Why Does @HackmanJ Keep Coming Back to #SOBCon

Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time with Joe Hackman, to find out why he keeps coming back to SOBCon. Is it for his business – or for his personal life – or both?


Phil Gerbyshak: Let’s start with an easy one, so folks who don’t know can get to know you more. Who are you – and what is your business focus?

Joe Hackman: I’m Joe Hackman the youngest of six siblings, 3 boys and 3 girls. My most important work has been as the father of my now 7 year old son. In 1991 I dropped out of College to start a job that was not fulfilling and 5 years later quit that job to start one I love. In 1997 my company Managed Solutions began providing IT services to small businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m now located in the East Bay Area in a Town called Danville. In the Bay Area it is easy to enjoy outdoor activities year around including hiking and mountain biking. As an Air Force brat born in Hawaii it would be very easy to go back to live there, tomorrow. You might catch me advocating personally online for Trust in EducationAsante Africa FoundationRotaryPancreatic Cancer and other causes. For me the Pancreatic Cancer advocacy is very personal, having lost a parent to the disease in 2000. I am immensely grateful to people who work to inspire and help others.

PG: When did you attend your first SOBCon – why did you sign up – and what did you expect to get out of it? 

JH: My first SOBCON was Chicago 2011 and I have been to Portland and Chicago every year since. The background story was yet another “Liz Strauss story” nearly everyone at SOBCon has one.

PG: Did you get what you expected (or more or less or just different) from your first SOBCon?

JH: With no expectations and walked away inspired with many great new friends. Many of the things you experience at SOBCon will shape the way you look at your business as well as your personal life.

PG: How many additional SOBCon events have you been to?

JH: In addition to the first Chicago event in 2011 I went to one more in Chicago and 2 in Portland, 4 total.

PG: What keeps you coming back for more SOBCon?

JH: The opportunity to interact with brilliant, cool people that I know and make new friends that I haven’t met yet. I always feel like the time and money I invest in attending comes back to me many times in the form of ideas, opportunities and connections to a special group of people.

PG: What has been the biggest impact on your business because of SOBCon?

JH: There are actually two areas. One is the incredible network of people to connect with and the other is the valuable mental tools you gained to see business in a different light. Having always taken my business very personally, I now appreciate my customers more than ever. The quality of people I am working with today is simply incredible. SOBCon tends to instill a sense of being open to opportunity, you realize it is everywhere and it’s just a matter of being ready and willing to embrace it.

PG: What advice would you give someone thinking of attending SOBCon for the first time?

JH: Go! Be present, be open minded, participate and be amazed.

PG: What advice would you give someone thinking of attending SOBCon for a second (or more) time?

JH: Be prepared for new experiences; be sure to mix with old and new friends alike. Just realize that however great the people are that you know are, there are many more just like them you have yet to meet. Increase your chances of making those great connections by rotating tables and attending random events, Karaoke anyone?

PG: Anything else you’d like to share about the event or anything else?
JH: Just a few things:

  1. Phil Gerbyshak is the king of hugs.
  2. Elizabeth Marshall and Judy Martin are awesome at Karaoke.
  3. Becky McCray is the first person I met at SOBcon.
  4. Les McKeown thinks I am handsome.
  5. I love Marc A. Pittman’s Bow-Tie thing.
  6. AJ and Melissa Leon are role models for living.
  7. Amber Cleveland will always have your back.
  8. Dennis Charles and Susan Giurleo are great Masterminds.
  9. Sean McGinnis is a jack of all trades and master of some.
  10. Tim Sanders can transform your way of thinking in 15 minutes.
  11. Connie Cermak and Connie Burke are great to hang out with.
  12. Jeannie Walters has some amazing friends.

One could go on all day with random gems of a SOBCon experience… this is what I referred to regarding the quality of connections. Like many things, you have to experience it to fully understand.

Thank you Joe! Passionate awesome stuff!

So – Are you on the fence about attending SOBCon 2013? Hopefully Joe’s story offers you some insights into how you could benefit by attending this event. I hope to see you there – and I’ll definitely give you a hug – if you’re into that sort of thing. :)

So what are you waiting for? Go get your ticket to SOBCon, so you can have SOBCon memories too!!

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