Back in June, I wrote a blog post called “We’re Growing Again!”. I thought I would likely be writing another one maybe by the end of Q4 this year, possibly in Q1. After all, three years ago it was just me. Two years ago, it was just Bruce and me at the company. Without giving all of my secrets away, when I realized that for Straight Path to grow I would have to hire and overtime hire more than a person or two, I made some declarations to myself. One was that I wouldn’t hire too early, and I’d tolerate a bit of pain and end up hiring on the border of “too late”. I cannot control economic factors and market factors, but I can control budget and time. I would rather feel the pain and heat of working too many hours and tolerate a bit of stress before hiring. The other was that I would wait for sufficient growth – and growth in our DBA as a service managed Remote DBA services first. The final “when to hire” decision was having sufficient reserves in the bank and in the AR. This world is unpredictable. I talked about why I don’t worry too much about that in my post about going off on my own (I’m Cheating!) almost seven years ago now. But I also want to know a month or two before I have to let someone go or start taking on work that we wouldn’t love to get through stormy seas ahead. I also made a commitment that I would hire folks who are better than me. People who I can learn even more from than I could teach – and not just about SQL Server. So far – it has turned out to be exceptionally easy to find folks that fit that bill! I really want this to be a company with a Team. A company that practices Crew Resource Management where no one is immune from learning and everyone is able to teach and correct when they see something and say something. We’re also making sure we leave some cushion as we hire for emergencies and to take care of each other and to lean on in lean times or if a team member has an emergency or a family emergency and there is a way I can use the company to help them out for as long as we can and as much as we can.
So far? All I can say is wow. I cannot describe the humbling feeling I get when I look at our about us page and see all those faces – I mean let’s be clear, I’m the most handsome Sr. Consultant at the company – but the character? The integrity? The values? And the work ethic, drive, and knowledge? I’m not just the youngest person in our company, I’m also the dumbest. If it weren’t for all of the free shirts, I’d probably give up my MVP and stop growing technically and just basically keep hiring smart people and help be a blocker and tackler in front of them (Seriously. 2/3 of the shirts in my closet are free shirts. Some from conferences 9 years ago, some from answering questions on Experts-Exchange long ago, some from MVP Summits and some from being on the Fire Department. I love free shirts. I don’t know if you get free shirts if you just become a “not-working-on-the-day-to-day CEO” only)…
Anyway. There’s a reason why our daily team stand-up meetings are quicker without me on them!! I ramble. I also type fast. Bad combination. I want to take a moment and announce to the world something that I’ve been just waiting for permission to blog about for a while now!!! Just like when I hired Joe and Sheila. And like when I hired Jack. And Bruce! I’ve known Mike Clark for quite a while now through the SQL Server community. He has a very dry sense of humor – but is often the funniest guy in the room – at times it’s in a Roast style, and I’m often the target. He is a man of enduring integrity and character and I know I can learn a lot about “doing life” from him. How cool is it to get to hire folks who will teach you? And mentor you? It’s a blessing beyond expression. Mike is just one of those guys that I know our customers will love and learn from and like the rest of the team, I can leave the keys to the company to him and shut down and know I’ll come back and find it better than I left it…
Mike will be joining the team as a Senior Consultant. He’ll be hitting the ground running with our Remote DBA services clients and with our project-based clients on day one. One of these days I’ll be like my friend Brent and blog about the behind the scenes stuff. But I’d be afraid if I did it right now, I would never be able to attract top resources to work here and I would never attract clients! It gets better and better and our on-boarding systems for clients and team members gets better and better. Hiring folks like Mike allows me to focus on our growing org chart, organizing the Senior resources into “Fire Team Leaders” each in charge of a set of customers – but cross-trained and helping each other out. I bet we next hire a few more support analysts over 2019 to join the ranks and join the various fire teams spearheaded by Jack, Joe, Mike and possibly myself.
Anyway. Please read about Mike on our About Us page. As always, feel free to leave a comment or check out the services we offer. I’m so happy and excited at this team we have. And I know they can make a difference in your environments while teaching your teams along the way!!
Welcome, Mike! Make yourself comfortable.
Mike, Jack and I will be at the PASS Summit this year. We’ll probably even have matching Straight Path Solutions shirts on, I bet. I’ll be speaking on Azure Managed Instances, too..
(And yes. I’m using the same image for the featured image. I’m busy!! And I’m terrible at finding the right featured image for a post like this 🙂 )