Career Growth Strategies For Salespeople In The Ticketing Industry With Jeff Ianello

Growing in your career is a proactive process. Salespeople need to take action if they went to level up in their field. Today’s guest is Jeff Ianello, Executive Vice President, Client Partnerships at SeatGeek. Jeff joins Lance Tyson to share career growth strategies to help you succeed in the field. The two discuss what it takes for salespeople to excel and get promotions and what leaders can do to encourage their growth. Jeff also illustrates a great culture of growth and why it’s important to grow together with a team. Stay tuned!

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Against the Sales Odds and Jeff Ianello Discuss Career Growth Strategies For Salespeople

I’m excited about this episode of the show. I have an old friend and a client on with me, Jeff Ianello, who’s the Executive Vice President of Client Partnerships for SeatGeek. Thanks for being on, Jeff.

Thanks for having me. I’m excited about this, Lance. It’s always good to see you. Congrats on all the success with the book and your enterprise.

One of the things you and I have in common is a passion for getting innovative in the sales process and developing salespeople. That’s how you and I first got connected, around that stuff. Why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about your position at SeatGeek, what you do on a day-to-day basis, and then we’ll get into how you got there from all the other places you’re at?

The simplest way to describe it is SeatGeek is a business with two parts. There’s the marketplace business, which most people are familiar with. It’s where fans go on and buy tickets to a variety of different events and is the secondary resale side of the business. There’s the primary ticketing business, which we started a few years ago. I run sales for what I call enterprise, the primary ticketing business. It’s going out there being the main sales voice. Also, subsequently, the account management leads for the Dallas Cowboys who’s our biggest partnership in the US or our latest partnership with the Arizona Cardinals or the six MLS teams that we partnered with, etc. I lead sales for us and account management in North America.

You’ve been there for several years now, which I didn’t realize. You were employee number what at SeatGeek?

I was employee 80 and we are at about 500. It’s been an exciting, tremendous ride. It’s been more than I could have ever even asked for or dreamed of. I’m super grateful for it.

Talk to the audience about your journey. We’re starting in sales. What does that look like? Where are you from and how did you land at SeatGeek at this EVP position?

No journey is ever a straight line. I’m a UMass Amherst graduate, what I call the Harvard of Western Massachusetts. I was shy, which most people would be surprised to know about me now, through my first undergrad years in college. I came out of my shell a little bit and got more involved in the sports management department in my junior and senior years, and then sales happened by luck. I was hanging out with some friends, probably having a few beers and a few of them were working at a telemarketing company in the middle of the town of Amherst.

The hours from 5:00 to 9:00, Monday to Thursday, are great for social life, great for school life and it didn’t conflict. If you made some extra sales, you get an extra buck an hour for beer money. It was perfect. My friends were already working there and you’ll find this crazy. What the telemarketing firm did was call around the country, mostly middle America, and we would get people’s names, moving violations for speeding and driving. We would get social security numbers. It shows how old I am. No one cared then and we would get hundreds a night.

The firm would then go sell these leads to car insurance agents and I loved it. I found that the more I called and the better I got, the more leads I would get. There was a scoreboard. Everybody knows we have sales boards. Now in some digital form in most offices. I loved the competition. I loved the idea that I would make more money when I drove more leads.

One of my professors said, “If you’re liking this so much, there’s a former professor here that left before you came to Umass. You’ve heard of him. His name’s Dr. Bill Sutton and he’s at the NBA now. He’s starting the first-ever sales team with the New Orleans Hornets who were just moving from Charlotte.” No one’s going to understand that story in 30 years. “You should think about being in sports sales.” I’m like, “Okay.”

I called this Dr. Bill Sutton guy who’s now a father figure to me and the rest is history. I drove with my mom from New York, where we grew up, to New Orleans. I got a speeding ticket in Alabama. I was there for six months on the initial inside sales teams and I was at the Phoenix Suns for about eleven years, where my career took off.

You went from the New Orleans Hornets to the Phoenix Suns. How long were you at the Hornets?

ASO 12 | Sales Career Growth
Sales Career Growth: Put yourself in an environment that supports career growth with bosses that are like-minded. If your put yourself in that system, you have a better chance of being successful because people believe what you believe.

I was there for about six months. This is a bit of luck. They were only going to guarantee one promotion. I was number two on the board and they promoted the first person. Bill Sutton’s like, “Do you want to wait around?” He called the Suns and one other team and left the same voicemail, “I’ve got a number one here. I’m calling the other team,” which I won’t name. “Whoever calls back first gets a chance to talk to him.” Drew Cloud, who was the Director of Sales, called back first. We spoke and hit it off in subsequent interviews. I was going to Phoenix as a seasoned ticket account executive.

You had somebody give a plug. Go back to those first two jobs. What’s harder, the telemarketing firm, the UMass or the Hornets?

The Hornets because the stakes are higher.

Meaning, how much you made?

It’s more complex. The pressure was on and I didn’t want to go back home. This is something that’s always motivated me. I wasn’t about to go back home to New York with my tail between my legs and say it didn’t work out. I put a ton of pressure on myself to make it successful. UMass is beer money. I can go work at the movie theater and do it. The idea was different in my mind.

I had Chad Estis, who we both mutually know, on the first episode of this. He was 4 or 5 or 6 on the board. He goes, “Why didn’t you join and hang it up?” He goes, “I told too many people that I wanted it, so I was hung out.” It sounds so similar to you, like, “I’m not going home.”

I caddied every summer of my life from when I was twelve years old and I told myself that I was never going to carry anybody else’s golf back for money again. That was it. I was going down New Orleans to not go back.

When you caddy, did you prefer 2 bags or 1?

You make more money with two, Lance.

I bounced my shoulders out, so it was easier, but it was a huge lie.

I was 115 pounds, the same height soaking wet when I was thirteen, so I couldn’t carry two. Once I could, we’re talking about two bags, $100 to $120 cash off the books. It’s a great job for five hours.

I’m learning something about you now that I hear a common theme. You keep score. You mentioned the scoreboard, how much you made and where you were. It’s good. You get to Suns and you were there for eleven years?


One of the most underrated qualities of people is self-awareness.

Talk about the trajectory because a big thought on this series is that many people move up in an organization. You’re coming out of finance or sales. Sales more because you bring something to the table. Talk about that.

My story is a bit of good fortune. You’re putting yourself in a position to win and then I have a chance to go to Phoenix. I failed in my decision-making to go to Phoenix. If I put myself in an environment or system that supported career growth with like-minded bosses who wanted to grow and were part of that system, you have a better chance of being successful if people believe what you believe.

I was betting on John Walker, who’s now the president and the CEO of the Houston Dynamo, who was the VP at the time, Drew Cloud, who was the director at the time, and Rick Welts was the president. They brought in six months after I started this guy named Mike Toman, who you may have heard of. I know you’re good friends with Mike. He came in to change the culture. I remember him being questioning candidly everybody that was already there and sizing everybody up.

I know that me and him ended up being the person to people that were there in the morning. He saw me making calls on Saturday. I was working late and we hit it off that way. We both had similar aspirations. Being part of that group of people who then taught me a system put my hustle on effort with some important science, which helped me grow. There’s an art and there’s a science to this.

It also sounds like as you’re making your way up, there’s a connection of people that are willing to bet on, you’re willing to sign off on you. Correct?

Yeah, I’m not an inventor. I’m not a biologist or a scientist. This has been done well before. There’s a blueprint out there. If you read enough, if you’re with people that are on the rise and can show you a system, then it’s on you to be able to ingest that information and then have the same activity and a high-quality way out the other side.

I always say sales is half art and half science. You can be a great artist, but if you don’t respect the process, you’re going to struggle. You can be a great scientist, but if you don’t appreciate the artistic side, you’re probably going to struggle. The key is to get adequate of both, not more one than the other.

One of the most underrated qualities of people is self-awareness. Understanding what you do well, what you’re not good at, being able to make adjustments, looking at successful people around you, seeing what they do and being able to make that part of your own is important.

Let’s go back. You get Toman’s eye. He’s the guy that tells you that you fit into his definition of success or hard work. What’s the trajectory from there? When I met you, you were at the top of your game there.

The first step was a real rough one. My fashion sense was one of Goodfellas, so he had to get me to stop wearing black shirts, silver ties and stuff that fit. I’m half-joking here, but it was getting the edges in a lot of different ways, sandpapered out. It was purely joking aside from a learning phase. I always believed that reading and being a self-educator for sales trainers like you and others was important.

Mike had a system in place and I was trying to be the best I possibly could at that. The first step of that was showing that I was a dominant seller and that’s the science and the art of it and then showing that I had a system and can teach others that system. I’m working my way into leading some of the inside sales reps on sales appointments or hosting some meetings and having him observe me and give feedback.

Being able to coach and present reports to Drew and John, up the ladder, being in the meeting, and being good internally. It’s all those different skillsets that you look at now and some take for granted leadership that maybe you figured out along the way. It’s a lot easier when you have somebody you look at as an expert and others verify that they’re great. That was what I had in Mike but also with John and Drew and that system that was developed there. That’s why you saw so many great people come out of Phoenix from the early 2000s through even 2010 and beyond. A lot of good people have come from there.

I had somebody who worked for you or around you. Mark Jackson has texted me. I know he came out of Phoenix.

ASO 12 | Sales Career Growth
Sales Career Growth: Understanding what you do well, what you’re not good at, being able to make adjustments, looking at people that are successful around you, seeing what they do and being able to make that part of your own is important.

Mark Jackson was the first person I ever managed when I became a sales manager.

Mark is the VP of the Madison Square Garden. It sounds like you figured out how to manage up.

I was humble enough to understand that I didn’t know everything and if I wanted to go quickly, I needed to go with a group of people. You go quickly as a team and together. I need to be able to deliver value to what they were trying to build. That’s what I tried to do every single day.

What’s the singular first big title you got? You mentioned Mark as the first person you managed.

I was an Inside Sales Manager.

You followed that traditional track. How many people did you manage?

In that inside sales team, the original team was twelve. We grew to maybe 15 or 18 there.

Was Alan Latkovic on that team, too?

Alan Latkovic, Nick Forro, Ryan Holmstedt, Nic Barlage and Eric McKenzie.

It’s the who’s who there.

A peer of mine was Bill Fagan and Corey Breton. Jeremy Walls was an account executive there. It was a great group of execs and awesome people you develop and have great relationships with.

You’re managing that first group of people and then bringing that through. You’re rolling now. You’re not just managing everybody else’s pipeline, but you’re involved in the pipeline also because the company has grown. It’s a SaaS company essentially. You’re involved in the pipeline and other people’s pipelines. When you look back then, what’s the big thing that frustrates you about salespeople? You know who you are as a seller, how flexible you are and adaptable you are.

I go back to what I said before, self-awareness. This isn’t rocket science. There’s a formula and there’s a scoreboard. I call it and I heard it from one of them, perhaps Mike, being a thumb person, not a finger person, so taking accountability and personal responsibility. This isn’t something that’s gray. There’s a formula here, some form of activity. You could debate what that activity is, but usually, it’s opening doors and getting great qualified prospects in. Having more of those is better.

Motivation comes from within. You find inspiration externally.

Having a high quality means what you say, how you say it, being crisp and precise with that, that’s the science and the art combined, being able to repeat that consistently. Getting the repetition as you would with a jump shot or golf swing or anything that you would do over and over again and then being self-aware enough to always adjust.

I don’t believe that you stay the same. You’re either constantly getting better or getting worse. You’ve heard all these before. If you’re a doctor, you wouldn’t just jump in and think you wouldn’t need school or you wouldn’t operate anybody. Many people come into sales and don’t put the actual time. You get good at the craft and expect that they should be greater or get promoted right away. This is an objective practice.

Even some people blow me away that they’re not even self-aware to know that bad form. I was coaching somebody in the NBA who got a house debt and not because of COVID. He had a horrible relationship with two levels above them and I was like, “Why don’t you ask his opinion?” He goes, “I don’t think he’s good ideas.” I go, “That’s the problem. Whether he or she doesn’t, the appearance that you think you have all the answers leaves a bad taste in their mouths. You’re not even Machiavellian enough to play the political wheel. You’re not self-aware.”

You don’t know if it’s ignorance. You don’t know if you don’t ask.

It could be a great idea. I said, “On the least, you can’t even sell yourself politically.” He goes, “Are you saying I have to ask this?” I go, “At some level, yeah. It’s probably not a bad idea.” He goes, “I don’t like that.” I go, “Unfortunately, at some level, leadership is some politics and being self-aware to the political game that it is.” It blew me away. I felt like I was arguing with somebody who couldn’t hear. He can’t hear anything I’m saying. He couldn’t listen, so it drove me insane. That self-awareness is something you probably have an issue with.

It’s a frustration I have. There’s a blueprint here. We all have to have a personal responsibility to follow it. Blaming others, whether it’s your peers, your bosses or stuff makes me a little nuts.

I don’t know if anybody’s ever said this. What I always found interesting about you is that I have certain theories on culture from everybody I know, especially around sports entertainment that talks culture. Toman talks less about culture and more about his pillars and driving to something. You always have had a good sales culture, but you never sold me on the culture, which tells me it’s not a cult. There is some theme that you look for beyond the self-awareness piece. A few years at SeatGeek and you’re at NBA TMBO, the consulting part of the National Basketball Association, what’s the thing you’re trying to drive besides self-awareness?

The best way to describe it is through an example. One of my favorite books is Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. If anybody hasn’t seen his famous TED Talk on YouTube, take a look at it. His other book is also great, The Infinite Game. If you simplify it, you’re trying to drive a purpose. You’re driven by some meaning, some why. You’re trying to create purpose around what you’re trying to do every single day, have a meaning. That could be a meaning that is me not wanting to go back to New York. It could be meaning because of my love of the product I’m selling.

Hopefully, it’s a combination of both of those things or what that product or service brings to the person that it’s being served to. That’s why sports is so special to me because it brings so many amazing experiences. I want to be surrounded by self-motivated people who are trying to do something that’s bigger than themselves. If you can do that, you’re off to a good start. Now you’re just looking for other things that are identifiers of them, trying to make sure that they realize that through action. Authenticating that belief by working harder or being better at your craft or being more consistent. Being committed to what you’re trying to do every single day.

You can use all those buzzwords, but you’re being driven by something. Motivation comes from within. You find inspiration externally. When you see great culture, it’s a series of beliefs that are permeating themselves in different ways. Sometimes by word, sometimes by action, but it’s typically a group of people that are rowing in the same direction. That is a good culture.

Culture is defined by the leader because it’s two creations. The first creation is here and the second creation becomes physical, but that personal leadership drive has to come from somebody. Simon Sinek’s Why and Stephen Covey’s Begin with the End in Mind still come down to why. It’s interesting you said that. What attracts you is somebody who’s willing to get to another level because it doesn’t sound like at all in this interview, you’ve felt you’ve had all the tools. I love the fact that you’re not rags to riches either. You’re not trying to pull off that card. You’re saying, “I probably wasn’t as good as I was going to pay and I had to come to some reckoning that I’m probably going to have to work to get there on me first.”

One of the myths here is that you’re not placed there and then have it. You don’t get it by the title. Everyone is so title-hungry. I don’t want to walk in the snow backward 5 miles to work every day. We were title-driven years ago as well. It’s the same and it’s the same mistake people made. If you’re great, that comes before the title. If you’re purpose-driven, that should come without a title.

If you get to a certain point where you don’t want to be a president or you don’t want to be a certain role and keep going, it’s still that hunt for day-to-day greatness and the mission you’re trying to drive. That is what you’re doing day-to-day and that’s happiness, not the perception of what you’re going to look like to somebody else in the industry. The title is getting you there and then it magically happens. You shouldn’t shit on people. It shouldn’t work that way.

ASO 12 | Sales Career Growth
Sales Career Growth: If you’re a doctor, you wouldn’t just jump in and think you don’t need school. So many people come into sales and don’t put actual time in to get good at the craft and then expect that they should just be greater or get promoted right away.

To bookend Phoenix, you landed where? What’s the final position.

Senior Vice President of Sales & Service. I ran all of the ticketing premium, end service and retention plans.

How many people were under you at that point?

It vacillated probably between 60 and 70 at any one point in time.

Six to seven managers or directors underneath it?

Yeah, it was a great run. It was eleven years. I love the people I worked with. I reported to our president at that time who’s still there, Jason Rowley. He’s a great person. It was an awesome place and I have nothing bad to say about it. It was great.

You go there to this consulting position with the NBA and you go from managing and leading 70 souls now to just you again.

There are a few things driving it. One, I had spent a good amount of time in Phoenix and I didn’t want to be a president of a team and I still don’t believe I do. If it’s the right opportunity, maybe. The further I got away from the sales process and directly helping reps day-to-day, I was more unhappy. I knew I didn’t want to take that next step higher. I liked the idea of best practices and the feeling that if we could develop more and give it to more people, we could help more people. Part of TMBO’s job is to find and develop best practices and share that. I was motivated by that.

Personally, candidly my wife was and now is a successful college golf coach. She coaches the women’s team at the University of Arizona in Tucson. At the beginning of our marriage, she had gotten that job right after we got married. It’s 90 minutes away. We were back and forth a lot. We wanted to have a baby, but it wouldn’t work if we were in both places, so I was driving that decision as well. Those were the three reasons why I wanted to make the move.

It’s that balance. That makes total sense. You were there for two years. The biggest thing you take out of that is that you’re watching people do what you do and helicopter in and give them advice. That’s not what it amounts to, but that’s the essence.

Simplified, you’re a little wider, so you’re not just in sales, but you’re marketing, doing sponsorship, game presentation, and trying to make the entire organization better. That was one of the big differences for me. I didn’t have that exposure day-to-day in Phoenix, so that was great. I would recommend the job to anybody. It was a great place to be and a good position to stretch yourself. I love TMBO. I’d still be there if SeatGeek didn’t come along. I believe helping people is great. No job is perfect, not even my situation. If I had one criticism, and this isn’t the NBA or TMBO, the job itself, you’re a consultant. If you’re a sales-minded person, you’re not in control of your own goal. When you bring an idea, you’re not the person who’s implementing it.

You might even get credit for it.

That’s the give and take. You have no credit, but you also don’t have a lot of pressure too. You don’t have a goal, so that’s a good and a bad thing in some ways. It was overall a great experience. I love the people and I still have good relationships there. I’d recommend working there or at club services for any league in a capacity. If you want to help people and you want to help the industry, it was amazing.

A great culture is a series of beliefs that are permeating themselves in different ways sometimes by word sometimes by action but it’s typically a group of people that are rowing in the same direction.

You go there and you’re the 80th person at SeatGeek. It’s not quite a startup, but not a storied long train going there, so you’re helping this organization get lifted at that point.

At the time, it was looked at by a lot of my contemporaries as a risky move and one that some didn’t support, but others did.

I loved it when you did it. I like calculated risk, though. I’m not a gambler, but I like calculated risk.

The NBA made it hard to leave. Amy Brooks, who’s somebody I respect dramatically, made a strong push to keep me there and I always appreciate that. I did my homework. I was discussing the move for a number of weeks and did my diligence. Ultimately, what drew me to it was the idea that the ticketing industry is historically uninspiring. It was one that frustrated me throughout my career to the point where I first got the phone call to go meet with Russ and Jack, who are founders. I said, “There is no way I’m ever working for a ticketing company. It’s an uninspiring place to be there.”

I loved Russ and Jack, so that was the first thing that got me going. They were purpose-driven. They were different from the other ticketing executives that I’ve met over the years and you want to have differentiation in anything that you back and you get behind as a story and a sales story. As I went through it, my observation was that the technology from a fan-facing standpoint was dominant. At the end of the day, when you look at a lot of the products out there, whether it’s Venmo, or even your local banking apps, Netflix, or commerce apps like Amazon, these are fun, easy, delightful products to use.

Ticketing, historically, is not bad. The business model for how ticketing companies do deal with teams is lopsided. I thought there was a good story to tell there. My take was that we were having our second child at the time. I remember being in the hospital saying, “Everything checks the box here financially, what I’m doing day-to-day, the people I’m working for. If I don’t do it, will I look back no matter how it works out, even if it’s a massive failure? If I look back in twenty years, will I regret it?”

I thought I would regret not doing it. I didn’t want to be somebody who said, “I played it safe.” This was a bit of a look in the mirror moment. I did that and there’s always a point where I had not been directly selling for a period of time. In my observations, people viewed me as more of a sales leader and analytical leader and you want to be able to test your fastball and there was a bit of that as well. If I’m candid, on a big long enterprise sale, I felt like I had a good fastball and wanted to test it.

Now, you’re back to your roots, so you’re leading a sales team, not nearly the size of what you are, but you came from not leading a sales team in your last role and you’re heavily involved. I’ve talked about this a lot. You’re not only testing your fastball, but you’re knee-deep in your elbows in alligators of times getting deals done and negotiating. This is a long process and it’s a big deal. It’s a complex sale. This is not a check the box sale and you’re and you’re going up against some hitters.

That’s all on a weekend pack. That’s on the mini-pack on the weekend.

It’s a complex sale. Looking at it, it’s one of the more difficult sales. You’re selling. Initially, you’re trying to get in with one person in a group and trying to convince people. It’s a whole move and strategy. Talk about that a little bit.

You’re always selling internally, too. One of the biggest complexities is, “This isn’t me out there. This is a team sale.” Whether it’s our founders being involved, our president, Danielle, our product team, our marketing team, you’re orchestrating a full-length feature film.

You’re quarterbacking on the back end. I would guess your negotiation internally is as tough as the negotiation with a potential client as you move down later.

You have a lot of moving pieces and you don’t want to throw people who are uncomfortable with that engagement, that interaction in a sales process into an uncomfortable situation. You want to have enough practice and lead time and preparation. Have good stories, be able to engage people at the right time. Have momentum in the process. Momentum is an important thing in sales. You have to be able to do that and that’s dealing with sometimes a couple of dozen people internally that you want to have a voice. If you’re speaking at somebody the entire time to the process, you’re not authenticating the process much. You’re not telling the Sikh story as well. I’m not a founder and I can’t tell it as well as Russ. I can tell it well, but he makes it better.

ASO 12 | Sales Career Growth
Sales Career Growth: If you be the best and you love it, everything will work itself out.

I was on a podcast with a guy who does a lot of leadership and entrepreneurial stuff. He said, “Give us some advice to the entrepreneurs out there.” I said, “The advice I’d give is, I don’t believe salespeople are born. They’re built. I feel strongly about that. Two, as an entrepreneur and founder of a company, the salespeople you end up hiring will never be as passionate as you are. They’re not going to ever have your enthusiasm. You birth something. You’re never as passionate about other people’s kids as you are yours.” I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. The last question on your role right now with SeatGeek, right now, would you find yourself being a little bit more patient with your salespeople because the processes are longer and a little bit more stringent, as opposed to who you were?

Who I was wasn’t sustainable. You learn through mistakes. This is self-awareness. I made so many mistakes through the years. I was way too hard on people and I wasn’t forgiving enough. You know going into it and you still do it, managing your own image and not everyone needs to be an A to B to be an A-plus player to be valuable. Not everybody needs to work exactly like you to be successful. Surrounding yourself with people with different motivations or skill sets is important. You need to have that. Not everyone’s going to achieve the same result as you would. That’s what I’ve learned. I’m probably too patient now. I probably overcorrected a bit, but for sure, it’s a yes.

Any level of self-awareness makes you more of a thermostat than a thermometer. You can climb at all times.

You have to give yourself and your people space. I never gave myself enough space. I regret that a bit, taking that extra time off playing golf when you need to. Now, part of my routine is meditation and practicing gratitude. The important parts are reading and getting good exercise in. I wish I had that incorporated earlier. Mental health is important and that has to be part of any type of culture. SeatGeek does a great job. We get free Headspace memberships, for example, and it’s a strong mental health culture, support culture and that’s something that I believe in and I would do differently if I was in a different organization versus years ago.

Mental Health and EQ, emotional intelligence collide. They’re all part of one. My next book is about sales EQ and I’m glad you mentioned that. I read a quote right before we got on that said, “What lies in the past and what lies in the future is tiny as opposed to what lies inside of us.” I’m not reading that, so it was important enough that I memorized it. Speed questions. The one that I ask all the time. With no clichés at all, you’re defining success to a 7 or 8-year old that’s not your child.

Do what you love. Be the best at whatever you decide to do, whether it’s being a doctor or cleaning a factory. If you’ll be the best and you love it, everything will work itself out.

At your funeral, your kids and wife are there being morbid. It’s not your time so you’ll know what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about upstate. It’s the wake, not the funeral. It’s the night before. Everybody’s coming to visit. All the people that you talked about are coming to visit your family. You choose to play a song that people are listening to while they’re there, at least a part of it. Name the song.

Frank Sinatra’s My Way, not the Paul Anka version. I’ve taken a little bit of the road less traveled here and we’ve done as a family trying to juggle two successful careers and two little kids. My Way is the one I would do. The second option would be Bruce Springsteen’s No Surrender.

I like them both. Jeff, it’s been freaking awesome. I can’t wait to get this episode out. I’m picking the people who have a strong message and who are great at interviews. You’re so visual when you communicate. I love it.

Can I give you one more for the road?


Kobe Bryant’s tragic death with his daughter and the others and the subsequent memorial hasn’t been talked about a ton this quote specifically, but it touched me and it’s important for people to think about this. His former agent and president of the Lakers, Rob Pelinka talked about how Kobe gave him a book as a gift and inside the book, it said, “May you always remember to enjoy the road, especially when it’s a hard one. Love, Kobe.” During this time period, it’s tough for all of us, but it’s a bigger example of what is going to happen in life.

You’re a reader. What book would you typically gift or would you gift to somebody? That’s my Tim Ferriss. I almost forgot that question. Thanks for reminding me.

Not everybody needs to work exactly like you to be successful. Surrounding yourself with people with different motivations or skillsets is important.

I gave you Start With Why by Simon Sinek. I’ll give you a non-business book, The Boys in the Boat, which is about the crew team that is post-Great Depression, pre-World War II on Washington University. How that period of time and how they came together as a team in individual stories is remarkable.

It’s the first time I heard of that book.

I’ve gifted that book plenty of times.

It’s been fun. I can’t wait to get this out.

Thanks, Lance. You’re too kind.


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About Jeff Ianello

After spending thirteen plus years on the team and league side of the sports business I’ve joined the live event technology company SeatGeek.

Ticketing is a business that has long believed in single channel distribution. This is fundamentally at odds with basic principles of consumer retail distribution. As the “Kayak of ticketing” we want to change this by partnering with sports and entertainment properties, consumers, and ticketing companies. In addition to expanded distribution we bring the values of database building and earned marketing spend to our clients.

I am passionate about learning the art and science of sales and leadership and sharing with colleagues and friends.

Part time movie and TV buff and career 20+ golf handicapper!