Stress is the mind and bodies response to change, challenges, and or demands.  Stress can have many different effects on people, and can become a chronic condition leading to both mental and physical health problems if not dealt with.  One way to respond to stress is through being mindful.  From walking to working,  being mindful or aware of what you are doing, and the environments around you can make a huge impact on your stress.  We meet up with Don Crawley who presented five different breakout sessions on topics at the recent IT Nation Event. 

Video Transcription

Harry Brelsford 

Hey nation nation back with Don Crawley out of what his spin a little bit wet Seattle area this little bit, a little bit.

Don Crawley 

a little bit, Holy cow. I shouldn’t be wearing my water wings here.

Harry Brelsford 

You guys set you literally set set the record.

Don Crawley 

Yes, yes. And we live right on the Green River. Well, man is is high, we’re not in danger of anything I’m in our house is up high enough that if it was a problem, it’d be a big problem. But I’m watching the water go up and up and up and and it’s going faster and faster and faster. And we see the ducks just screaming by on the river.

Harry Brelsford 

There we go, hey, I want to talk about IT nation, you and I got a meet up there. And so first of all, what was your role at it nations.

Don Crawley 

So I presented five different breakout sessions on topics of appeal to MSPs and VARS. And the the typical ConnectWise clientele on topics related to human relations. So we talked about how to hire, manage and retain high performing tech employees. We talked about stereotypes labels and generations, we talked about the five principles of it customer service success, which you and I’ve talked about. And we did one on stress management as well. And then we also did one on getting your message across. So public speaking for IT pros. So it was great. And this is my I think this is my sixth year of speaking at IIT nation, various it nation events, and they’re just such a great organization, as you know.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah, yeah, they are, um, the stress management a question I’ve fixed since I saw you, I’ve committed to a daily morning walk. I was just you know, I have my cup of coffee. And I was just not settling down to my liking. Cut back on the coffee. But I do a 30 minute walk every day. And I was listening to a podcast about mindfulness apparently kind of become centered. Did you go down that rabbit hole with stress management?

Don Crawley 

Well, I don’t know. It’s an interesting question. And interesting way of phrasing. Harry, I don’t know that I would call it going down a rabbit hole, as much as embracing the concept of mindfulness. And as you do your walking, you can do mindful walking, where you, you try to be aware of each step and each movement that you make and how your body is moving. And you think about it, as opposed to walking the way most of us do, which is absent minded. I mean, we just we do it instinctively, intuitively, but we don’t think about it Well, in mindfulness, whether it’s walking or doing anything else, you you are aware of what you’re doing. And you were intentional about making the choices that you make about your stride. And you’re, you’re intentional about as you walk, being aware of the environment. My wife is wonderful as she’s, I swear she’s part hound dog because she has to stop and sniff everything. And, and but but that’s, that’s her being very, very mindful and aware of her environment. And I’m really glad to hear that you’re doing this because this is a great tool for stress management, walking, and especially mindful walking is a great way of bringing your stress levels down and making it more manageable. So good for you.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah, well, thank you and I would refer to it. I wasn’t using so much the word stress and maybe can help me understand the distinction with me. You know, I’m not getting any younger. I used to drink coffee all day. I’m down to 1k cup in the morning. And then Oh, yeah. And then I cut over to my water for the rest of the day. And some people from SMB Nation or remember this, this operator,

Don Crawley 

so there you go, Windows Vista.

Harry Brelsford 

Kids, kids won’t get that.

Don Crawley 

That’s right up there with millennial edition. Yeah, exactly. But I

Harry Brelsford 

saw this reducing my anxiety. And I haven’t really used the word stress. Is there a difference? Or are they the same in your mind’s eye?

Don Crawley 

It’s good question. I think that anxiety is symptomatic of stress. And stress is a fact of life. I mean, you can’t get away from stress. And I remember a long time ago, I had this idea that I was going to try and lead a stress free life. Well, you can’t do that. Because stress is simply how the body reacts to change and, you know, good or bad, it’s stressful, you know, if you if you’re, let’s say you get a great new job and really excited about it. And so you’re really looking forward to it and your first day on the job, it goes great and everything’s going wonderful. You’re making a lot of money, you’re making great contacts, you’re doing interesting work, but it’s new, it’s a change and it’s stressful. Oh, or you know, you’re you’re dealing with some relationship issues and things aren’t going well. Well, that is also stress and and so I would say that the anxiety is is a result of the stress and manifests itself maybe by having trouble sleeping at night or feeling on edge and, and definitely the coffee can do that as well.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah, yeah jittery feeling well back Thai tea nation. The, and again, congratulations being a long term speaker because that’s a highly regarded conference. Here’s here’s my takeaway having gone away for a few years. One is the crowds changed. I barely knew 5% of the the attendees versus 10 years ago, I might have no 90% of the attendees. So yeah, we’ve had some change in the audience. The second thing is, these are white collar suit, not so much ties, but white collared shirts and sport jacket, kind of people on average. And that’s a step up from the traditional SMB Nation. You know, one man band, and I’ve always known that, but it was interesting to see the maturity level, right, the partner maturity level at it nation is fairly high.

Don Crawley 

Yeah. closer to my age than my kids, maybe. Yeah, that’s an interesting comment. I don’t know that I noticed that so much. But I, you know, I’ve been there year after year after year, and, and you were away for a while. So I would think those changes would be more stark. But I also think that the industry is changing. And in that we are becoming more and more integrated with the business mainstream, as opposed to, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal this week about whether we even NEED IT departments, because they they’ve become, in some cases in Ireland, and they’re saying that we need to be more integrated? Well, I think that’s already happened to a great extent in that, that it people are now part of business processes, and the really smart ones, the really successful ones, are already thinking about the impact of, of what they do on business processes and, and the impact of business processes on technology and how to merge them to achieve a business outcome as opposed to technology for the sake of of itself. And, and the reason I kind of went off on a tangent is because you were talking about the different types of people you saw it it nation, and there being more more management level and more ownership level. And, and I think that that’s that’s symptomatic, of, of that idea that it is not an island unto itself, but rather it is part of business. And it is business. It’s the underlying fabric that makes business business in a very broad sense. Could be nonprofit, could be education, government, but but it makes the business world run.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah, and then maybe my final observations, it really was healthy to, in a sense, be away and then come back, right with fresh eyes. But it nation had really good business content, the merger and acquisition track, I went to a few of those speeches. And that’s different from some other large conferences. I’ve done too, with by competing platform companies of one stripe or another, where their conferences tend to be keystroke, you know, this, these are the new features, this is how you do it. And it nation had some of that, but I haven’t seen as much, you know, almost graduate level business stuff at some of these other large conferences, if that makes sense. Yeah, it does.

Don Crawley 

It makes complete sense. And I think that is an it that is indicative of ConnectWise as an organization overall, that they they take a holistic approach to the systems that they create, and to their clients in the idea that I noticed that connect wise, is that they’re really all about your overall business success. And oh, by the way, technology is a big part of it. But let’s let’s talk about your overall success, not just the as you put it the keystrokes and mouse movements.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah. Well, Linda, this what’s, what’s next, where events and big assumption, assuming events are all good again?

Don Crawley 

Well, you know, there’s there’s always hope. But, you know, the interesting thing along those lines is that, that I did more keynote speeches in 2021 than I’ve done in my entire speaking career. But virtually all of them except ConnectWise. Were done virtually. Yeah. And and I think that’s we’re going to continue to see a lot of that, and we’ll continue to see some return to in person events certainly. I mean, ConnectWise it nation was a great event, as you know, it was it was an It was inspiring, it was motivating, was invigorating, as it always is. At the heart of that is because it was in person, but I think we’re going to continue to see an awful lot of virtualized events, because we can we can package them up in 15 or 30 minutes segments, you can watch them from your desk. I mean, you know, all the benefits. I don’t need to Yeah, follow those. And so my sense is a professional speaker and as an author is that that’s what I’m going to be doing more of. And in fact, you can see behind me we’re in the process of creating a video studio out of my office. With that in mind.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah. All right. Well, happy holidays. Onward you to 22 Thank

Don Crawley 

you. Yeah, likewise. Thanks, Harry. Take care everybody.