BSuite Podcast: Part 2 – The Entrepreneurial Road with Mike Oh, TSP

car lights on road at night
In Part 2 of my conversation with Mike Oh, Principal of TSP, a tech services company, we pick up on some of the key choices he’s made over the past 28 years as an entrepreneur. We’ll dive into how the workplace has evolved to reflect and support social justice causes like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. We also reflect on COVID’s impact on his business, his decision to remain in the UK with his family, and why his team may have been better equipped than most to shift to an all-virtual model.   Thank you for tuning in!   KEY TAKEAWAYS   Remote working and remote collaboration are here to stay.   At the time of this recording, we were close to three months in since our entire world changed.    Mike questioned, “What am I supposed to do, both as a human and as an entrepreneur in this situation?”   It’s no easy answer, but Mike’s mission throughout this pandemic and beyond is to help his customers make their businesses work even better. With all of the experience he’s had managing remote teams from across continents, he feels equipped to help.   He imagines that some businesses have had disappointing experiences with other IT companies and they may be looking for other providers.   Having an open conversation about race and social justice with your team will be eye-opening.   Mike admits a lot of businesses have a hard time engaging in conversations about race and social justice issues in a meaningful way. In a professional setting, we’re always expected to have the answer, but sometimes it’s not that simple.   When George Floyd was killed and protesting sparked across the nation, his team had an internal debate about whether or not they wanted to participate in the dialogue, whether posting a message on social media to their followers, or participating in Blackout Tuesday.   He decided to start with an internal team conversation, beginning with the creation of a “Build Equality” Slack channel, where he invited members of his team to share resources, ideas, and amazing people to follow and amplify. The channel has been a huge success and helped educate and engage everyone in productive conversation.   The wrong response to dealing with social justice issues is defensiveness. Mike openly engaged in conversations with his employees, encouraging them to tell him more about their views. As a leader you might think you don’t have time for the “tell me more” conversation, but inviting that sharing of views is culture-building and it is important.   Deciding which content marketing platforms are worth your time is a difficult decision.   There are so many different forms of content to pursue in your business, from social media, to email marketing, to blogging and YouTube videos and podcasting. How do you know which ones are worth your time? And more importantly, how do you find joy in “doing the work” vs. considering the art of content creation a burden?   Committing to the journey is what matters.   Mike shares drier, more straightforward technical analysis on his blog, and repurposes that content for his email list.    And then he has a podcast, Grepcast, that showcases technology, privacy, artificial intelligence, cyber security, and more. Now 60+ episodes in and counting, he recognizes that maybe just 3 or 4 episodes had a significant impact on someone, but it’s worth it. Bringing his Project Manager Kelly into the conversations also invited a different perspective and helped him grow even closer to his team.   SOME QUESTIONS I ASK MIKE  
  • What new opportunities do you see in today’s business climate?
 
  • What kinds of responsibilities do you feel you have as a business leader for the wellbeing of your employees during a time when the ground underneath us has shifted quite a bit?
 
  • How do your personal beliefs and values blend into your company values?
  NOTABLE QUOTE   “Today, we are seeking a level of empathy and understanding between a business and its employees, which goes beyond efficiency and productivity.”   LINKS/RESOURCES MENTIONED   Richardson Media Group   Mike’s Company, TSP   Mike’s Podcast, Grepcast   Mike’s Instagram   TSP Smart Homes
Anne Richardson

​Anne Richardson is the owner and media director of Richardson Media Group, an agency specializing in media planning and buying, advertising campaign management and SEO.

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Anne outside the door of the Richardson Media Group office.
In addition to her role as owner and media director here at RMG, Anne authors the majority of our blog posts. Favorite topics include the entrepreneurial journey, media planning and buying, and forming productive agency partnerships.