Ready for some inspiration? Then you’re reading the right blog. No matter what challenges you’re facing—we’re sharing five traits of mentally-strong people—that can power you through the most uncertain times.
There are decisions we make every day that can change the course of your future—and someone else’s—in the best possible way.
In this blog, our founder and chief mentor, Jeff McKeever, and his colleagues share the values he lived behind-the-scenes that made everything possible for MicroAge team members, our clients, and our partners.
Read on for the five values that propelled Jeff, his dream for changing how the business world works, and our organization forward—for decades:
1. Never give up—never.
Before Jeff knew what he wanted to do with his life, he knew he wanted to invest in his education. “I wanted to go to college and I didn’t have the money, but I didn’t let that stop be me,” Jeff recalls. “I had $25 for used books and I just started going to school.”
After a few weeks, the dean called Jeff to his office. “You’re coming to school, but you aren’t paying,” he confronted him. “You haven’t paid tuition.”
Jeff remembers looking at the dean and saying, “I may not have the money, but I have the desire.”
The dean looked back at Jeff and said, “here’s the $91.”
Jeff will never forget that moment. “Salesmanship,” he beams. And never giving up on your goals.
2. Don’t be afraid of taking risks.
Jeff and his cofounder were no stranger to taking some major risks. In fact, they risked everything.
Alan Hald remembers what Jeff called ‘pocket capital. “We took our credit cards and ran them right up to the max,” Alan recalls. “We invested in inventory.”
“I was borrowing against my car, I was borrowing against my condo,” Jeff remembers. “Everything I had was being pledged to someone to get the cash we needed to start the business. We started with $30,000 at the time.”
3. Prepare for anything, it can mean a breakthrough.
Before MicroAge worked across the channel and the enterprise to promote digital transformation from the data center to collaboration and automation, the company was founded as a technology retail chain.
When Jeff and his co-founder, Alan opened their first MicroAge Computer Store before the holiday season, they didn’t know what to expect. Then after the holidays hit, they sold out of all their inventory on-hand by the beginning of January.
“When opportunity meets preparation you act on it,” says Alan. “You can make things happen—that’s exactly what we did.”
The business continued taking off from there.
4. Keep thinking bigger.
“We started out with one store that we ultimately turned into a franchise—16 franchise locations—to raise capital, “Jeff recalls.
“It wasn’t a business, it was an organization,” he says. “And that’s what made it exciting. It was more than a business, to be a business would not have been enough.”
For Jeff and his cofounder, building a business to generate a name and profits wasn’t enough. They wanted to go further, they wanted to change the way the world works.
5. Don’t give into negative thinking.
We’ve all heard the expression that life is 10% what happens to you, and the rest of it is how you react to it, right? Staying positive and continuing to move forward without focusing your energy on negative thinking or confrontations can make you happier and more productive.
That’s one of the first things Wyatt Bowman, MicroAge director of technology services, noticed when from his first impressions of Jeff.
He was giving tours of the MicroAge warehouse following the organization’s IPO. “I was giving these folks a tour when I saw Jeff walking the warehouse,” Wyatt recalls. “Next thing I know, I see a person on a lift zooming towards him because we had to wear badges. The forklift driver sternly asked Jeff, the founder, where his badge was. Jeff was very cool. He flashed him the badge from his side or his pocket and kept going, and I thought wow, what a cool cat he is to take that very well.”
“As I got to know Jeff more, it didn’t surprise me at all how he handled the situation,” Wyatt says.
If you can push your ego aside and keep moving forward you’re going to reach your goals—sooner.