John Peltonen, one of 3Sharp’s founders and owners, talks about how to make the best of your time at Microsoft Inspire 2018, who he’s excited to see at this year’s upcoming conference, and how consistency can be the ingredient to success.
What is your role at 3Sharp?
I am a founding partner currently focused on our sales and marketing efforts. Along with Peter Kelly, I run our senior leadership meetings. I also manage a lot of the operational aspects of the company.
What booths do you want to visit at Inspire?
I’m really excited to start talking to companies where I see a great synergy between what we offer and what they do. One of the really exciting aspects of Inspire is finding great partnering and networking opportunities. From my perspective, this is a great opportunity to go and sit down with companies like HPE, who has a wonderful Azure Stack offering. As the company that has been doing a lot of the technical marketing work for the Microsoft Azure Stack team, it seems like a no brainer for us to start syncing with HPE. Likewise, companies like Nintex, with incredible workflow and form solutions, might be interested in hearing about what we’re doing with the Microsoft Office Division Team.
What speakers or sessions do you want to see?
In the past few years, the speakers that have really made an impression on me are the ones outside of the Microsoft ecosystem whom Microsoft has brought in to help. The highlight for me last year was to see Microsoft’s Chief Marketing officer, Chris Capossela, give a talk on story telling. It was fascinating. I thought it was a really special gift from Microsoft and Chris. Chris took his time and made himself available for us, just to share his story, and it was incredible.
I also remember another speaker named James Whittaker. James is a former hostage negotiator, and now he teaches purchasing companies how to negotiate with vendors. It was fascinating to hear his tips for negotiation. 3Sharp is a pretty small company, and it feels scary to go up against a purchasing department at a company of 100,000 people or more. Learning how they are trained and taught was very interesting. It certainly put things in perspective for me, because going into this negotiation, no one’s life was on the line. Everyone is able to go home and watch their favorite Netflix show when this is over.
Can you give a tip for someone who is attending Inspire?
I used to completely book my schedule with speakers when I first started going to conferences. I wanted to see every possible talk I could. Now when I go to conferences, I’m lucky if I can get one presentation in because I’m walking the floor, I’m meeting with folks and I’m really opening myself up. Even as an introvert, I’m trying my best to get out, talk, network, and ask questions. The real learning for me happens in conversations in-between sessions, on the expo floor, and when grabbing coffees.
Do your best to reach out and network with your peers.
The more you can do that at these conferences, the better the experience you’ll have.
What work will you be doing at Inspire?
I’m one of the rare people from 3sharp who will not be ‘working’ in the traditional sense. Most of us who are going to Las Vegas are doing demos, supporting keynote events, assisting at breakout sessions, or helping with demos on the expo floor. That is what we do as a company, and it is really our bread and butter. I’m at Inspire to network, to learn from my peers, to understand what the companies in our space are doing, and to gain knowledge about companies that can use our services. I want to know what our partner’s issues are, and how 3Sharp can enable them to navigate those challenges.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
A friend and I attended a talk by an amazing man named Dr. Sean Stephenson. Sean has lived his life facing the challenge of a rare bone disorder that stunted his growth and caused his bones to be extremely fragile. He’s worked in the Clinton administration, done motivational speaking, published books, appeared on the Oprah Show, and so many more amazing things. How could he possibly have accomplished so much, while living with such a debilitating disorder? Dr. Stephenson said the secret was being consistent. I remember my friend turning to me in that moment and saying, with a look of hope and optimism, “John, I want to fall in love with consistency!” The memory of my friends word inspire me to this day.
I want to
fall in Love
How have you applied this quote to your own life?
As the owner of a company, I get pulled in a million different directions all the time. Often times I reach the end of my day and wonder if I actually accomplished anything. Some days are made up of meeting after meeting, without any focus time. That is why it is imperative I shoot for consistency in the following:
- Take Time to Plan Your Week: Before each week starts, I pour myself a glass of wine and take a few minutes to plan out the next seven days.
- Set Three Personal and Business Goals every week: During my weekly planning session I identify 3 personal goals and 3 business goals. I try to allot 20 minutes to my top goal daily.
- Make Time to Exercise: I work out every morning, even if it is something small. I also go for at least a 10 minute walk every day. It is surprising how much effort it takes to keep this up, but it is worth it!
What product or technical features are you excited to learn about?
I am most excited to see how products and tech features can come together and enable the Microsoft Partner Network to better tell their individual product stories. It is a beautiful thing when we all work together.