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Finding Your Purpose in the Print Industry

27 May, 2016 By: Jordan Darragh

To achieve success in the print industry, and any industry for that matter, it requires a lot of energy and dedication to the job.  As a result, we often find ourselves buried in the weeds of our day to day task working toward company goals and our personal goals within it.  The print industry is filled with complexity and detail which requires narrow focus on the present to achieve our personal and business goals.  In order to power through on a daily basis requires motivation and, ultimately, purpose….and that is the purpose of this article:  to learn from many industry leaders about their purpose and what drives them on a daily basis to support their personal, company and industry success. 

As an exercise in preparation for writing this article, I reached out to a number of people and asked them one question: 

What is or has been your purpose in the print industry?

I engaged people across many different niches within the industry including hardware, software, marketing, development, sales, finance, OEM’s, dealers, analysts and journalists.  We all play a role and add value and I thought it would be interesting to hear from multiple perspectives.  It might take up this entire issue to fill in each perspective, so I’ve selected a handful to share an overall variety.  Here they are, in no particular order:

“That is a great question and really got me thinking. I believe my purpose in this industry (and I wouldn’t call it the 'print industry' any longer) is to educate clients that there is a better way to manage workflow that will have a significant impact on their business – financially, operationally, and environmentally…and that I’m in position to help them execute the right strategy.  I also find purpose as a change agent, i.e., I’m open to reinventing and creating new processes and adopting new technologies to assist my clients.  Finally, as a leader and a manager, I find purpose in developing others to do the same.”

-          George Sealy, Director of Managed Print Services, Conway Office Solutions (A Xerox Company)


“I would have to turn the question around a little and say that the print industry has given me purpose – I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life, marketing.  I love the problem solving, strategic thinking and creativity that I get to use on a daily basis.”

-          Elise McFarlane, Marketing Manager, PrintFleet


“I document what's going on in the print industry. I've been doing that for 30 years now. I never intentionally set out down this path, it just sort of found me. What's great about this industry is that it's always changing, which keeps it fresh, exciting, and relevant. Because of that, there's always something to write about, and just as important, someone out there still willing to read about it. Dare I say it? Long Live Print."   

-          Scott Cullen, Managing Editor/Chief Correspondent, The Cannata Report


"I have a singular purpose: To provide the office equipment industry with information and expertise so that those in my circles can make more money while solving real customer problems.  I ask those I engage with to challenge existing paradigms and to engage in "near future" thinking so that they are ready to lead the charge.  As we all know, growth and market leadership belong to those who are bold enough to BE the change."

-          West McDonald, VP of Business Development, Print Audit


“My primary goal of creating, finding and sharing valuable information - with much on managed print - is an ongoing focus. From peer-written articles, blogs, credible research reports, conference workshops and ongoing webinars, our team strives to arm office solution dealers, resellers, manufacturers, distributors, and related businesses with the best information to prosper.  Many are print providers with 'MPS’ at the core of their business model. No doubt they've all felt the squeeze as the industry alters dramatically due to advances in technology, multi acquisitions, strategic alliances, and the general economic landscape. However, though print pages are declining, robust opportunities and new products will look to replace loss profits. Additionally, as Millennials inherit running companies and managing workforces, replacing paper consumption with electronics for expediency, I feel print will survive yet in a more globalized, responsible way. The workplace will be different but the future will show an ongoing quest for not only super-efficient technology but for organizations to deliver on eco-friendly promises,  ramping up programs to better protect the environment we live and work in. We should see more commitment on this level through revised corporate cultures, and by partnering with companies whose platform teaches concerned companies just how to keep it ‘green’ for them and their customers. “

-          Sand Sinclair, Editor-in-Chief,  imageSource Magazine   


“Admittedly, I left the print industry after a ten year run because I had lost my purpose.  Leading a sales organization for ten years, I was fueled primarily by the motivation to win and found purpose in simply ‘growing the business’.  But eventually, I wanted ‘something more’ that aligned with my personal interest to help solve issues facing our world and – after a three year hiatus - I found it, literally, in the idea to launch PrintReleaf.  By leading and representing our company, I personally find deep purpose driving environmental value through our reforestation platform which benefits customers and… our planet”.

-          Jordan Darragh, Founder & CEO, PrintReleaf

Of course, everyone has different goals and, as such, a different purpose.  Whether you’re new to the industry or an established veteran, it never hurts to ask the question and ensure both are in alignment.


Jordan Darragh is Founder & CEO of PrintReleaf, empowers businesses to certifiably reduce the environmental impact of using forest products by automatically planting trees across a global network of reforestation projects. The PrintReleaf Exchange [PRX] is a patented software platform. For information visit www.printreleaf.com

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