There’s always something to howl about

Unchained From A TechTard’s Prospective

I’d be criminally remiss if I didn’t first comment on how massively cool it was spending an entire day and night with the level of expertise, knowledge, experience, and plain old results present at this Unchained event. This was not a room for posers — possibly the understatement of 2011. I was in nosebleed country all day. I felt pretty much all day like I was merely an insignificant fly in the room with these guys.

Got nothin’ to say about all the GeekSpeak that went on. It was when each speaker began to elucidate their strategy(s) that I perked up and began takin’ notes. I did notice one thing that made it more than just a great day of learning. Something that had me feelin’ all warm ‘n fuzzy.

Nothing’s changed.

• Scott Schang, and later on Mark Madsen with Tony Sena, pounded home the point that measuring results is mission critical — period, shut up. More on that principle later.

• All of ‘em, directly or indirectly paid homage, due tribute, to the end game of all that was taught: Gettin’ belly to belly with those seeking the aforementioned expertise, knowledge, experience, and yes, that pesky concept — results. Any outcome short of that is akin to a coffeehouse conversation with two broke ‘artists’. In other words, you’ll never get that time back, sans results.

• Mark Madsen literally humbled me with his prodigious work ethic — which when combined with his ‘do it now’ attitude reminded me so much of Dad when he was making plans for his company, back in the day. For reasons I choose not to divulge here, I’ve been unable to follow up with Mark, but that’s passed, and he’ll be hearing from me. Remember his name, cuz he’s the real deal. I don’t often get impressed, mostly cuz I’m a cynical OldSchool bastard. But believe me about Mark. It’s a shame he doesn’t write more here.

• Ever been to a concert where the first several acts knocked your socks off? One time in the 70s I went to a concert where the freakin’ opening act was Linda Ronstadt in her prime. She was followed by Loggins and Messina. Then Lynard Skynard came on stage and literally blew the place down. And no, they weren’t even the headliners. After they did the best version of Free Bird I ever heard, Rod Stewart appeared on the stage outa nowhere. Now that was a concert. So was Unchained when, after all the gold dispensed by the folks above Eric Blackwell was brought up to speak.

Many in the room, guys for whom I hold great respect and admiration, referred to Eric as a rock start. What? Huh? I’d spoken to him once on the phone, and read what he’s written here for quite awhile. We finally met before the event started, happy to finally be in the same room.

When Eric took his turn to speak, it was obvious he’d mastered his craft. I appreciate few things in life as much as someone who’s spent the time and enormous effort it takes to master the principles and skill sets of their profession. Listen to him speak for two minutes and you know he’s a member of that elite group. I will also be in contact with him, seriously so.

I’ve written here since mid-late 2006, shortly after Greg graciously invited me. If you’ve read me much you know I don’t gush. I’m not quite the crusty SOB Dad was, not yet anyway. But when I offer praise, it’s deserved. Unchained was an all too rare event, even for me. I was profoundly affected in many ways. You may be hearing about one or two in the coming year. We’ll see.

Then there was Unchained II — The Hotel Room

Sean Purcell, Brian Brady, Teri Lussier (one of my all time favorite Hounds), Mark Madsen, Scott Cowen, myself, and probably one or two I’m forgetting, adjourned to Sean and Brian’s room. ‘Til about 1:30 it was virtually all shop talk — great shop talk. There was some politics too. It was invigorating.

Towards the end, Mark Madsen took charge. He asked us, in no uncertain terms, ‘What can we do now — tonight — to help all of us here in this room?’ He became a ‘Hound with a bone, and wasn’t takin’ ‘no’ for an answer. I lined up to give him my info. As I said above, I’ll be talking with Mark very soon. My unscheduled detour has worked itself out. Mark’s offer was both team oriented, generous, and very much appreciated.

Though Brian Brady plays it down, his too short talk on how he’s succeeded with email marketing gave me two ideas I’m now beginning to implement. I will say however, that his idea of using the Socratic method of teaching with that group was comic relief. The guy knows how to generate business.

Greg and Brian have created a gem with Unchained. Like so many of you, I’ve been to many of these kinda things. Most of ‘em are barely worth the networking opportunity. Unchained is pure gold.

If you can attend the next Unchained — do it.

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