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“Experience is unobservable to everyone except the person who it happens to.”

In Dan Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness, he writes: “Experience is unobservable to everyone except the person who it happens to.” I found this incredibly profound as I thought about how often I’ll hear from my clients and other association executives, “The software should function like this, because that’s how we do it, and that’s how every association does it.”

That statement makes perfect sense when considered thought Gilbert’s claim; none us can know exactly what others have experienced. And so it’s important to keep that in mind when we make sweeping generalizations about how things should be done.

I have very strong opinions about how things should be done, and will argue my point when necessary. But I never assume that my opinions are the end-all, be-all. And in cases of anything other than moral or ethical imperatives, I’m willing to change my position.

We should all keep that in mind, especially when it comes to data management and your business rules. Just because you do it that way doesn’t mean anyone else does.

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Testimonials

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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