After a considerable hiatus, it's a pleasure to introduce Coach Brian to the spotlight. Amidst a substantial gap, we're truly fortunate to have such remarkable talent and experience joining our team. While Brian is a fresh face at ConnectStrat, his extensive background in the Managed Services industry since the early 2000s speaks volumes. With over two decades of hands-on experience, including roles ranging from technician to CEO, along with noteworthy acquisitions and sales under his belt, Brian brings a wealth of insights and accomplishments. Discover more in our recent Q&A with Brian:
Tell me a little bit about your personal life. Where did you grow up? School? Family?
Growing up, I was a true Chicagoan through and through. The city's vibrant culture and of course, the sports scene, shaped a lot of my early years. I had the pleasure of spending my school days in Chicago until high school when I moved away. However, my loyalty to Chicago sports has remained unwavering even after more than two decades in the Lone Star State.
My journey then took me to Memphis, Tennessee, for about six years before I found my way to Baylor University. It's funny how life's twists and turns lead you to unexpected places.
Speaking of family, my wife Luci and I recently celebrated our 20th anniversary! We have two remarkable daughters, Ana and Lily Kate, aged 16 and 13 respectively. Yes, life is certainly an adventure with two teenage daughters in the mix. My wife is a professor at Baylor and is currently pursuing her doctorate at Boston College, adding even more intellectual vigor to our household.
How about your early business life? Where did you get started?
I got started early in technology working at the computer store at Baylor fixing computers – which was my hobby from early on. From there, I pretty much moved straight into the Managed Services world with a quick stop in break/fix land! I started working for a very small IT shop as the second employee which was subsequently purchased by a family office. From there, we grew the small break/fix IT shop into a best-in-class MSP with over 45 employees!
Since then, I have bought and sold multiple companies, exiting my most recent MSP in 2023.
How did your passion for coaching, teaching, and facilitating start?
Around a decade ago, I stumbled upon my first coach. This coach, armed with insightful questions and a genuine interest in my growth, played a pivotal role in shaping the leader within me. The experience was transformative; it made me realize the incredible power of coaching. Just like elite athletes rely on coaches to achieve their best, high-performing executives and leaders can also benefit immensely from coaching.
The journey to becoming a coach was not something I planned, but it became a natural evolution driven by my firsthand experience of the transformative power of coaching. It's amazing how a single encounter can set the course for an entirely new trajectory.
Tell me more about your experience in that regard. Where have you focused your work since you began coaching?
My coaching journey has primarily centered around one-on-one executive coaching with leaders in the MSP space. These leaders encompass a spectrum from solo entrepreneurs to those overseeing teams of up to 50 members. In our coaching sessions, we dive into their unique challenges and aspirations. It's like working together to clear the path and navigate the journey toward their goals. We envision their business's future and then craft actionable plans to bridge the gap between aspiration and reality. The value that my clients find in these conversations is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
My coaching journey has evolved to become a conduit for transformation and growth, especially within the dynamic world of MSPs. Working with such a diverse range of leaders has provided me with insights into the nuanced challenges they face and the remarkable ways in which coaching can unlock their potential.
Finally, bringing it back to the personal side, what do are you passionate about outside of work? What do you do to balance?
Outside of my professional endeavors, my heart lies with my family. Quality time with them is a true treasure. Traveling and embracing water-based activities, like boating, are some of our favorite ways to bond and explore together.
My personal interests extend to the realm of oenology (the study of wine!) – I'm a certified sommelier, and exploring the world of wines is a source of both relaxation and fascination. Mixing cocktails is another creative outlet I enjoy. Then, there's the sports enthusiast in me – Chicago and Baylor sports have a special place in my heart.
Starting my days with some form of physical activity is a must – whether it's pickup basketball, a morning run, or hitting the weights. This keeps me grounded and ready to tackle whatever the day holds.