Sun, Sand and Community

By Mark Scheinkoenig

As an 18-year-old growing up in the suburbs of Milwaukee and not too far from the shores of Lake Michigan, I fell in love with the sport of beach volleyball. And what’s not to love? Sun, sand, an ocean (or, in my case, a lake), and everyone is always laid back and comfortable, but ready to compete in the best of ways.

As I continued to play more frequently and became more competitive, I found myself being pulled into and accepted by a community of fellow beach volleyball enthusiasts. Over time, we trained together, traveled to tournaments together, celebrated our victories and commemorated the losses with one another and, eventually, just plain hung out together. The group of people I found had the same passion I developed for the sport—we also shared a lot of other interests and life views, too.

When I eventually graduated college and began the initial transition from “beach bum” to the corporate world, I was determined to find the same sort of connection with people that I found with beach volleyball. There were a lot of different trails I could have followed, but there was really only one natural choice to pursue—I chose a career in sales.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of travelling to various events, trade shows and user group conferences.  The more I met and interacted with others, the more I observed that my clients—and prospective clients—are looking for the same connection with like-minded individuals who share the same passion and interests.  It’s the same reason we’re often asked to provide references, and whether we know it or not, we’re thinking, “I’d like to speak with someone who is like me and is solving a similar challenge to the one I’m dealing with.”

As Onspring approaches its 3rd annual Connect Conference, we will be experiencing something new: this is the first year we won’t have the event in our hometown of Kansas City. This summer, we are taking to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to experience the beauty and majestic power that Colorado Springs has to offer. It is sure to be an exciting venue.

Our clients travel to this conference each year to see how others are using our platform to innovate and solve problems, exchange ideas with peers in similar industries, participate in classroom training, discuss new solutions with our ecosystem of partners and, if nothing else, just hang out with people similar to themselves. For those of you who’ve attended one of these events in the past, you’ve already experienced what it’s like to be part of the Onspring Community. If you’ll be experiencing it for the first time, let me say, “Welcome!” We are looking forward to your participation. And, for those of you who are prospective clients looking to find someone like you who is solving similar challenges to the ones you have, I expect you will find your answers here.

From the sand beaches of yesteryear, do a quick fast forward of 28 years—I still have the same love for beach volleyball. I even have a group of 40-somethings that play the sport every Wednesday after work and a highly competitive “breakfast club” that trains on Saturday mornings at seven o’clock throughout the summer. Although I don’t travel as frequently as I used to, I still compete in the Master’s National Championships just a bit further into the Rockies in Aspen, Colorado, every Labor Day weekend, a nice cap off to the summer before our group officially hibernates for the winter. When the temperature finally hits 60 degrees for the first time each spring, we heartily run for the sand, eager to feel it between our toes.  In sports and hobbies, or the corporate world, when you find the right community, you’ll know it.

And you’ll never want to leave.

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