Mama, I’m Coming Home

Originally published at

Mama, I’m Comin’ Home
7/10/2017 | Roger Burnett, The Burn

There was a pregnant pause on the other end of the line.

Jonathan and I speak often, keeping up with one another’s lives in the way that good friends often do, but not in the way that friends whom have never worked closely together would recognize. Sure, there have been moments where our conversations might turn to the comings and goings of our personal lives, but the majority of our discussions more closely resemble two guys peering under the hood of a car, wondering aloud to one another how to better her performance.

Those discussions often occur in moments where one of us faces a decision warranting inputs – necessary when your own opinion seems too uninformed or naïve, inputs earned only from having been there in honest and sincere ways for one another time and time again.

In the time since we’d last worked together at iClick, our professional lives have diverged. His, a steady but rapid trajectory in the growth of his own business, cultivated well with an eye toward the future. Mine, a much-needed and valuable journey of new businesses and, finally, building sales plans and teams from the ground up.

We’d come close to joining forces anew once before, but the excitement in my voice discussing other choices was too palpable for a good friend to ignore. In my mind, to return before I’d gotten the kind of seasoning necessary to do justice to the tasks at hand would only hamstring our ability to hit the ground running, plus, I needed the chance to put my own signature on one more piece of art before I brought my brushes back to the gallery.

I can’t recall the exact way he’d worded the sentence, but as our conversations would occasionally turn to the thought of getting the band back together, his comment always sounded something like “When you’re ready, tell me you’re ready”

I was ready, and I’d just said so.

To others, the pregnant pause might have been misconstrued as hesitation, but I knew exactly what was happening. Jon’s brain operates at warp speed, and, sometimes, his mouth needs a few seconds to catch up with the tornado of thoughts spurred by my commentary. This time was no different, and his first pause-breaking words were a perfect reflection of such.

“We have a LOT of work to do”

So, Promotional Products industry, here we are once again. Here I am, once again, product in hand, relationships in tow, ready to serve distributors with products to impress your clients, backed by service honed from years of making sales calls as distributors ourselves. We know what you need, we know HOW you need it, and we’re ready.

If you’re attending the ASI Chicago show, stop by Booth 103. Catch Jon, Jordan or me in the halls of the convention center, at the Hyatt Bar where we all seem to congregate, or at Shenanigan’s or The Lodge after hours. Come to dinner with us. Have coffee. Let us tell you all about how OtterBox is the mother of all tumblers, or how selling protective devices for electronics has never been easier or more lucrative. Order a sample kit. If you do none of these things, do nothing more than stop in and tell me all about what’s been going on in your world since I last saw you.

I’m excited to be home.

Roger has spent 20+ years making complex concepts more understandable for both buyers and sellers alike, and has devoted the majority of his recent career to writing and executing sales and marketing plans for early and mid-stage businesses. He is a student of organizational behavior and the disciplines successful selling organizations use to achieve the greatest reach, even in instances of scarce resources. He loves the outdoors and seeks memorable experiences whenever possible. Contact Roger at or 810-986-5369.

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