Anybody who knows Ken Krogue knows he’s a teacher at heart.
Whether he’s showing Boy Scouts how to build a campfire, running football drills, educating business executives on military strategy, or helping companies create high-velocity inside sales organizations, Ken loves to share his knowledge and insights with the world.
And that’s what the XANT founder is determined to continue doing despite some recent health challenges caused by a scary head-on collision.
On Sept. 2, 2015, Ken survived a serious automobile accident when a large truck traveling 55 mph plowed into his Chevy Silverado in Springville, Utah.
The force of the impact crumpled his hood, shattered his windows and slammed his truck into a steel barrier.
“I’m lucky the air bag deployed because it saved my life,” he says.
When I talked to Ken recently, he wanted me to give his colleagues, customers and friends in the industry an update on his road to recovery and some of the cool things he’s been working on in the past few months.
“I’m grateful that this happened because it’s caused me to get back to the basics of life,” Ken says of the accident, noting that he’s strengthened relationships with his family and started to live a healthier lifestyle.
You can read Ken’s personal account on his blog, kenkrogue.com
Writing projects put on hold
Ken has wanted to write a couple of books about inside sales for a long time. In 2009, he took a few months away from the office to work on one book of best practices and another about XANT’s company story. He made a lot of progress and came close to publishing something at that time.
But business was booming, and the company wasn’t sure it wanted to give the book publisher the electronic rights, so the project was shelved.
“In hindsight, I wish I would have finished it then because it would have helped us in a lot of ways,” Ken says.
In 2015, Ken decided it was time to publish the books, and he resumed working on one of them – until his automobile accident. The crash totaled Ken’s truck and sent him to the hospital with a broken arm, serious whiplash and a concussion.
As a result, he had difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, speaking and writing, and his energy levels plummeted.
“Obviously, I put my book on hold while I started trying to heal,” he says. “They gave me this cool cast for my arm that I could take off to shower.”
Then Ken and his “cool cast” embarked on a series of meetings with various doctors. He soon discovered how hard it is to get time with a neurologist, but he eventually found a good one, who taught him a lot about brain trauma.
“One of my friends told me if I didn’t take the concussion seriously and address it, the effects would linger,” Ken says. “He recommended a clinic in Provo that is one of the nation’s leading clinics for concussions.”
So Ken enrolled in Cognitive FX led by Dr. Alina Fong. Her team guided Ken through cognitive therapy, including a series of brain games and exercises.
“I had previous mild brain trauma from playing football and this auto accident had compounded things. The therapy was intense; it wears you out,” Ken says. “It took eight hours a day for five days. Monday and Tuesday were exhausting. By Thursday morning, I remember just feeling great. They performed a brain scan on Friday, which showed significant improvements.”
Ken found he could think and speak more clearly, but he still had trouble writing.
“It’s still really hard to hold my head and body up after about 2 p.m.,” he says. “If I lie down and rest, I can pick up later where I left off, but if I try to push through it, I get exhausted.”
A healthier Ken
The truth is, before the accident, Ken was already trying to do too much and wearing himself out.
“I hadn’t been eating and sleeping well or exercising, and that had caught up with me,” he says. “I was on the verge of diabetes, and I had let some of my family responsibilities slip.”
Ken traveled to San Diego to spend time at the Optimum Health Institute. He exercised, took health classes and ate healthy food.
He also started using a Bemer device, which improves blood circulation through some pretty cool science.
While he’s away taking time off from the office, Ken is enjoying the opportunity to spend meaningful time with his wife and kids. He has become enamored with the Aaron Ross business model that makes room for family.
And with the help of his friends at SnappConner PR, CEO Cheryl Snapp Conner and Tom Post, a former managing editor at Forbes, he is getting back into the writing groove.
“Writing these books is the best way I’m going to contribute to our business and this industry that I love so much,” Ken says. “I want to codify our inside sales best practices into something that can be used at scale.”
Ken still struggles to sit at a keyboard and bang out prose, so he is speaking his thoughts into a voice recorder. He sends those recordings to an editor, who is helping him draft his articles and books.
His goal is to have the first book ready by the time we host the XANT Accelerate customer conference in May. He’d like to finish the second book by Dreamforce in October.
In November 2015, Ken joined Jill Rowley and Koka Sexton on stage at the Sales Hacker conference in San Francisco to discuss social selling strategies. In February, he and Koka teamed up for a webinar on how to use LinkedIn for sales, and he delivered a keynote at the RootsTech family history conference in Salt Lake City.
“I’m doing great emotionally and mentally,” Ken says. “I’m just struggling physically a little bit. I have to say no to a lot of things. I can’t juggle multiple conversations and projects as well right now, but I’m grateful to all my friends and family who have supported me through this.”