical price. These resources come equipped with years of experience, robust networks and industry expertise that many early stage companies could simply not afford without making major sacrifices to their existing roadmap. By partnering with Looped-in, these companies can focus their effort on building innovative technologies while their sales team generates a steady pipeline and drives new revenue.
What does this mean for me?
As the founder of this business, I will be responsible for both building a team of talented, verifiably successful sales executives and identifying companies who could utilize our services. The highlight of my career to date was when I spent three years running an online app store and had the opportunity to evaluate over a thousand companies for inclusion in our program. This period afforded me a considerable amount of experience, not only in sourcing and recruiting companies but also having a first-hand look at what made these companies succeed or, in some cases, fail. This experience will undoubtedly contribute to the path Looped-in takes and the type of companies we align ourselves with.
As you can imagine, this is an exhilarating time for me professionally and personally. I’ve always been a goal-oriented person, and one of the biggest goals is to run my own business. Personally, it’s pushing me out of my comfort zone and that’s exciting. Stretching yourself is a prerequisite for growth. While the path ahead of me is uncertain, my certainty in launching Looped-in stems from the support of an incredible network surrounding me and believing that if our focus is on helping entrepreneurs thrive, we as a business will thrive as well.
I encourage you to visit the Looped-in website to learn more about our strategic growth network and welcome any of you to reach out to me directly if you’d like to connect: firstname.lastname@example.org