Security Staff Acquisition & Development

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.

Former masterIT CEO Michael Drake

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.

Mike Jones, CEO, Trace Advisors

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:

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 Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.