The Tech Firm Flipper | Paul Farrell from Hanani Security

If UpTech Report was a real estate show, most of our episodes would feature the house builders—the people who draw up the blueprints and get busy sawing and hammering. But today’s guest, Paul Farrell, is more like a house flipper.

He buys tech companies, fixes their problems, expands them (if appropriate), and then sells them for a profit. And the perspective of such people is invaluable, as they truly understand how things can go wrong—and how to make them right.

Paul stops by to tell us about some of the many tech companies he’s dealt with, where they succeeded and failed, and what was needed to get them back on track. The lessons are copious and crucial, so take notes!

Paul’s passion is starting and transforming companies into high-growth organizations with accompanying  valuations through continuous improvement and excellence. He is skilled at walking the halls, feeling the culture, seeing the promise in talent, finding the opportunity where innovation can happen, and driving revenue.

At the core Paul’s approach works because he loves people. Yes, he has a solid track record of successfully selling and acquiring software companies, but leading people and helping them reach their highest potential is central to what makes the magic happen. Paul is exhilarated by developing diverse, talented teams that outperform the norm.

 Few highlights of Paul’s career include:

  • Shepherding a startup from product launch to $1.20 million in annual recurring revenue in less than 2 years.
  • Leading a corporate acquisition that yielded a sale 5 years later at 10x the purchase price.
  •   Driving an enterprise client mix shift from one global account to a client base of highly recognizable international brands.
  •   Participating in the explosive growth of a global leader in business communications that yielded an 11x return on investment in just over a year.

After successfully selling Nehemiah Security to ThreatConnect in September 2020, Paul is now looking toward where God will lead him.

DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!

Paul Farrell 0:00
That’s a lesson that, you know, that I’ve used many, many times since then, is focus, you know, especially when you have a startup that many people can come run into your office and say, if we only just went over to, I bought it and we did this, we can make billions you know, no, we set a mission up, we got to stay focused.

Alexander Ferguson 0:22
Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our founders journey series. UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at Today, I’m excited to be joined by my guest, Paul Farrell, who’s based in the Washington DC area. He recently sold his firm Nehemiah Security to ThreatConnect. That’s actually his fourth firm that he sold profitably. I’m excited to have you on Paul, this is this is very fascinating. Hear Your your journey that you’ve had on the year. So to get to where you are today, man. So how we understand we we go back to the beginning with that, that might be a good place to start of selling lots of different technology firms buying and selling? Where did it begin for you? Were you always interested in technology?

Paul Farrell 1:07
Um, yeah, I was As matter of fact, I got it attributed to God, because when I went to college in 1977, I decided to take a sixth course even though I was paying for school myself. And computing, I got computing language. And so for eight courses later, two semesters times four, I had a programming courses and of course, got a college in a job offer was more than 2x, what I could you earn using my BS degree in finance, and so it was easy to leave in the programming at that time.

Alexander Ferguson 1:45
Now, one of the earlier positions, what you got was actually at AOL earlier positions, but a bit one of the main ones that at AOL, what were you doing at AOL at the time?

Paul Farrell 1:57
Well, I was hired in to help them with commercial endeavors. The first thing I was hired to do was to sell their dial up network during the date of businesses that had it. So they had tons of capacity. It worked really, really well. But it also in that was one of the first really big business lessons. So we quickly built that to maybe $100 million run rate firm in less than, you know, 15 1212 to 18 months, someplace in there, which is really fast. But then, when we asked for resources, the VP at the time made a very astute, astute decision, which is shut it down, because we’re a consumer company, you know, b2c, and all our efforts, and focus has to do that. And that’s a lesson that, you know, that I’ve used many, many times since then, is focus, you know, especially when you have a startup, and many people can come run into your office and say, if we only just went over to, I bought it, and we did this, we can make billions you know, now we’ve set a mission up, we got to stay focus is one of the hardest things to do when you’re a young CEO. But when you’re, when you after you’ve done this a few times, you recognize that, that you hire the most talented and innovative people. And they, they’re going to come up with great ideas. And your job is to make sure you steer the ship, in the direction to where you’re going. Because we all know if this if the shift gets off one degree and you’re going to New York, you’re going to end up in Miami from England. Yeah.

Alexander Ferguson 3:26
How did you get into to buying and selling firm technology firms?

Paul Farrell 3:30
Um, so well, I hired out of AOL to start working with my chairman. And, and he is a student doing that as I never work with him. I personally work with him. He’s building his own software firm. So, you know, it was just in the DNA that you go buy things, you fix them, you turn around, or you start something up. And, you know, though, we’ve had, you know, we work with a VC initially, when in 2004, there was a real big success, and that he was investing in a firm. That was a Microsoft reseller really didn’t work for us, the model didn’t work for us. And so that lesson there was sometimes even though your software is really, really good, it’s not going to work and you shut it down, you move on and then went on to Moreover, technologies that mark McLaughlin when he was at VeriSign sold us and then we built that up for, you know, from 2009 to 2014, late sold with the LexisNexis. And then coming out of that, you know, we decided that we didn’t like the solutions we saw in the cybersecurity market and we’d start something up. We tried to buy something first. It didn’t work. It was a mistake or a failure. Well on where you want to call it, but that you learn by those and we eventually got it right with Nehemiah tech, Nehemiah technologies, the amount of security And the application of you know, putting $1 amount in percentages in cybersecurity risk. But it’s always a journey, right? You start off thinking to do X. And a lot of things, I think we’ve talked about this even, you know, when we first met each other, as a CEO, it’s okay, we’re gonna come this way. We’re thick, we’re doing this way. But now you’ve got to be flexible. And especially when you’re starting something up to try and find whitespace, where nobody else is, are a part of a particular thing where now the other competitors are looking at, either, you know, and that’s, that’s a that is not an exact science,

Alexander Ferguson 5:37
is that it sounds like it’s somewhat messy. But it just really comes from that practical experience, you start to see whether it’s patterns or recognition of what something could work. I’m curious, in across the different ventures, you’ve partnered with a lot of folks or raised money, when it comes to raising funds or partnering with folks to be able to either buy something or start something from scratch, what kind of lessons learned or common mistakes people can make, when they were in that that beginning phase of they’re looking for funding or partnering to get something started? What would you share?

Paul Farrell 6:09
It’s not easy. You know, a lot of people have never done it think, okay, it’s good, I’ve got such a great idea. They’re gonna love it. No, it’s not easy. It takes a lot of preparation. You know, when you’re, whether you’re doing Angel financing, or you’re a round or whatever, a subsequent round. It’s all about being sharp and being exact, you know, having a deck that’s maybe 12, slides, an intro deck that you can get through in under 45 minutes with questions. Right, it’s about having the model when they eventually move, like, beyond interest to looking at you is about having a model that makes sense. Because everybody’s gonna say, Well, how are you going to generate revenue? What is your plan, and they want to see a model, you know, 2436 months out, you know, that says, this is what we’re going to spend, and this is our marketing spend is, and this is where we project out will be break break, even if you ever want to get there. It’s hard. It’s hard. It’s It’s not an easy deal. I mean, I’ve most recently talked to a person who’s who said he wanted to try some of the stuff that we’re just talking about. And I said, Well, your accounting books aren’t in shape. He said, what I go, yeah. Your the way you account for payroll and expenses in a lump sum just won’t work. We have to break that out by department. He says, Well, that’s an easy thing. It’s a no, no, no, that’s probably a two month project. Right? It’s probably a two month project. Because not only to do the current month, but you got to go back to all your history. And make sure it’s all done right. Because it’s gonna look like we’ve been doing it all along, you know. So you know, nothing’s ever easy.

Alexander Ferguson 7:55
It’s, it’s hopefully knowing the right things you should be doing and just get to it. So that it, you don’t have to go backwards and fix things. What did better that’s actually more of a philosophy is it better just if someone wants to start a new venture to just get jump in there, and then fix it retroactively or start a startup from the beginning? If you’re

Paul Farrell 8:16
building a prototype, like a software package to show it, that is just get started. But if you’re starting a venture, and you got some Angel financing, it’s do everything right from the beginning. Have all your contracts. And and I don’t know, whatever you decide to use some electronic filing, you know, whether it’s anything that’s out there today, but have all your contracts, right? All n days you ever signed, right? I understand that it’s not a bunch of different forms, they love to see the same form over and over again, it’s not, you know, that you’re not signing other people’s NDA is and your NDA is aren’t all over the place. I understand that you buy your contracts in place. And here’s the base contract. And here’s all the red lines that we agreed to for this customer and the first ones are going to run line the heck out of it, because they want tons of things because they know they’re the first customer up. You know, it’s in you know, it’s about understanding, fact, your elevator pitch, right? Every employee and beginnings got to understand that, you know, what do you all do? Well, we do XYZ, great. All right, I understand that quick and concise. Where if you ask anybody in a firm, even as you grow, whether you go from three to four to 12, to 24, to 50 to 100. Everybody needs to understand the elevator pitch and what do you’re doing is what’s your mission as an organization. In some of this stuff seems logical, but it’s really easy for it to get out of hand. In other words, you’re hiring people quick. We don’t have time to, you know, just get in and start supporting customers, whatever you’re supposed to do or programming. Now everybody’s got to understand it. And when you slow down and increase your communication and transparency, transparency, you That’s one that I’ve learned over the years is really, really key. Yeah, you know, everybody knows if you’re in a cash flow pinch, right? I mean, it’s happened to us all, you just say, Hey, I’m in a cash flow pitch, you know, we’re doing the best we can. But you know, you’re gonna see some signs, and then around here, and I think that’s, employees love to hear that. Right. They don’t love to hear, but they love the transparency. Yeah, yeah. So those are just

Alexander Ferguson 10:28
some examples. But one piece is funding it to be able to be able to run a business be able to get things started. That is a piece of next, though, is actually getting customers to end revenue going. When it comes to marketing, your experience has definitely been in the b2b space. What would you say is some of the biggest lessons learned you’ve had over the years on being able to find and get interest and acquire clients in a b2b realm?

Paul Farrell 10:56
Well, first of all, it goes back again, to the strategy, you know, where do you What’s the product market fit? Yeah, the thing that you’re building, or the thing that you dream about, or anything that you have? What’s the product market fit? And then you look at all the industries and you know, there’s lots of industries out there energy, consumer packaged goods, you name it, supply chain, I mean, from different products? Where does it fit best? Right? And then concentrate on an industry? Like, alright, we think that fits best and plastic extruders. Yeah, out of the air, then go after plastic extruders and, and try and make it work there. Because once you sell the first one, is easier to sell another one, because, you know, Hey, you got a reference in the area, as opposed to I sell plastic extruders. And I go to a consumer packaged goods company. And I say, Well, I got this manufacturing concern over here. Well hold it

Alexander Ferguson 11:54
makes it much more for Nehemiah security is how did you how did you get that? Because you started that from scratch from 2015? Are you able to to grow the marketing there?

Paul Farrell 12:05
Well, you know, so the main focus in your mouth security West FinTech accounts, because they got what we got is so easily, right? We’re going to happen, it’s you can think of it as an MBA approach to cybersecurity. Hey, Alexander, you have $150 million of risk of cyber risk exposure with a 56% chance of happening. Now, what do you do, you could do three things, you could do nothing. You could buy insurance, which is a whole nother model, are you paying too much pain too little, or here’s a list of 10 things you could do to reduce your risk. And that was, was key. But you know, we started out we didn’t start out with big financial accounts, we ended up with some great ones, or you know, in the health care and the FinTech area. But we started out with a large credit unions. And think about it the the key for us was, they had knee, but they didn’t have a lot of people. And they’re willing to they wanted to understand it better. Everybody wants to understand it better. So they were a key entry point for us. You know, I always say that you don’t want to have your first test client like up to bat the World Series, you want to go to the batting cage a few times. Not that not that these kinds of we have more or any less important they were so extremely valuable to us. I mean, I don’t want to make this sound like they weren’t they were very valuable to us. And we thank god the day we sold them. But you know, there’s a little difference between them in a worldwide financial conglomerate with you know, 10s of 1000s or hundreds of 1000s of people and stuff using your software and it’s it’s a progression

Alexander Ferguson 13:52
strategy. It’s like first narrowing down to where do you start and then finding the that industry that you could just focus on be able to

Paul Farrell 14:03
Yeah, and it might also be that you have a you have a friend in that industry a former Cisco that you work with before and you know, he’s gonna buy he or she’s gonna buy. Yeah, so then you say, hey, Emery, I’ve got another great thing we helped me find it and this is the reason why you want to do it. And she said she asked, well, then there’s your industry focus on that. Because getting you know getting funding and getting the first customers are not easy.

Alexander Ferguson 14:25
For force. Nehemiah security being in the cybersecurity space, did you just have a fascination with it or just an interest? Or did you already have like a CTO or technology person that was able to say, Hey, this is an opportunity. How did you kind of narrow in and build out the technology?

Paul Farrell 14:42
Um, well, we were looking about. We’re looking at a lot of things in the cybersecurity area. And then we really realized that wow, like there’s so many solutions out there and so many people and the one thing that we really knew that wasn’t right was The stoplight reports red, yellow, green, and or people put their own index on it your nada. Well, what is an ADA? And when we saw that we’re like, oh, luck. I mean, that’s not good. I mean, because their shades are red, their shades a yellow. And it really has to do not with the vulnerability of the machine. But it’s that the applications on that machine that are really, really important in the applications out of machine. So two machines, one sits in your office there and has no connectivity. And it’s weak. But another one is in the other corner of the office is connected to your accounting system. Which one do you want to fix first, right, your accounting system one, or the one that has you know, if you’re like an Amazon that has an inventory system on and that’s the one you fix verse. And some of those things came together along the way we you know, at Nehemiah, we acquired a lot of help by acquiring a company that just did cybersecurity analysis for the US government. bunch of people worked in skiffs and they were phenomenal team of like PhD and mathematics, master’s in computer science and you know, a degree in engineering and or their mix of those people were really helpful to work with and exchange ideas off of and then we had bright people to our very blessed that selection. You see, that’s the other thing too. It’s, you know, product market fit, raising money, where you going to go first. But even before all that I should have said get the right people Hmm, you know, get the right people iski

Alexander Ferguson 16:43
What would you say when it comes to hiring and building the right team? Some common mistakes one could make and try to avoid when when building that building your team?

Paul Farrell 16:52
Well, I think it starts also with transparency. I mean, this is who we are, this is what you’re gonna see. Like I used to tell here’s a story for you. If anybody was was interviewing with me, I kind of teased them a little bit in the interview to see what would happen. Because our culture was we were a family out in the bullpen, right. And Alexander, you’re going to get teased, and they’re going to find the two things to get underneath your fingernails, even the CEO was subject to it. So I would like try and tease them and then say, Hey, you know, did you grow up? with a single cat? Did you have a lot of if you did, did you have a lot of cousins or people a neighborhood around, because that’s gonna happen. And so if you think you don’t like people teasing you, then we’re not the place to come, you’re gonna be a great candidate. But if you’re no slip into the family, the Nehemiah family at this time, you know, then you know, and we, you know, part of the thing is, we all got dressed up at Halloween, you know, everybody, it created that kind of culture that even I had to do it, it wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but you would do it. And, you know, these, it’s a front talking about what your culture says and things we do. You know, and we don’t feel like one Job’s everybody’s job. So if we’re trying to get something out the door or proposal software release, and I gotta make copies, I certainly hung over the machine and make copies or shred paper, whatever I got to do. It’s this, this teamwork stuff that is also key.

Alexander Ferguson 18:20
When in today’s environment, when you’re looking at a person, what do you look for, in a good hire beyond the resume and and part of that is the culture phase. But looking for?

Paul Farrell 18:34
Well, I will tell you, my best performing team ever was a multicultural team that I put together a well mix, male and female from all the continents in the United States, European, African South America, I think we had a South America a couple Asians from that, you know, overseas, and it was phenomenal. Because brainstorming was great, because you didn’t get the, the, you know, the way we think in the east coast to the west coast. And, and I would also say, you know, somebody in the Midwest is awesome, great to have on your team because they think about things differently. And that, you know, and I think the society is talking a lot about it lately. And I applaud it but it is a mix of people that think differently, think are good thinkers, but they think differently about approaching a problem. And so now it’s it’s you can it’s almost like 3d modeling is that a looking thing that one dimensional and you get two or three different views of how people perceive it, and then you can pick the best one. You know, sadly, in cybersecurity, that doesn’t exist. I mean, I look at a lot of websites you can today and they they tend to be you know, very stoic in terms of multiculturalists, but it’s one of the things that unique now you’re also hiring, and you got to put the best person available that’s available now. So early on, you might not be able to Do that. Or you might have friends. And that’s fine. But eventually, my suggestion is, is that you focus a little bit on it and try to expand outside the normal path.

Alexander Ferguson 20:12
You mentioned just a little bit ago that you actually acquired a company and the people themselves. At Nehemiah, how did how did that about actually happen? Can you walk me through that? And some of the lessons learned there?

Paul Farrell 20:24
Well, it happened because somebody called me and said, Hey, would you be interested in this? I’m a security firm. And the one key for me always whether buying or selling, is my relationship with the CEO. And can you get along with that person? Can you quickly is an argument of relationship where a simple things gonna be like fought over to the nail like negotiating school? Or will they quickly come to a decision realizing that Alexander you, you were in this one I when the next one, but overall, we kind of it was important issue? Yeah, you got to do it. But to get through that stuff, because whenever you’re buying or selling, it’s going to hit them, it’s going to hit the wall, right there, something’s going to hit the wall, and you’re going to have to talk about it, it’s just inevitable that you have a great relationship you can get through that. The other thing that I tell people early on is, so the relationship with the CEOs at each end is very important. The other thing is, if you’re buying something, I tell people, it luck. It’s like the emperor has no clothes, you’re going to be standing in front of me, I want to know everything about your firm through the due diligence process. And I mean, everything, everything do not. So here’s your one opportunity to tell me, you know, exactly. If there’s anything out there, and you know, I, I’ve lost money before, you know, like, hundreds of 1000s of dollars of due diligence, because we found something I’m like, Well, you know, no, we’re not going to do this anymore. And it could be simple things like in the contract, it says your that, you know, the contract with a big customer, you tell them you have 5 million of insurance. But I know by looking through the books, you only have 3 million now that doesn’t work with us. Yeah, it doesn’t work at all, not everyone can be fixed. But there was other issues. Similarly, well, you know, that guy, you know, you set in your contract with this person in contracts of gold, do which is look at somebody in your eyes, shake their hands, have a great contract with fulfill every issue of the contract. And if you have a contract, and it says this person gets most favored nation pricing, and you signed it, you can’t later on say, Well, no, I meant to say, excluding federal, no, you don’t get to make those decisions later on. You gotta you unless you go back and amend that contract, and they agree with you, you can’t, you know, do that. So, you know, you see those kind of types of things, you know, in which people are looking for it’s consistency, you know, the contracts are consistent, that people are consistent now. And this particular one that I talked about, was unique culture, because people are highly educated I talked about earlier, they spend most of their days in gifts, you know, I make a bunch of trips out to them where and meet up for lunch, and let them get know that I wasn’t this big scare in beginning, they, you know, there’s a lot of rumors, they run quick, oh, our cars just gonna change. These guys are gonna do x, y, z and x, you know, they simply didn’t happen. Um, you know, they were suspicious. And that’s okay. That’s their nature. That’s where they were trained. And over time, it was not us to complain about them being suspicious, but it was on us to keep on being consistent and trustworthy. And then they came over and trusted us after the first year. That’s a process you’re not going to go. But everybody trust me now. You got to be seen and be known. Right? And you got to see that and know that.

Alexander Ferguson 24:04
As a leader now of multiple organizations, what would you say? Are some of the the things you might if you had to go back and tell yourself 20 years ago, something, hey, you should really think about this. What would you have gone back and told yourself?

Paul Farrell 24:23
Well, that’s a really great question, Alexander. I think I realized over time, what my best skills are like what I’m really good at. And so you have to find partners that are complementary to that, not the same skills. Right? But complimetary in particular, I’m I’m more high level gut feeling. And so therefore, then you need a partner. That’s not a gut feeling partner that’s very detailed. We’ll look at everything and we’ll You know, work on models for days and weeks to understand what the numbers really say. And then when they come to you and say, Hey, this is what the numbers say, you got to stop what you’re doing. In fact, I had a great friend of mine who’s a partner. And that was the case. So that Moreover, when he brought me the financials, I would guess what the profit would be. Right? And I didn’t know I mean, I didn’t. I mean, I would just know what deals we did what we did during the month, I had a feel for it. And I was usually within a good standard deviation. But if I wasn’t, then we just stopped everything until we understood it. You know, like we said, okay, great. Well, okay, why am I so off? What’s the reason? Let’s go dig into the numbers, let’s figure it out together, you know, or when he brought me something, and it said, Well, you know, you think x, but this is why the data doesn’t lie. I make, you know, so complimentary skills. And also, data never lies. It’s always data, data, data, and understanding the data. And that will always be good.

Alexander Ferguson 26:06
You had Did you have one of those types of individuals, each of your organization, somebody because you were a big high level? So you did you know,

Paul Farrell 26:12
yeah, well, yeah, the less you know, for sure. Yeah. You know, that was very, very, very, very beneficial.

Alexander Ferguson 26:22
How do you how do you, if you, per se, are the, the high level person how do you go about finding that counterpart? Where are you looking for that type of individual?

Paul Farrell 26:31
Well, you know, I’m, as I said, before, God’s always bless me by I eventually find them. I mean, I got an amazing story. You know, when you’re when you’re, we were selling Moreover, and we sold a big consumer electronics company on the west coast. And the problem was, is they want to get started right away, but I didn’t have a project manager. Right. And so on Friday, we sell this deal everybody’s celebrating. But on Saturday morning, I’m like, Oh, well, I don’t know how we’re going to get this done. We have to get in Monday morning, figure it out. And then Monday morning, at nine o’clock, the phone rang. And I guy said to me, we’ve heard about this was Moreover, heard about Margaret’s reputation. I really like you guys, I’ve met some people and I got two months free, can I come do project management work for you? Yeah. But but this is this goes to the the having that reputation out there where people want to work for you, or they’ve worked for you in the past, and they want to come back to work for you handling everybody the right way. You know, not, you know, trying to be admirable in the way they onboard. And if you have to get you have to, you know, lay somebody off whatever that’s got to be honorable, and how people see you in the marketplace is dealing fairly with your employees that people can call, or, you know, like today, you know, I just call friends and say, let’s Who do you know, that’s out there. And it’s more that that’s the informal network, you know, people, people will know, people, you just got to start working your network, like I don’t know, little thing is, if I have 15 minutes during the day, between meetings, I make it a purpose to at least twice a day, or let’s say a handful times a week, call old friends and just text them. And say, I’m thinking about, you know, we haven’t talked a long time, but I hope you and your family are well. And you know, that’s really, really important to keeping those connections going.

Alexander Ferguson 28:37
It sounds like you’re intentional with your relationships around you. So that that actually will help.

Paul Farrell 28:43
I mean, it just doesn’t happen by magic, right? I mean, by God’s grace, a lot of times I told you that earlier, but also, you know, God supplies the rain, but you got to plow the field. Right. I mean, you know, that’s an old adage, but you know, rain, welcome, but you got to be prepared for it.

Alexander Ferguson 29:02
Or there. Have there been ever books, audio books, or podcasts that you’ve read or listened to in the past and would recommend as a leader

Paul Farrell 29:11
of all the ones on leadership, I tend to be well read the, the Christian area. Just just never, I mean, I have a thirst for innovation. Right? I have a thirst for innovation. I am constantly reading about innovation, the Malcolm Gladwell books, where he talks about the things why people think there was a series in a church in Chicago once did I think differently, which was like 14 weeks, but unbelievable, like some of you would revisit about how God made different individuals and now they need to be communicated with differently. I love I mean, I don’t I mean, I’m real disappointed in that. You know, the news comes biased. So I kind of I rely on the Wall Street Journal and The e commerce economist. Kinda routine, looking at them. But also, you know, the one thing I would also recommend is understand the opposing of the opposing point of view that you have. I think Ted is really, really good for this. So like, I might have one view, right. And I go, I’ll go to Ted. And I’ll try and find somebody that’s presenting the other view. And I’ll listen for 15 minutes,

Alexander Ferguson 30:28
the TED Talks,

Paul Farrell 30:29
Ted Talks, go to the TED Talks, and listen, you know, you know, as a father of a daughter, I mean, I don’t know if I’m gonna hurt this on your podcast or not, I, I don’t believe in unisex bathrooms, right? It’s just not. I just have a problem with it, and maybe my age and stuff. But I’ll go to TED Talks. And I’ll pull up the opposing point of view and say, Tell me, tell me what you think, you know, so cuz you got to, you know, you got to transform your mind as you as you get older, transforming your mind and new ways of thinking, or what you did before, it’s not gonna work again. Right? So you got to be out there thinking and we live in, you know, pretty charged up times. And people are saying a lot of different things. But how do you filter it out? Because remember, if an hour say to myself, guys, if a prospect thinks, or does this case, a person thinks one plus one equals three, then it doesn’t their mind into your present information. So they think one plus one equals two, or, you know, you they think one plus one equals two, and you think one plus one equals three, take the other side, then you got to get together to decide who’s right. But you don’t do that by only hanging out with people think and act the same way you do. Right? Because everybody in your universe has one plus one equals three. But there’s less example. No, you gotta you gotta get out there. And you got to read, read, read, read, read, listen to podcasts, audio books, I mean, consume those, listen to those things, listen to what people are saying. And but then don’t take it as, as, as gospel get on Google and do a search about those things and read other articles. I mean, that’s a great thing about the internet. But I don’t think a lot of people take time to research the salient issues.

Alexander Ferguson 32:18
It’s being able to understand both sides of the arguments and, and, and a desire to want to understand. So I feel like over the years, what I’m hearing kind of saying a couple things is one that the need to connect you like you’ve actually put an intentional focus on keeping those connections alive, both for for funding purposes, for hiring purposes. And then also for sales, like

Paul Farrell 32:39
friendship, just for friendship. I mean, don’t put that in there. I mean, I talked to a former head of development this morning that I’ve been talking to him for five months, just because a friendship I wanted to find out he had problems with his leg. I wanted to find out how that was going to recur. His mother is getting on an age How’s she doing? These are important things to figure out. And it’s not because anything that I want is never I want to know how they’re doing as a person. And you know, you talk business and stuff, but no, the important thing is you How are you doing? How’s your mom doing? How’s life? You know, what’s going on?

Alexander Ferguson 33:13
being intentional with relationships? Sounds like that’s been a key for a happy life successful life a good life. And and I appreciate both the journey that you’ve given us a few

Paul Farrell 33:25
Yeah, but also works with your wife right in touch a girl in your relationship there and and, you know, doing the right things by that? Did your children and the other people around you

Alexander Ferguson 33:35
that that is a whole nother piece of being able to grow successful businesses, but not at the expense of personal relationships, your family? Or why would there be any word of wisdom that you would share of how you’ve been able to balance it over the years? Well, I

Paul Farrell 33:51
did it wrong. I’m going to tell you that much. I did it wrong for four decades, because I only had you know, I was working as a CEO dedicating you know, 12 hours a day I had children were blessed by two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. They’re now in their 20s, my wife of over 30 years. I cheated sleep for for over four decades. That’s the one thing I could do without you know, work, work on four hours a week and then crash four hours a night for four or five days and crash. You know, I’m you know, terrible at sleeping. And now it’s taken me months to correct it and try and do it. But it makes such a big difference when you do the research. But also, look at God family work. Does it got to be those are the priorities. And if you’re missing a work meeting right now, as you’re listening to this podcast, that’s because you’re going to a little league game or a ballet performance, or whatever birthday party in the family, you’re doing the right thing. You’re doing the right thing. That’s that’s wisdom. You You know, over four decades working, you’re doing the right thing. And the rest of the stuff will catch up eventually.

Alexander Ferguson 35:08
All this has been powerful. Thank you so much for sharing just a few insights and tips of over these years. Thank you again. For those who one more you can listen again to this full episodes. See the content Appreciate you being on today’s episode, Paul.

Paul Farrell 35:22
Oh, thank you very much look forward to maintaining a relationship over the decades with you, Alexander.

Alexander Ferguson 35:28
Absolutely. We’ll see you all on the next episode of UpTech Report. That concludes the audio version of this episode. To see the original and more visit our UpTech Report YouTube channel. If you know a tech company, we should interview you can nominate them at UpTech Or if you just prefer to listen, make sure you’re subscribed to this series on Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app.


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