News From Around The Channel

‘Iron Cowboy’ Visits Producers Club Q1 Meeting

By the time you read this, James Lawerence — the “Iron Cowboy” who completed 50 Iron Man triathlons in 50 states over the course of 50 days — will be off to break his own record, pushing himself to an unbelievable 100 triathlons in 100 days. You may be aware that an Iron Man is a 2.1-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, followed by a 26.22-mile run that must be completed within 17 hours. 

James visited Robin’s Producers Club Q1 meeting earlier this spring and shared his mindset with us: By refusing to quit, you evolve and get stronger. Discipline isn’t about some genetic mutation that allows you to outperform others. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The “average” person can achieve extraordinary things as long as they don’t give up.

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No Jobs, Or Just No Workers?

One comment on social media lately — ”The unemployed can’t find work because there aren’t any jobs right now” — struck me as a little funny. 

As a business owner who manages to employ dozens of people, experience has taught me the opposite. There are plenty of jobs, but the responses to those job advertisements indicate the real issue: typos, misread advertisements, and lack of experience. Most applicants appear simply incapable of following instructions.

To me, that indicates a lack of skilled or caring workers, not a lack of jobs! If you work hard and have the experience, we’re always hiring.

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Peripeteia With Mike Rowe

For some, it’s possible to coast for 15 years before you figure out what you’re meant to do — brought about by a change in circumstance, or peripeteia, as the Greeks called it — and that was the experience of Mike Rowe, Discovery Channel host and Ford spokesperson, as he wrapped up yet another on-air disaster, much to his mother’s chagrin. Rowe’s programs weren’t about the people that really interested him, people like his grandfather, who could do anything with his hands.

A trip to the San Francisco sewers changed all that, and the response — a studio flooded with letters and calls inviting Mike to visit other tradesmen around the area — changed his life. It also became the first thing he’d done that his mother was truly proud of.

Decades later, Mike is still drawing attention to the infrastructure that society tries to make invisible, the same infrastructure that keeps daily life humming around us. The skills gap in this country mirrors the income gap, but in the other direction. Reversing that trend is one of the many reasons Mike does the work he does: draw attention to people whose work leaves them “utterly humbled.”

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From Bedroom To BeckTek: Scott Beck’s Journey To IT Stardom

After high school, Scott Beck got a job working as a DJ for a radio station, but incoming automation soon threatened his job. Seeing the writing on the wall before he could be fired, Scott jumped into the IT side of the field with both feet, hoping to stay relevant.

Soon, he discovered a new passion in the IT channel. After more school and working at large tech companies, Beck eventually founded his own firm, BeckTek, because he realized he could do the work he was doing for himself and keep most of the profits as a result.

The journey led him to Robin Robins and TMT but also to his local commerce organizations, where he continued to position himself as an IT expert through free workshops for business owners. Since then, his brand has grown, and that’s why his advice for business owners is to position themselves as leaders and always provide value to whoever stops to listen.

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