Thank You and Congrats, Michael Drake
Well Michael, I hear you sold masterIT to VC3. I couldn’t be happier for you, Gary and your team. VC3 is so fortunate to welcome all of those folks aboard.
Every year or two, it seems, we reconnect to discuss life and business milestones. (Well, mostly life.) I hope you realize how much you’ve personally influenced me, and my own journey.
I suspect our conversations began around 2008 when Amy Katz and I co-launched MSPmentor. Sure, you and I spoke about the nuts and bolts of building and running an MSP. The talent. The automation. The recurring revenues. The challenges. The M&A. Yada, yada, yada.
Still, our two most important conversations — in 2010 and 2015 — changed my life. One conversation saved me during a personal crisis. The other propelled me forward — even faster — as I raced to climb toward a new, natural high.
Loss, Grief, Friendship, Support
During that 2010 chat, you and Mike Jones helped to pick me up during the lowest point in my life. I will never — absolutely never — forget how you and Mike Jones carefully pieced together a shattered man that day.
As I wrote on MSPmentor a few months later in 2011:
“I arrived at N-able Partner Summit a few days after my brother-in-law died from cancer. I basically broke down during my conversation with Drake and Jones, and they managed to lift my spirits with some key reminders about what’s important in life. Ever since those dark days in October, I’ve reconsidered quite a few things about life, business and the pursuit of happiness. I also started listening more closely to MSPs who opened up a bit about their own family stories — rather than always asking about M&A multiples…”
Gradually, my personal pain from my brother-in-law’s death eased — though I still think of him and quietly speak to him a bit each day. I’ve also gained a much, much deeper appreciation for my wife, kids, extended family, best friend Amy, and the many gifts around me.
Embarking On A Hero’s Journey
Fast forward to 2015. Amy Katz and I had sold and then exited our former media brands about a year earlier. This time, Amy and I were launching ChannelE2E.
Somehow you and I connected again, Michael. During the first few minutes of that 2015 conversation, I was reminded of Marie Rourke quoting that famous line from Seinfeld and applying it to you. Essentially, everybody “loves the Drake.”
I told you a bit about my recent time off and the vision for ChannelE2E — how we would listen to our readers, and help to guide them from Entrepreneur to Exit. How we absolutely had to help entrepreneurs:
- build value in their businesses;
- close the valuation gap that Arlin Sorensen, Paul Dippell and Paul Cissel frequently describe; and
- how the value creation could potentially help so many owners, employees and families across the IT channel to prepare for the next stage of life.
Once again, you listened intently — and then you offered me an epiphany. You described how my overall life experience represented a Hero’s Journey — which typically involves an everyday person who embarks on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.
You realized I had been transformed by the loss of my brother in law. Transformed by a wife and three incredible kids. Transformed by my work with Amy and all of our interactions with MSPs and readers across the world.
And then you shared a bit about your own personal journey — your mission to mentor today’s youth and the next generation of IT leaders.
One Journey Complete, The Next Begins
Fast forward to present day, Michael. You’ve confirmed the sale of your business. And yet again, you’re about to give us the gift of your wisdom. I’ve heard you’re set to publish a book in early 2020… “The Bliss Journey: Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story.”
I can’t wait to read it. Learn from it. And share it with those who need the courage to embark on their own journey of a lifetime. You are the very embodiment of a Hero’s Journey. I doubt you realize how many lives you’ve changed for the better along the way.
Wishing you and your family all the best, Michael. Please extend my best wishes to Gary and the masterIT team as they embark on a new chapter with VC3.
Joe, I am completely blown away. Thank you. You are such a big part of my story. I have learned so much from you. Appreciate you more than you will ever know.
Michael: I typically respond to every comment on ChannelE2E. But this will be my only reply to this blog entry since it’s all so deeply personal. So, I’ll repeat that safe transition to humor based on fact: Everybody loves the Drake.
All the best,
What a great read Joe! Thank you for sharing some of your personal journey and Michael’s impact/success! You both deserve a standing ovation! I can personally say, whenever I have spoken to either of you over years, you have always done so in a manner that has been supportive and non-judgemental.
Michael, congratulations to you and Gary!
Thanks so much for the kind words. All I can say is I am humbled and am grateful we were able to be there for you and I know you would have done the same for either of us.
As for my colleague and dear friend Michael Drake, I could not be more proud. He has been model for how to run a profitable MSP business for many years and the MSP industry won’t be quite the same without his presence and thought leadership.
Joe, let’s catch up sometime soon. Would love to hear your voice and talk about my new MSP 3.0 world.
Best to All,
Michael is one of the best.
Joe, That was one of the most precious things I have read in a while, and I read plenty.
Michael is a great human being and Justin says “one of the best”.
What I deeply respect about both of you is that you listen with intent, and that is priceless.
Awesome Joe! Congratulations Michael Drake. You’re an inspiration to many. You and your team deserve the best. You also sparked my fashion sense and affinity for pocket squares! Never stop evolving!