The Big Idea with Ron Davis
Working Tirelessly to Reach the Summit
If you had just one really great idea you could share with the alarm industry, what would it be?
This month we feature Alex Quirin, CEO and managing partner of Advisory Summit Providers.
TBFAA'S BIG IDEA:
Hard work, hard work, hard work! My goal is to work hard and develop an educational forum that is not now available in the alarm industry.
lex Quirin is not of this industry; at least no quite. His father, Jim Quirin, however, is CFO and Senior VP at Doyle Security Systems in Rochester, NY. So I suppose Alex Quirin grew up in the industry, but I don't think he has ever sold or installed an alarm system. Quirin is CEO and Managing Partner of Advisory Summit Providers, which produces the Electronic Security Technology Summit (ESTS), an educational forum that's providing a new breed of information dissemination, training and good old-fashioned networking. I've attended the company's first two summit, both of which SSI served as exclusing media sponsor, and was impressed by the first one and blown away by the second, which was held recently at an incredible venue, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO.
Many top-tier professionals in the alarm industry were there and told me it was the most beneficial education and information event they had ever attended. I agree. Throughout the event, neither Quirin nor his associates were seen very often, but if you stepped behind the curtain, you saw how dilligently they were working. So I wasn't suprised when I asked Quirin, in the middle of all this, what his great idea for the industry was. After a short moment, he responded, "Ron, it's simple: hard work, hard work, hard work."
Hard work is what he and the staff did, and it showed. As I think back over the 40 years I've been in the industry, I would guess that the common denominator of all those successful people I have met and talked to was, simply, that they worked hard. I'm not sure if the ability and desire to work hard is something you're born with or something that is acquired along the way, but it does seem that background, heritage, parental discipline and encouragement and the other good things that make a quality upbringing are a significant part of one's work ethic.
LONG HOURS, LOST SLEEP WOTH THE EFFORT
For more than 20 years, the company that I founded, Security Associates, had an annual educational symposium in Las Vegas, immediately prior to the ISC West show. We used to have 200 to 300 dealers in attendance and I emceed the event. Katie Bally, one of my partners in Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group, used to manage the convention. Almost our entire staff would go, and for three solid days I doubt if any of us caught more than a couple of hours sleep each night. Yes, we working hard, and everyone enjoyed the efforts of that hard work; they were great conventions.
Because he didn't know what he didn't know when he started, Quirin just worked hard. I remember talking to him while he was planning both summits, late at night and early in the morning. You might be surprised to know it takes about a year to properly plan and execute a multiday convention or educational forum. As Quirin and I spoke, I started to think about all the similar success stories that I was either involved with or knew about. While each entrepreneur was different in his or her own way, each worked hard. Long hours were not unusual, dedicated efforsts were the norm, and outstanding results were commonplace.
So what I learned from Quirin is nothing new, but as in all great ideas, sometimes we just need reminding. Working hard is not the important thing; rather, working hard toward a specific predetermined goal is what differentiates most of us from achieving success or not. Just for a moment, take a look at the work that you do and think whether or not you're working hard, working smart, and working toward a goal. I asked Quirin what his goal was in promoting the summit to the securitiy and alarm industry. "Ron, my goal is to work hard and develop an educational forum that is not now available in the alarm industry," he said. "We've got two of them under our belt now, and our goal is to make it a staple within the industry."
Certainly a worthwhile goal. If you'd like to learn more about the ESTS forums, guest speakers, etc., drop me a line and I'll put you in touch with Quirin. It'll be time well spent.
Ron Davis is Security Sales & Integration's "What's the Big Idea?" columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Group, a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates International in the 1980s.