Ian Richardson Joins Managed Sales Pros as CEO

Big Changes at Managed Sales Pros!

Building Managed Sales Pros alongside Tracie Orisko and Sharon Lagace has been one of the greatest joys of my life.  Along the way we touched a lot of lives, helped build a lot of leaders and last but not least, to date we have helped over 1200 MSPs (and many, many vendors) build their businesses.   We did it without lying to the channel about what cold calling could achieve.  We did it without binding people into prohibitively long contracts, then litigating.  We did it without promising the impossible.  In brief, we achieved our version of success – ethically and profitably.

Carrie Tracie and Sharon

Carrie Simpson, Sharon Lagace, Tracie Orisko (and C-bop sneaking into the picture)

When I started Managed Sales Pros, I didn’t begin with a business plan, an MBA or even the idea that I might have employees one day.  I just wanted a job I could do on my own terms, on my own schedule.  Things evolve.  Managed Sales Pros grew quickly, and I had to grow right alongside it.

What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

Some business owners really thrive in growth mode.  They’re good with risk, they don’t mind building the airplane while it’s flying, and they like bouncing from crisis to crisis, solving problems with duct tape while bootstrapping their way to profitability.

Other business owners are great at the maintenance of an already thriving business – they’re patient and methodical, thrive on slow but steady growth, and they like building and following a plan.

After building several businesses in two countries, selling one and pivoting another to survive a pandemic, I know which one I am.

Will Your Business Outgrow Your Ability To Lead It?

As our businesses grow, “accidental entrepreneurs” all reach leadership ceilings where we need to choose our path:  hold steady, level up, step aside, or exit.

Hold Steady

Holding steady was never interesting to me.  Go hard or go home.

Level Up

I spent a few years trying the level up approach.

When our business grew fast, it was exciting and always changing.   Perfect for a visionary leader.  Then we hit a growth wall, and our integrator got us through it – but not before we had to spend a few years rolling around in chaos as I resisted change.

There are many books written about how you need to change your business and how you need to lead differently as your business grows.

E-Myth, Traction, Scaling Up…

I brought in a Traction/EOS facilitator. I hired a business coach. I took executive education programs. I went back to school. I joined a peer group.  I found mentors for my leadership team, and I found my own mentor.

I’m grateful to all of the people that shared their time with me.  Thank you to the clients who taught me so much about their businesses – it’s amazing how many problems we all share, and how simple the solutions are when you’ve got objective guidance. I love how most entrepreneurs are so giving of their time and knowledge!  I truly appreciate all the people who supported and encouraged me along the way.

I didn’t find process and documentation and small incremental improvements very interesting.  I found them profitable, and I’m glad we did all that, but I don’t wake up every day excited about the idea of figuring out how we could increase our margins by 2% next quarter.  So, that brings us to option three.

Step Aside

Not every entrepreneur gets to the point where they can step out of their business into an owner-only role.  After nine years, four businesses, one exit, and one failed start up, I’m excited to announce that I’m stepping aside to allow Managed Sales Pros to continue to thrive under new leadership.

It’s a great pleasure for me to introduce Ian Richardson as the new CEO of Managed Sales Pros.  He likely doesn’t need much of an introduction, he’s been working in managed services longer far than I have (17+ years), he’s had a seat on multiple vendor PACs, spoken on many  main stages and panels, and belongs to MSP peer groups.

Ian Richardson CEO Managed Sales Pros

Ian Richardson, CEO, Managed Sales Pros

There are a ton of things I like about Ian. Here are some facts about our new CEO:

  • Ian put himself through college, debt free, by doing network support on the night shift for the college he attended.
  • He graduated Cum Laude with a BBA from Northwood University, adding business acumen to his engineering degree.
  • He started his business in his basement in 2005, (then moved into his brother’s basement) as a one-man-band break/fix shop, and he installed one of the the first EMR system in Michigan.
  • From that beginning, Ian grew Doberman Technologies into an award-winning 2MM+ MSP and sold it in 2021.
  • Ian is a certified Paterson StratOp Guide
  • Ian was a Managed Sales Pros client for over 2 years, and personally experienced the impact that great outbound can have on a managed IT services business.

Interested in a more formal biography of our new CEO?  Connect with him on Linkedin.

What Changes?

Well, my phone number, for starters.

Then my email address.

(And soon enough, my citizenship and my last name!  For those who don’t know, Carrie Simpson became Carrie Richardson in June 2021!)

Not sure who to talk to? hello@managedsalespros.com will always get you to the correct contact if you’re not sure who you need to speak to.  Our partnership with Next Level continues, with Sierra Chase managing the day to day call center operations.

My role with Managed Sales Pros will be limited to sales and marketing functions during the leadership transition, and I plan to be out of the business completely by the end of 2022, focusing on consulting with Richardson & Richardson.

What’s Next?

For me?  A break.

For Managed Sales Pros?

That’s a great question.

When I asked Ian, he told me:

“[Managed Sales Pros] has an interesting unique differentiator, in that it hasn’t bullshitted anyone about what to expect. There aren’t any false promises. I think that absolute honesty is a super power, and I plan to leverage that in the coming weeks and months as we continue to make every dial count.”

If you’re interested in learning about what Ian’s got in store for the business, I’d schedule some time with him and ask him!

Now, if you would, join me in celebrating an exciting entrepreneurial achievement!

Raise a glass!

Carrie and Ian Richardson

Want to celebrate with us in person?

We’ll be at IT Nation Evolve in Dallas May 8-13 and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone!

Learn more about Managed Sales Pros and Ian Richardson – fill out the form below and we’ll give you a call to tell you all about what else we’ve got in store for the channel.

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